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Chapter 14 (Personality) Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
John Bassili

CHAPTER 14 Personality THE PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH Freud was the first to claim that what we do is often irrational and that the reasons for our behaviour are seldom conscious. The mind, to Freud, was a battleground for the warring factions of instinct, reason, and conscience; the term psychodynamic is this. Development of Freuds Theory Read the life story of Freud if it interests you and that Anna O. patient (pg 465). From his studies, Freud concluded that all human behaviour is motivated by instinctual drives which, when activated, supply psychic energy. This energy is aversive, because the nervous system seeks a state of quiet equilibrium. If something prevents the psychic energy cause by activation of a drive from being discharged, psychological disturbances will result. Freud believed that instinctual drives are triggered by events in a persons life. Many events dont have much effect, but traumatic events may seriously threaten the desired state of psychic energy equilibrium. During a traumatic event, a person may hide their true emotions. There is a cost for suppressing the psychic energy that fuels them: the emotion may be expressed neurotically. The individual will not be able to recall his extreme emotional reactions since they will be embedded in the unconscious, the inaccessible part of the mind. Freud also believed the mind actively prevents unconscious memories of traumatic events from reaching conscious awareness. The mind represses the memories of traumatic events from being consciously discovered. He also argued that our personalities are determined by both conscious and unconscious powers. Structures of the Mind: Id, Ego, and Superego o Freud suggest the mind consists of the unconscious (mental events of which we are not aware), the conscious (mental events of which we are aware), and the preconscious involves mental events that may become conscious through effort. He divided the mind into three structures: Id: operations are completely unconscious and contains the libido (primary source of instinctual motivation for all psychic forces and is insistent and unresponsive to the demands of reality). The id obeys only one rule: to obtain immediate gratification pleasure principle.
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