• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

freud personality

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Evaluate how useful Freud's psychoanalytic theory is to understand personality The aim of this essay is to understand how useful Freud's theory to understand personality is. This shall be achieved by firstly understanding the structural components of personality namely psychic energy, structure of the human brain, systems of personality and defence mechanisms against anxiety. Secondly the application of these components in Freud's psychosexual development theory will be analysed. Personality is the set of psychological traits and mechanisms within the individual that are organized and relatively enduring and that influence his or her interactions with, and adaptations to, the intrapsychic, physical, and social environments. (Larsen & Buss, 2005) The starting point of Freud's psychoanalytic theory is that psychic energy is the motivation factor of all human activity. It follows the principle of law of conservation of energy. The psychic energy people possess remains constant and redirection of this energy causes personality change. Psychic energy arose from strong innate forces known as instincts. Freud's classified instincts broadly in two categories: sexual and self preservation. He later then modified it into life and death instinct which were known as libido and thanatos respectively. Libido was a broad term for any life-sustaining, pleasure gaining activity. ...read more.

Middle

The superego imposes the ethics and causes guilt when the id wants to conduct actions on the basis of its immoral impulses. The later two are internal conflicts and objective anxiety is an external conflict. (Campbell & Hall, 1998) The anxiety caused is to be defended by the ego, which is done by using several defence mechanisms. The most fundamental of all defences is repression. When stressful unconscious thoughts wish to enter the id the ego tries to find substitute acceptable actions and represses the unacceptable thoughts back into unconscious. The next defence is suppression in which the person tries to ignore, not think about thoughts that cause anxiety. Efforts are made to keep such anxiety provoking thoughts in preconscious. In denial defence the person decides not to perceive the stressful thought. In displacement mechanism the thoughts that cause stress are experienced but the energy release is done in a direction different from the original. This is done since the original direction is not available and in most cases it will help relieve it. In sublimation the emotion is taken out but in a constructive way which does well and is accepted by society. Regression copes with painful emotions by temporarily moving from a mature attitude to an immature attitude. ...read more.

Conclusion

Heuristic value: Various studies show that though Freud's theory is disagreed by many it has had a major influence on the further development of personality psychology and has made vast contributions to clinical psychology. Testibility: All of Freud's theory cannot be empirically tested and hence it can be stated to be a poor theory. Parsimony: Freud's theory does have many premises but since it covers such a vast area it is impossible to maintain parsimony. Compatibility and integration across domains and levels: Freud unlike most personality psychologists has not been able to achieve these criteria. (Larsen & Buss, 2005) Though Freud's theory does not meet all of the criteria and strict terms it will be graded as a poor theory it has played a major role in psychology. His theory of psychosexual development plays an important role in developmental psychology. The psychotherapy techniques he suggested are still practiced though modified. It can be said that his theory is the most comprehensive personality psychology theory and though it has not been accepted as whole parts of it have been the basis of many other personality theories. The graph of the validity of Freud's theory is ever increasing and hence it can be said that this theory has played a vital role in understanding personality. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Research Methodology

    Observation methods can be performed in many ways. It can be done through one-on-one interaction, large group observation in a social setting or by videotaping participants as they are being observed. Videotaping the participant's interactions can be a useful research technique, especially if the researcher is not of the culture that is being observed.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Freud's theory of psycho-sexual development

    5 star(s)

    However, for that to be completed, the wish for a penis has to be supplanted by a wish for a child, more specifically, a boy who has a penis that she longs for. In her Oedipal stage, she wants a baby with her Daddy, and since it is her mother

  1. Peer reviewed

    Freud claimed to have discovered 'scientific method by which the unconscious can be studied.' ...

    5 star(s)

    Therefore in relation to Freud's theory Popper's criterion would label it wholly unscientific, because the theory is compatible with every possible state of affairs, it cannot be falsified by anything since it purports to explain everything. Further criticism of the scientific value and status of Freud's work comes from the

  2. Anti-social Behaviour Coursework

    * This study demonstrates that under some conditions, experiencing a mood lifting event (in this case receiving money) may lessen our motivation to relieve our negative state by helping others. * However, it also demonstrates that sometimes people experiencing empathy help primarily to relieve another person's suffering.

  1. Different Theories and theorists in Human behaviour

    If the goal is to have a pigeon turn in a circle to the left, a reward is given for any small movement to the left. When the pigeon catches on to that, the reward is given for larger movements to the left, and so on, until the pigeon has

  2. Uncovering the Defense Mechanisms in the Maya Epigraphy

    According the S. Freud and A. Freud, the formation of the id is inherent at birth and is expressed unconsciously throughout the individual's life time; it can, also, be expanded toward the psychological disposition of a family or of a group. Dr. M. Levick feels that while the manifest content that one can readily observe is

  1. Structure and functioning of the personality in Freudian Psychoanalytic Theory

    Gratification is focused on genitals. In Freud's days the thought about child's sexuality was shocking, because they saw it as an adult term. A child seeks gratification and genital simulation is pleasurable. The major conflict in this stage are the Oedipal and Electra conflicts.

  2. A Critical Examination of the Sexual Life of Man In Sigmund Freud.

    2.4 HARRY STACK SULLIVAN In his personality theory, he said that during the stage of early adolescence, the genitals are fully developed and the individual is highly heterosexual whilst the peer relationship of the previous stage is still strong. The individual now becomes lustful as a result of the psychological changes that have occur because of puberty.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work