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Psychology 2550A/B Midterm: 2550A/B - Midterm 2 Notes Personality Psych (Chapter 7 - 12)

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Psychology 2550A/B
David Vollick

Chapter 7: PsychodynamicMotivational Level Sigmund Freud (18561939) Began in medicine with research on cocaine hypnosis to address nervous disorders such as hysteria (massive repression) Clinical observations in private practise in Vienna led to development of his theories: o Why did a young girl feel compelled to repeatedly rinse out her wash basin? o Why was a young boy terrified of horses despite never having been hurt by one? Two key assumptions underlie Freuds conception: o Behaviour is never accidental: It is psychologically determined by mental motivational causes (motivational determinism) o These causes are mostly outside awareness or consciousness Freud divided mental process into conscious, preconscious, and unconscious o Conscious: what is in ones attention at a given moment o Preconscious: the many events that we can bring into attention easily, from background music to old memories o Unconscious: that which is not responsive to our deliberate efforts at recall (bc of repression). It became the focus of Freuds work Two Roads to the Unconscious Dreams express the hidden fulfilment of a desire that we are trying to avoid experiencing consciously = necessary for psychological health Free Association (royal road): the patient, reclining on a couch, is encouraged to say everything that comes to mind, no matter how irrational it might seem Psychic Structure: Anatomy of the Mind Personality consists of three mental agencies: id, ego, superego Id: Unconscious contains everything inherited, especially the biological instincts basis of personality; foundation from which the ego and superego later develop immediate, irrational, impulsive Its instincts (life death instincts) act like drives (motivations); seek reduction Life or sexual instincts (Eros): drives that push for pleasure, survival reproduction o Generate libido: ones finite energy. It remains constant becomes fixed on aspects of the internal external environment Death instincts (Thanatos): reflect unconscious desire to return to the inanimate state, expressed in destructive behaviours (aggression) Pleasure principle seeks immediate tension reduction, regardless of the consequences Primary process thinking attempts to satisfy needs via internal images or hallucination Ego: Predominantly Conscious Outgrowth of the id; is in direct contact with the external world; governed by considerations of survival differentiates bw the mental representations of wishfulfilling images of the id the actual outer world of reality (tests reality); mediates ids impulses superegos inhibitions Seeks objects (including people) in the environment to reduce tension Functions with the reality principle, making decisions about consequences of various possible actions; delays discharge of tension until appropriate Utilizes secondary process (higher or cognitive mental processes) involving realistic, logical thinking planning (takes account of time space) Superego: Both Conscious Unconscious Develops around age 5, out of long period of helplessness dependency Internalizes the influence of the parents their ideals, in the form of selfcontrol It represents the morals standards of society that have become part of the internal world of the individual (i.e., the conscience) It seeks perfection. But can become a compelling irrational force of its own (like the id) Looking Back at Freuds Theory of Mental Structures and Their Biological Bases The idegosuperego aspects seem relevant to functions of some brain areas: Amygdala: brain locus for intense emotional reactions (hot system)
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