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how did Freud's life affect his theories?

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How did Freud's life affect the development of his theories? In this short essay I shall be discussing the life of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), and how the developments of his theories were affected by his experiences. Sigmund Freud was a renowned, inspirational psychologist. Freud explored techniques for understanding the human behaviour and developing complex theories, distinguishing himself as a pioneering intellectual made famous through his efforts to understand the human mind. Freud was born into a Jewish family, the firstborn of five girls and three boys. Growing up in north western Moravia, Sigmund was known to be the favourite of his mothers seven children and was referred to as 'the golden child'. His parents made every effort to encourage his obvious intellectual talents. Graduating from his 'gymnasium' in 1873, Freud successfully applied to study medicine at the University of Vienna, where he obtained his doctorate in medicine. For a stretch of six years from 1876 to 1882, Freud worked as a research assistant at the institute of Physiology, working under Ernst Br�ke. ...read more.


In this theory Freud identified three different parts of our mind, according to our levels of awareness. These included the instinctive drive (the ID), the ego and the super ego. The Id contains our primitive drives and operates largely according to the pleasure principle, whereby its two main goals are the seeking of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. It has no real perception of reality and seeks to satisfy its needs through what Freud called the primary processes. The id has 3 major instincts: * Eros: the life instinct that motivates people to focus on pleasure-seeking tendencies. * Thanatos: the death instinct that motivates people to use aggressive urges to destroy. * Libido: the sexual drive. Unlike the Id, the Ego is aware of reality, operating via the reality principle, whereby it recognizes what is real and understands that behaviours have consequences. It uses secondary processes (perception, recognition, judgment and memory) that are developed during childhood. ...read more.


Freud also suggested that particular experiences during these stages can create the basis of our personalities. When working with patients Freud developed his therapy of psychoanalysis. This is based on the observation that individuals are often unaware of many of the factors that determine their emotions and behaviour. Psychoanalytic treatment demonstrates how these unconscious factors can affect current patterns of behaviour, traces them back to their origins, shows how they have changed and helps individuals to deal better with the realities of adult life. For Freud, the purpose of psychoanalysis was to bring repressed memories, fears and thoughts back to the conscious level of awareness. Two techniques he used are free association and dream analysis. He considered dreams as the "royal road" to the unconscious. He also analyzed and interpreted the various defence mechanisms. Today Freud falls under criticism form many as his speculative theories fail to find support. However, Freud's work presented a new way of thinking about human nature and the ever mystical workings of the human mind. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alice Roberson IB Psychology ...read more.

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