Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sigmund Freud and Personality/PsychoSexual Development

Sigmund Freud is one of the most reknowned and controversial figures in Psychology. I tend to feel he was so far ahead of his time, he was tagged as a sexist, homophobe, heretic and a flat out jackass.
This theory is based around what Freud describes as psychosexual stages, which are based upon the fixation of sexual tension or energy in specific areas of the body at specific ages and stages. These stages aid in discovering the erogenous zones and forming characteristics about the personality that carry on into the adult years.

For those not well versed in Freud, I want to break down the 3 elements of personality, as described by Freud, so that his theories will make better sense.

1. ID: this is the aspect of personality that we are born with, unaffected by society and not concerned with moral/ethical consciousness. Its driven by immediate gratification or the pleasure principle, and when those needs are not satisfied, it will equate to tension and stress. I.e. this is why babies cry the exact moment that they are hungry, wet, sleepy, etc. They have no concern for anything or anyone except for what applies to them and their comfort and needs.

2. EGO: this gives the ID a system of checks and balances; after all, you can only go around thinking of only yourself and carrying yourself carelessly for so long until it becomes a problem. This is where EGO gives ID a much needed reality check.

3. SUPEREGO: this relates to the moral compass set by your parents and all who raised you; it mostly is a reflection of the scale of right & wrong/do's and don'ts taught to you as a child before you attained working knowledge of the world around you. The EGO IDEAL involves the positive behaviors taught to you as a child associated with feelings of pride and accomplishhment. The CONSCIENCE holds views about what you were taught were bad and forbidden and are associated with feelings and thoughts of punishment, failure, guilt or remorse.

Each psychosexual stage is associated with a conflict, reliant upon successful resolution in order to advance to the next stage and with repercussions if not successfully resolved. The overall idea is that as we move through fixation stages, we are supposed to move out of them at an age appropriate time. If we don't leave these stages and continue holding to the fixation, it signifies that something was lacking in that developmental stage to help us relieve frustration, which results in an overindulgence in a particular type of fixation.

No comments:

Post a Comment