PSYA02 Feb 4, 2013
Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939)
Freud was the first psychologist that wasn‟t a scientist – he was a physiologist
o Trained as an expert observer – shaped his later research
Was interested in ailments that seemed to have no physiological cause
o Extreme ailments but no medical cause
o Caused by mental issues
Worked with Charcot on hypnotism. Freud felt that this could cure psychological
problems but he later rejected this idea.
o Mesmer was first to use the „idea‟ of hypnotism. Originally, he wanted to
cure people via magnetism but it turns out that, for the people that felt
better, they weren‟t cured by the magnets but by Mesmer telling them that
the magnets would help. It was a placebo effect under the power of
Freud listened to people and then formed „stories‟ of the causes of their problems
o This was scientifically impossible to test/prove
Came to believe that all human behavior is motivated by instinctual desires that
provide psychic energy
o Psychic energy caused the issues
These drives could be unconscious as well as conscious
The manner in which our internal energies are released
determines our personalities
Psychic energy – caused by sex/aggression
Freud thought that his three categories of
conscious/unconscious could have goals and desires
o Modern day scientists reject this
This part was completely below our conscious awareness
It represents the animal side of humans – it wants things and wants it right away
o However, this is not all bad. The ID is what motivates us to get stuff done.
Very primitive and very reactive PSYA02 Feb 4, 2013
“… the dark, inaccessible part of our personality … a cauldron full of seething
excitations … filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no
organization, produces no conscious will, but only a striving to bring about that
satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to … the pleasure principle.” (Freud)
The Pleasure Principle: The desire to obtain immediate gratification in whatever
form it may take.
The ID is also linked to “libido”, the primary source of instinctual motivation for all
Charged with the task of making you the sort of person that will fit in well with
society … or just the person you would like to be.
o We will probably never achieve this mental image
Ego-Ideal: The internalized notion of what society values in a person … what it
means to be “good”, “liked” or “appreciated”.