Chapter 13 : Personality
Freud’s psychodynamic theory:
Topographical model of the mind
Unconscious forces such as wishes and motives influence behaviour. These
unconscious forces are referred as instincts (mental representations arising out of
biological or physical need)
People satisfy the life instinct by following the pleasure principle, which direct people
to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. The energy that drives the pleasure principle is
The mind is divided into three structures:
- Conscious level: awareness of the thoughts
- Preconscious level: content that is not currently in awareness but could be
brought to awareness; analogous to long-term memory.
- Unconscious level: contains material that the mind cannot easily retrieve.
Contains wishes and desires and is associated with stress and anxiety. Reason for
the Freudian slip. Eg; if you meet someone that is attractive for the first time: “I
don’t think we’ve been properly seduced”.
Development of sexual instincts
Freud believed that children went through three major stages called psychosexual stages
that would impact the development of their personality;
- Oral stage- pleasure is sought through the mouth
- Anal phase- focus on the anus, learning to control their bowels
- Phallic stage- libidinal energies directed toward the genitals, discovery of
pleasure of rubbing genitals.
- Latency stage- libidinal urges are suppressed or channelled into doing
- Genital stage