Question Answered step-by-step THE PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY OF PERSONALITY Psychoanalytic theory… THE PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY OF PERSONALITYPsychoanalytic theory postulates three personality components: the id, the ego, and the superego. In the ordinary activities of life, behavior is the product of the interaction of these three systems. The systems can be clearly differentiated only when they are in conflict; when impulses of one system are opposed by another. The id consists of the inborn instinctive drives rooted in the biological nature of human beings. It includes everything that is inherited and present at birth. These drives are of two types. One type includes the sexual and life- preserving drives. The energy by which these do their work is called libido. The other type of drive includes the aggressive and destructive forces. At birth, according to Freud, the entire personality is id. Only later do the other systems, the ego and superego, develop out of it.The impulses of the id strive for immediate expression or discharge. They have a peremptory, irrational character. Thus the id is said to operate in terms of the pleasure principle. The pleasure principle is the principle of tension reduction. When the tension level is raised for any reason, the id works to reduce it to a comfortable level. The ego begins to take shape when the infant starts to recognize the difference between itself and the outside world. This system, the executive agent of the personality, mediates between the imperious demands of the id and the reality of the external world. Thus, the ego is said to operate in terms of the reality principle. The reality principle delays pleasure until a suitable object or occasion is available. The third system, the last to appear developmentally, is the superego. This system is synonymous with the conscience. It incorporates the moral standards of one’s parents, schools, and society. The incorporation of moral standards is brought about by fear. Out of fear one accepts the standards of those who are more powerful. Once these standards have been accepted, that power is no longer a threat. The price to be paid, of course, is high. When moral principles have become internalized, they must be obeyed all the time, not merely when a parent or another agent of society is present. The superego attempts to block aggressive and sexual impulses of the id. Freud believed the unconscious contains most of the material of the mind Freud compared the mind to an iceberg. Only part of an iceberg can be seen above the water. In the same way, he suggested, only a small part of the mind is conscious. The conscious contents of the mind consist of those things one is aware of at a particular moment. There are other things one is not aware of but can easily be brought into consciousness. These are in the preconscious. Tactile impressions from one’s clothing, the pressure of the chair when one is sitting, and what one had for breakfast are all examples of preconscious contents of the mind. There are other things in the mind, however, that one remembers only with great difficulty or not at all. These are in the unconscious mind. There are few psychologists today who would deny that much human behavior has unconscious components. Unconscious motivations can reveal themselves in slips of the tongue or pen, in post-hypnotic suggestion, and in dreams. The unconscious mind is also revealed in free association, which is used in the therapeutic method developed by Freud. Recent reports (Goode, 1999) of research on dreams may well support some of Freud’s ideas that dreams are the expression of emotional memories. Earlier research on dreams by Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley of Harvard, had maintained what was called the “activiation-synthesis” model of dreaming. This position explained dreams as the result of some random neural signals coming from the primitive brain areas when there was rapid eye movement (REM). The higher brain centers then presumably attempted to make sense out of these noisy signals. But Dr. Mark Solms, a neuropsychologist from London points to work by Allen Braum of NIH which reports that accompanying REM activity is also activity in the centers for emotion, motivation, memory, etc. Further, there appears to be a decrease in higher brain centers. This would seem to support Freud’s contention that dreams result from emotional memories, and that the ego (conscious control and supervision) relaxes to permit these centers to opperate. What are the relations between the systems of personality and the levels of awareness? All of the id is unconscious. The ego and superego have parts at all levels of awareness. Neurotic conflict is a result of the opposition between the demands of the id and the demands of the other systems of the personality.  Question:1) How does the ego-id-superego apparatus interact?  2) How is the superego the “parental agency”? Both question needs explicit explanation. Thank You  Social Science Psychology BHSC/SOCL MISC Share QuestionEmailCopy link Comments (0)

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