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Chapter 12

Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Unconscious Mind, Psychoanalytic Theory, Carl Jung

Course Code
PSYCH 1000

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Chapter 12
What is Personality
The concept of personality also rests on the observation that people seem to behave somewhat
consistently overtime and across different situations
Personality: as the distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that
characterize a person’s response to life situations
The thoughts, feelings, and actions that are seen as reflecting an individuals personality
typically have three characteristics 1) they are seen as components of identity that distinguish
that person from other people 2) the behaviors are viewed as being caused primarily by internal
rather than environmental factors 3) the person’s behavior seem to “fit together” in a meaningful
fashion suggesting an inner personality that guides and directs behavior
Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory
Freud spent most of his life in Vienna, where he attended medical school with the intention of
becoming a medical researcher concentrating on brain functioning
Freud’s experiences in treating patients with conversion hysteria convinced him that their
symptoms were related to painful memories and feelings that seemed to have been repressed, or
pushed out of awareness
He began to experiment with various techniques to access the unconscious mind, including
hypnosis, free association (saying whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or
embarrassing) and dream analysis
Psychic Energy and Mental Events
Freud considered personality to be an energy system, somewhat like the steam engines of his day
Psychic Energy: which powers the mind and constantly presses for either direct of indirect
Mental events may be conscious preconscious or unconscious: Conscious mind is mental
events that we are presently aware of. The preconscious contains memories, thoughts, feelings,
and images that we are unaware of but we can call into our conscious awareness. Unconscious
mind, a dynamic realm of wishes, feelings, and impulses that lies beyond our awareness. Only
when impulses from the unconscious are discharged some way, such as in dreams slips of the
tongue, or some disguised behavior, does the unconscious reveal itself
The Structure of Personality
The id exists totally within the unconscious mind. It is the innermost core of the personality,
the only structure present at birth, and the source of all psychic energy
Pleasure Principle: It seeks immediate gratification or release, regardless of rational
considerations and environmental realities
The ego functions primarily at the conscious level, and operates according to the reality
principle. It test reality to decided weather and under what conditions can the id safely discharge
its impulses and satisfy its needs
Lastly the superego the moral arm of personality, values and ideals of society
Like the ego the superego strives to control the instincts of id, particularly the sexual and
aggressive impulses that are condemned by society. Whereas the ego is trying to delay

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gratification until conditions are safe and appropriate, the superego, in its quest for perfection
tires to block these gratifications
The ego must achieve compromise between the demands of the id, the
constraints of the superego and the demand of reality
Conflict, Anxiety, Defense
When the ego confronts impulses that threaten to get out of control or is face with dangers
from the environment anxiety results
Defense mechanism: that deny or distort reality
Repression: the ego uses some of it’s energies to anxiety- arousing memories, feelings, and
impulses from entering consciousness (primary method of how ego “keeps the lid on id”)
Repressed thoughts and wishes remain in the unconscious, striving for release, but they may be
slipped indirectly
Sublimation: completely masking the forbidden underlying impulses
Defense mechanism operate unconsciously, so people are usually unaware that they are using
self- deception to war of anxiety
Psychosexual Development
Freud proposed that children pass through a seres of psychosexual stages during which the id’s
pleasure- seeking tendencies are focused o specific pleasure- sensitive areas of the body called
erogenous zones
A major short coming of psychoanalytic theory is that many of it’s concepts
are ambiguous and difficult to operationally define and measure

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Evaluating Psychoanalytic Theory
Psychoanalytic theory is hard to test, not because it doesn’t explain enough, but because it often
explains too much to allow clear- cut behavioral prediction
Freud;s Legacy: Neoanalytic and Object Relations
The neoanalysts believed that freud did not give social and cultural factors a sufficiently
important role in the development and dynamics of personality
The Second major criticism was that Freud laid too much emphasis on the events of childhood
as determinants of adult personality
Different theories that came from Freud’s Psychoanalytic
Carl Jung: Freud’s friend came out with analytic psychology. From example, he believed that
human possess not only a personal unconscious based on their life experiences, but also a
collective unconscious that consists of memories accumulated throughout the entire history
of the human race
Archetypes: inherited tendencies to interpret experience in certain wars
Object relations: focus on the images or mental representations that people from of
themselves and other people as a result of early experiences with caregivers
People who have difficulties forming and maintaining intimate relationships tend to mentally
represent themselves and others in negative ways, expecting painful interactions
Humanistic Perspective
Humanist embrace a positive view that affirms the inherent dignity and goodness of the human
Self- Actualization: the total realization of one’s human potential
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