Understanding the meaning of “Personality” is to know oneself by placing descriptors such as kind, understanding, honest, loving, and many more descriptors can be added to describe personality. To obtain what personality is “we” have to enter the minds Psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud theories are the corner stone of Psychoanalytical concepts and Defense Mechanisms.
Freud’s work is now the most heavily cited in all psychology, and it is extensively referenced in many of the humanities as well (Freidman & Schustack, 2009) According to Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research (4th ed. , Friedman, H. S. , & Schustak, M. W. (2009) Freud’s psychoanalytic theories consisted of the conscious and the unconscious. Freud’s findings prove to show people are not consciously in touch with the inner conflicts that causes their observable mental and physical problems. Freud developed processes for” free” association, spontaneous, free-flowing associations of ideas and feelings. Freud elaborates on the unconscious by using dreams as a product of the mind inaccessible to usual, conscious thoughts (Freud, 1913). Dreams are a part of individuals psyche.
According to Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research (4th ed. ), Friedman, H. S. , & Schustak, M. W. (2009) Freud referred to the undifferentiated core of personality using terms as translated as id (meaning it), and it is the basic psychic energy and motivation, often called instincts or impulses. The personality structure that develops to deal with the real world Freud termed the ego (called I), and the ego operates according to the reality principle; it must solve “real” problems. Individuals are shaped by our parents and the rest of society to follow moral rules.
The personality structure that emerges to internalize these societal rules is termed the superego. Freud thought of it as the Over-I meaning above (I) because it ruled over the ego or I. Another of Freud’s contribution to Psychoanalytic theories according to Personality: Classic: Theories and Modern Research (4th ed. ), Friedman, H. S. , & Schustak, M. W. (2009) consisted of Psychosexual stages of development. Within these theories are: Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latent, and Genital. The Oral stage is birth to 18 months old, and dependent on the mother’s breast to satisfy their hunger and thirst.
When weaned this causes a conflict between the desire to remain in a state of dependent security and the biological and psychological necessity of being weaned (growing up). This causes the conflict id and ego. The Anal stage is 18 months to three years, the urges of the id, takes pleasure in the relief-the tension reduction of defecating. Parents, however; want to control when and where the child urinates and defecates. In other words, the parents wants society's proscription against unbridle defecation represented in the child’s superego.
Phallic stage three years to six years, this is when the child is fixated on the genitals. Children explore their genitals and masturbate, and focus on the differences between boys and girls. By the age of six years children have a good sense of their gender identity. Latency stage six years to 12 years, sexual energies are channeled into such activities as going to school and making friends. Finally the Genital stage, when a child has progressed to this stage without leaving large amounts of libido fixated at earlier stages, normal sexual functioning is possible.
Freud claims if conflicts between stages are not resolved; the individual would become fixated at that stage. According to Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research (4th ed. ), Friedman, H. S. , & Schustak, M. W. (2009) Freud developed complex but influential theories of defense mechanisms. The mechanisms are as followed: regression, reaction formation, sublimation, denial, projection, displacement, regression, and rationalization. To elaborate on Freud’s mechanisms as the reader can put them into perspective.
Repression is described as possessing the ability to regulate painful memories to the subconscious. Reaction formation definition means: adopting actions and beliefs, to an exaggerated degree which directly opposite to those previously accepted. Sublimation is transformation of dangerous urges into ultraistic or otherwise useful and socially desirable motivations. Denial is the inability (or refusal) of the mind to acknowledge some undesirable reality. Projection occurs when anxiety provoking impulses are attributed to someone else, rather than being claimed by the individual generated them.
Displacement occurs when threatening feelings are attributed to something or someone other than his or her true cause; the new target is generally manageable and less threatening than the original target. Regression definition is individuals “go back in time” to a safer and happier period in their lives, to escape present threats. Finally, the most common defense mechanism is Rationalization, assigning logical explanation to behaviors and events that are originally motivated by unconscious motives. In today’s work of psychoanalytical assessments theorists gauge the theories that Freud brought forth in the early 1900s.
Having the concepts to understand personality, theorist has furthered the expansion on Freud’s theories. One theorist who expanded on Freud’s theories was Carl G. Jung. The start of Jung theories began when he was a young child. Jung’s theories on personality were unique, and their roots can be traced to thoughts and experiences from childhood (Freidman & Schustack, 2009). Jung’s perceived himself as two different personalities: he was both (1) the child who he outwardly appeared to be and (2) a wise and cultured gentleman of the previous century.
From Jung’s childhood visions and dreams he believed they were not unimportant coincidences, but instead were valuable communication of information from the realm of the paranormal. This would later form the basis for his concept of the collective unconscious (Freidman & Schustack, 2009). According to Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research (4th ed. ), Friedman & Schustak, (2009), Jung believed that the goals and motivations of individuals were just as important in determining their lives courses as were their sexual urges.
Jung beliefs also included the existence of universal archetypes (emotional symbols). He preferred looking at personality as its goals and future orientation. Jung theory is known as Analytic Psychology. This theory is more historically oriented, and more attuned to the spiritual and supernatural. According to Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research (4th ed. ), Friedman, H. S. , & Schustak, M. W. (2009), Jung’s Analytic Psychology theory, the mind or psyche is divided into three parts: (1) the conscious ego, (2) the personal unconscious, and (3) the collective unconscious.
