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Chapter 10

PSY 2012 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Penis Envy, Electra Complex, Incest Taboo

Course Code
PSY 2012
Charles Negy

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Chapter 10 – Personality
Personality- Reasonably stable patterns of behaviors, including thoughts and feelings,
that characterize person’s adaptation to life.
Freud: The Man And His Ideas
Freud found himself interested in dealing with patients’ emotional problems.
He delved into hypnotherapy, and ultimately went on to develop psychoanalysis.
Freud experimented with cocaine.
He had jaw cancer from smoking cigars on a regular basis
His Ideas
Freud’s most important contribution to psychology was his” discovery” of the
unconscious mind.
He believed our unconscious mind has an enormous influence on our behavior and
conscious thoughts and feelings.
He likened the mind to an iceberg in which about 1/3 is above the water line
(consciousness) and the remaining 2/3 is below the water line (unconsciousness).
Id – completely unconscious. Nonetheless it represents our basic impulses and urges
because it operates on the pleasure principle.
Ego – Operates on the reality principle. It engages in reality testing as it is more or less
the referee between the id and the superego.
Superego – Our conscience and for most of is it develops and matures slowly over the
years. It is our internalization of society’s moral system. It’s always pressuring is to do
what one should or ought to do.
Defense Mechanisms Delineated By Freud—
Our ego is linked with our self-image.
The ego engages in defense mechanisms that allows it to “save face” even with itself.
When we are in the process of relying on a defense mechanism, we do not know it at
the time because they occur unconsciously.
If you master the defense mechanisms, you will witness them being used by those
around you fairly frequently.
Defense Mechanisms:
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oDisplacement – We displace unacceptable feelings from a threatening
object/person to a less-threatening object/person.
oRegression – The person manifests behaviors that were prevalent during a
previous stage of development. Rare defense mechanism.
oProjection – We “see others” that which are unwilling to see in ourselves.
Specifically, when we have certain attitudes or feelings that conflict with our
own belief system we may end up projecting our feelings onto others.
oRationalization – We attempt to use distorted logic to justify why we have
engaged in unacceptable behavior.
oReaction Formation – The person has a feeling(s) that violates his or her belief
system. So, unwittingly, the person denies the actual feeling and overtly adopts
an exaggerated attitude that is just the opposite of the feeling.
oDisavowal – When we discount the value of something or someone that we
wanted badly, but were unable to attain because of our own inabilities or
oSublimation – Where socially unacceptable impulses or idealizations are
unconsciously transformed into acceptable actions or behaviors.
Freud’s Psychosexual Stages of Development
Freud hypothesized that individuals pass through five stages of development. At almost
each stage, an individual can encounter difficulty of one sort or another.
Oral Stage (birth – age 1)
oFreud recognized that the mouth is an erogenous zone. The mouth is the primary
source of pleasure for infants.
oFreud believed that if infants were weaned too early from the breast or bottle
they might develop a frustrated personality.
oOn the other hand, if an infant were to be given excessive gratification with
respect to breast or bottle feeding they might develop a dependent personality.
Anal Stage (1-3)
oThe anus is also an erogenous zone
oSometime during this stage children are toilet trained
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oParents focus attention on this which causes the child’s attention to shift from
the mouth to the anus.
oToilet-training is an issue of gaining self-control over this bodily function
oAccording to Freud is parents excessively demand their child’s mastery over this
task, the child may develop anal-retentive personality and possess characteristics
such as stinginess, a strong interest in being orderly and clean, and a tendency
toward perfectionism
oIf parents are too lax on the training, the child may develop an anal-expulsive
personality. They will manifest characteristics such as a complete lack of concern
over orderliness and cleanliness, and a general lack of organization and planning
Phallic Stage (3-5)
oBoys are discovering their penis
oGirls are becoming aware of their clitoris
oBoys become more aware that girls don’t have penises and assume that girls had
a penis at one time but had it removed.
oAs a result, boy experience castration anxiety because they presumably believe
that if it could happen to girls, it could happen to them.
oGirls are aware that boys have penises and they do not, and consequently
experience penis envy.
oFreud believed that boys develop a sensual/sexual attachment to their mothers
and begin viewing their father as “rivals.” This is the Oedipus Complex
oGirls developed a similar attachment to their father, called the Electra Complex.
Little girls wish their mother would depart the family so they could have their
fathers all to themselves.
oToward the end of the phallic stage, one important feat that should occur is the
resolution of the Oedipal and Electra complexes.
oFreud believed these complexes are resolved through identification with the
same-sex parent. The sexual attachment towards the opposite-sex parent gets
repressed and we later in life will select a mate who resembles, physically and/or
personality-wise, our opposite-sex parent.
Latency Stage (5-puberty)
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