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PSYC1000 - Module 40

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PSYC 1000
Harvey Marmurek

Course: PSYC*1000 (DE) Professor: Harvey Marmurek Schedule: Summer, 2012 Textbook: Psychology – Tenth Edition in Modules authored by David G. Myers Textbook ISBN: 9781464102615 Module 40: Psychodynamic Theories Psychodynamic theories of personality view human behaviour as a dynamic interaction between the conscious and unconscious mind, including associated motives and conflicts. These theories are descended from Freud‟s psychoanalysis, which first focused clinical attention on our unconscious mind Freud’s Psychoanalytic Perspective: Exploring the Unconscious How did Sigmund Freud’s treatment of psychological disorders lead to his view of the unconscious mind? Speaking of ego, repression, projection, complex (as in “inferiority complex”), sibling rivalry, Freudian slips, and fixation. Freud turned to free association, in which he told the patient to relax and say whatever came to mind, no matter how embarrassing or trivial. He assumed that a line of mental dominoes had fallen from his patients‟ distant past to their troubled present. He believed free association would allow him to retrace that line, following a chain of thought leading into the patient‟s unconscious, where painful conscious memories, often from childhood, could be retrieved and released. He called his theory of personality and the associated treatment techniques psychoanalysis. Freud believed that the mind is mostly hidden. Iceberg = ID (unconscious energy) lies below the water; EGO (mostly conscious; makes peace between the id and the superego) lies mostly above the water and to the left; SUPEREGO (internalized ideas) lies mostly above the water and to the right, but more under the water than the EGO. == == == Conscious mind (above water); Preconscious – outside awareness but accessible (a bit above and under water) and Unconscious mind (below water). Beneath our awareness is the larger unconscious mind with its thoughts, wishes, feelings, and memories. Some of these thoughts we store temporarily in a preconscious area, from which we can retrieve them into conscious awareness. Of greater interest to Freud was the mass of unacceptable passions and thoughts that he believed we repress, or forcibly block from our consciousness because they would be too unsettling to acknowledge. For Freud the determinist, nothing was ever accidental. He believed he could glimpse the unconscious seeping not only into people‟s free associations, beliefs, habits, and symptoms but also into slips of the tongue and pen. The remembered content of dreams (their manifest content) he believed to be a censored expression of the dreamer‟s unconscious wishes (the dream‟s latent content). – inner conflicts. Personality Structure What was Freud’s view of personality? Human personality - including its emotions and strivings - arises from a conflict between impulse and restraint – between our aggressive, pleasure-seeking biological urges and our internalized social controls over these urges. He believed personality arises from our efforts to resolve this basic conflict – to express these impulses in ways that bring satisfaction without also bringing guilt or punishment. ID: unconscious psychic energy contantly strives to satisfy basic drives to survive, reproduce, and aggress. Operates on the pleasure principle – immediate gratification. (Newborn infant crying out for satisfaction) EGO: operating on the reality principle, seeks to gratify id‟s impulses in realistic ways that will bring long-term pleasure SUPEREGO: around age 4 or 5, recognizes the demands of the newly emerging superego, the voice of our moral compass (conscious) that forces the ego to consider not only the real but the ideal. Someone with exceptionally strong superego may be virtuous yet guilt-ridden; another with a weak superego may be wantonly self-indulgent and remorseless. The ego struggles to reconcile demands that oppose the id and superego. Personality Development What developmental stages did Freud propose? Series of psychosexual stages which the id‟s pleasure-seeking energies focus on distinct pleasure-sensitive areas of the body called erogenous zones. Stage Focus Oral (0-18 months) Pleasure centres on the mouth – sucking, biting, chewing Anal (18-36 months) Pleasure focuses on bowel and bladder elimination; coping with demands for control Phallic (3-6 years) Pleasure zone is the genitals; coping with incestuous sexual feelings Latency (6 to puberty) A phase of dormant sexual feelings Genital (puberty on) Maturation of sexual interests Oedipus complex – Oedipus who unknowingly killed his father and married his mother; females Electra complex Identification process – children‟s superegos gain strength as they incorporate many of their parents‟ values. Identification with the same-sex parent provides our gender identity. Conflicts unresolved during earlier psychosexual stages could surface as maladaptive behaviour in the adult years. A person who had been orally overindulged or deprived (perhaps by abrupt, early weaning) might fixate at the oral stage and that grown adult may exhibit either passive dependence or an exaggerated denial of this dependence; or seek oral gratification by smoking or excessive eating. Defense Mechanisms How did Freud think people defended themselves against anxiety? Freud believed that anxiety is the price we pay for civilization. Sometimes the ego fears losing control of the inner war between the id and superego. The presumed result is unfocused anxiety that leaves us feeling unsettled but unsure why. Ego protects itself with defense mechanisms – tactics that reduce or redirect anxiety by distorting reality. All defense mechanisms function indirectly and unconsciously. Repression underlies all the other defense mechanisms. Defense Unconscious process employed to avoid Example Mechanism anxiety-arousing thoughts or feelings Regression Retreating to a more infantile psychosexual stage, A little boy reverts to the oral where some psychic energy remains fixated. comfort of thumb-sucking in the car on the way to his first day of school. Reaction Formation Switching unacceptable impulses into their Repressing angry feelings, a person opposites. displays exaggerated friendliness. Projection Disguising one‟s own threatening impulses by The thief thinks everyone else is a attributing them to others. thief. Rationalization Offering self-justifying explanations in place of the A habitual drinker says she drinks real, more threatening unconscious reasons for with her friends just to be sociable. one‟s actions. Displacement Shifting sexual or aggressive impulses toward a A little girl kicks the family dog after more acceptable or less threatening object or her mother sends her to her room. person. Denial Refusing to believe or even perceive painful A partner denies evidence of his realities. loved one‟s affair. According to Freud’s ideas about the three-part personality structure, the ego operates on the reality principle and tries to balance demands in a way that produces long-term pleasure rather than pain, the id operates on the pleasure principle and seeks immediate gratification, and the superego represents the voice of our internalized ideals (our conscious). In the psychoanalytic view, conflicts unresolved during the first three psychosexual stages may lead to fixation at that stage. Freud believed that our defense mechanisms operate unconsciously and defend us against anxiety. The Neo-Freudian and Psychodynamic Theorists Which of Freud’s ideas did his followers accept or reject? Neo-Freudians accepted basic ideas:  personality structures of id, ego and superego  importance of the unconscious  shaping of personality in childhood  dynamics of anxiety and defense mechanisms But broke off:  placed more emphasis on conscious mind‟s role in interpreting experience and in coping with the environment  doubted sex and aggression were all-consuming motivations Tended to emphasize loftier motives and social interactions Alfred ADLER and Karen HORNEY agreed with Freud that childhood is important. But they believed that childhood social, not sexual, tensions are crucial for personality formation. *Adler who had proposed the still-popular idea of the inferiority complex believed that much of our behaviour is driven by efforts to conquer childhood inferiority feelings that trigger our strivings for superiority and power. *Horney said childhood anxiety triggers our desire for love and security. She also countered Freud‟s assumptions, arising as they did in his conservative culture, that women have weak superegos and suffer „penis envy‟ and she attempted to balance the bias she detected in his masculine view of psychology. Carl Jung placed less emphasis on social factors and agreed with Freud that the unconscious exerts a powerful influence. But to Jung the unconscious contains more than our repressed thoughts and feelings. He believed we also have a collective unconscious, a common reservoir of images, or archetypes, derived from our species‟ universal experiences. Some of Freud‟s ideas have been incorporated into the diversity of perspectives that make up psychodynamic
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