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Chapter 9

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PSYC 2740
Stephen Lewis

Chapter 9Psychoanalytic Approaches to Personality Fundamental Assumptions of Psychoanalytic Theory Freuds model of human nature relied on the notion of psychic energy to motivate all human activity what where the forces that motivated people to do one thing and not anotherFreud proposed a source of energy that is within each person and used the term psychic energyhe believed that psychic energy operated according to the law of conservation of energy the amount of psychic energy an individual possessed remained constant throughout his or her lifetime Basic Instincts Sex and AggressionInstincts Freud believed that there were strong innate forces that provided all the angry in the psychic system influenced by Darwins theory of evolution in his initial formation there were two fundamental categories of instincts self preservation instincts and sexual instincts In his later formulations he collapsed the selfpreservation and sexual instincts into one which he called the life instinct death instinct witnessing ww1 made him develop the death instinct postulated that humans hand fundamental instinct toward destruction and that this instinct was often manifest in aggression toward others The two instincts were usually referred to as libido for the life instinct and Thanatos for the death instinct libido Freud considered this term as referred to any needsatisfying lifesustaining or pleasure oriented urge Thanatos considered to be the death instinct referring to any urge to destroy harm or aggression against others or oneself Wrote more about the libido during life and Thanatos towards the end he later argued that these two instincts could combine in various ways because a person possesses a fixed amount of psychic energy the energy used to direct one type of behavior is not available to drive other types of behaviors The person who directs his or her death instinct into a socially acceptable channel such as competitive sports has less energy to expend toward more destructive manifestations of this instinct Unconscious motivations Sometimes we dont know why we do what we doAccording to Freud the human mind consist of three partsconscious mind is the part of that contains all the thoughts feelings and perceptions that you are presently aware of Whatever you are currently perceiving or thinking about is in your conscious mind preconscious Memories dreams and thoughts you could easily bring to mind if you so desired This information is stored in the preconscious mind Any piece of information that you are not presently thinking about but that could easily be retrieved and made conscious is found here unconscious is the third and largest part of the human mind Here resides the memories feelings thoughts or urges that are so troubling or even distasteful that being aware of them would make that person anxiousThe top level is perception and consciousness the middle preconscious and the lower unconscious Structure of Personality Psychoanalytic personality theory describes how people cope with their sexual and aggressive instincts within the constraints of a civilized society Id Reservoir of Psychic Energy Freud saw the id as something we are born with and as the source of all drives and urges According to Freud the id operates according to the pleasure principle which is the desire for immediate gratificationthe id cannot tolerate any delays in satisfying its urgesduring infancy the id is dominant the id also operates with primary process thinking which is thinking without logical rules of conscious thought or an anchor in reality dreams and fantasies are an example wish fulfillment Mental energy is invested in that fantasy and the urge is temporarily satisfied Something unavailable is conjured up and the image of it is temporarily satisfying
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