PSYC 2740 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Weaning, Toilet Training, Castration Anxiety

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Chapter 9 Psycoanalytic approaches to personality
Fundamental Assumptions of Psycoanalytic Theory
- freuds model of human nature relied on the notion of psychic energy to
motivate all human activity
- the amount of psychic energy an individual possessed remained constant
throughout their lifetime
- the innate forces the provided all the energy in the psychic system were
instincts; self-preservation instincts and sexual instincts
- later freud collapsed the self-preseveration and sexual instincts into the life
instinct
- also suspected that people had a fundamentalist instinct (death instinct)
- the two instincts were usually referred to as libido and thanatos
- the conscious mind is the part that contains all the thoughts, feelings and
perceptions that you are presently aware of
- the preconscious mind involves information that you are not presently
thinking about but that could easily be retrieved and made conscious
(memories, dreams and thoughts in the back of your mind)
- the unconscious mind is the third and the largest
- the top level is perception and consciousness, the middle level is the
preconscious and the lower level is the unconscious
- residing in the unconscious mind is the unacceptable information, hidden
form conscious view so well that it cannot even be considered preconscious;
those memories, feeling, thoughts or urges are so troubling or distasteful that
being aware of them would make the person anxious
Structure of Personality
- the is is something we are born with and is a source of all drives and urges; it
operates according to the pleasure principle and primary process thinking
- the ego is the part of the mind that constraints the id to reality and operates
according to the reality principle and secondary process thinking
- the superego is the part of the mind that internalizes the values, morals and
ideals of society
- anxiety is an unpleasant state, which acts as a signal that things are not right
and something must be done; it signals that the control of the ego is being
threatened by reality, by impluses from the id or by harsh controls exerted
by the superego
Dynamics of Personality
- efforts to defend onself from anxiety are called defense mechanisms
- objective anxiety is fear; this occurs in respond to a real, external threat to
the person
- neurotic anxiety occurs when there is a direct conflict between the id and
ego; the danger is that the ego may lose control over an unacceptable desire
of the id
- moral anxiety is caused by a conflict between the ego and the superego;
someone who suffers from chronic shame or guilt
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Document Summary

Efforts to defend onself from anxiety are called defense mechanisms. Objective anxiety is fear; this occurs in respond to a real, external threat to the person. Neurotic anxiety occurs when there is a direct conflict between the id and ego; the danger is that the ego may lose control over an unacceptable desire of the id. Defense mechanisms protect the ego and minimize anxiety and distress repression refers to the process of preventing unacceptable thoughts, feelings or urges from reaching conscious awareness. People have a preferred view of themselves and will defend against any unflattering changes or blows to that self view. Denial is when a person insists that things are not the way they seem; it involves refusing to see the facts. Deliberately redirecting ones anger is not displacement even though someone might do this to manage a situation.

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