The ego is similar in scope and meaning of Freud’s, and the personal unconscious contains thoughts and feelings are not currently part of conscious awareness. Thoughts from the personal unconscious can be accessed. The personal unconscious contains thoughts and urges that is simply unimportant at present as well as those that have been actively repressed because of their ego threatening nature. The collective unconscious it is “comprises” a deeper level of unconsciousness and made up of powerful emotional symbols called archetypes.
The presence of such archetypes or emotional patterns predisposes us to react in predictable ways to common, recurring stimuli. Here are a few of Jung’s description of some of the best known archetypes: Magician (or trickster), Child-God (elf, leprechaun), Mother (wise grandmother, Virgin Mary), Hero (King, savior, champion), Demon (Satan, anti-Christ, vampire), Shadow (the dark side, evil twin), and Persona (Mask, social facade, actor). Jung contributed the “functions and Attitudes” of the mind: sensing (“Is something there? ”); thinking (“what is it that is there? ”); feeling (“what is it worth? ); and intuiting (“where did it come from and where is it going? ”).
Jung considered these functions as rational because they involve judgment and reasoning (Freidman & Schustack, 2009). In addition to these functions Jung employed and described two major attitudes: extroversion and introversion. Extroverts direct their libido (psychic energy) toward effects in the external world, whereas intorverts are more inwardly focused. In every individual extroversion and introversion exist, but one is dominant (Freidman & Schustack, 2009). Jung work helped launch the trait approach.
Alfred Adler is another theorist who based his theories on personality from his childhood experiences. In adulthood after graduating college to study medicine, he traveled the road in Psychology. Adler started his own society, called the Society for Free Psychoanalysis (later changed to the Society for Individual Psychology) (Freidman & Schustack, 2009). Adler contributed his theory of Individual Psychology because he firmly believed in the unique motivations of individuals and the importance of each person’s perceived niche in society (Freidman & Schustack, M. W. , 2009).
Adler contributed several complexes to his theory: Inferiority complex and Superiority complex. Inferiority complex takes normal feelings of incompetence and exaggerates them, making the individual feel as if it is impossible to achieve goals and therefore hopeless to try. Superior complex is simply the opposite of an over exaggerated arrogance to counteract the inferiority complex, which an individual is valuable (Freidman & Schustack, 2009). Adler concerns with individuals’ perceptions of social responsibility and their social understanding.
He identified three fundamental social issues: (1) occupational tasks- choosing and pursuing a career that makes one think worthwhile, (2) societal task- creating friendships and social networks, and (3) love tasks- finding a suitable life partner. He believe these three social issues intertwined; that is, experiences in any arena would have influences on the other two (Freidman & Schustack, 2009). Adler’s theory underwent a series of changes as his thoughts concerning human motivations changes.
First concept he described was organ inferiority- everyone is born with some physical weakness. Incapacity or disease is most likely to take root, and so the body attempts to make up for the deficiency in another area. Alder contended that these infirmities (and perhaps more important, individual reactions to him or her) were important motivators of people’s life choice. Later he added another concept of the aggression drive (Freidman & Schustack, 2009). The evolution of Adler’s theory has several other concepts or beliefs like; the role of Birth order and Personality Typology.
For Freud psychoanalytic theories, the prime motivators were the pleasure (remember that the id operates on the so-called pleasure principle) and sexuality. Jung theories expanded on the unconscious to include emotionally charged images and quasi-instincts that seem characteristic of all generations. Jung’s analytic psychology was less sexually focused, more historically oriented, and more attuned to the spiritual and supernatural. Adler’s psychology is based on the unique motivations of individuals and the importance of each person’s perceived niche in society.
For Adler, human motivation was much more complex (Freidman & Schustack, 2009). At some point in my life, I am sure I used some of Freud’s defense mechanisms and not knowing the clinical term for them. There was a time when I got in trouble with my mother and got put on punishment, which I deserved it. When my sister came in the room, I started an argument with her and telling her I wanted back all the things I let her have and threaten to tell on her with things she done that could would get her in trouble.
I was mad at myself but took it out on her. Understanding the clinical term I used the “Displacement. ” Another observation of “Regression” is in the grocery store with my husband and mother-in-law. My husband was putting things in the cart (which was his mother’s cart) that he liked and as he gathering other things his mother would take the items out of the cart, when his mother was getting in line to pay for the groceries, he realize the things in put in the cart was no longer there, he reverted back to a child.
Raising his arms in the air, loudly saying what about what I wanted, and he looked like a child at that. My parents were in a car accident on August 26, 1978 four days before my birthday. I had to stay home to watch my nieces whereas my siblings went to the hospital, and my anxiety level was off the charts. Not knowing what was going on or if they were alright, but when I heard the car pull up and my sisters along with my aunt came into the door, the look on their faces and seeing they have been crying and my sister told me mommy is dead.
All I could do was say no over and over again. I could not accept that my mother was gone. This was my “Denial. ” In conclusion although my opinion can be considered general or vague in its context and could be elaborated further but having a foundation of theories to explore the meaning of personality for two main reasons. First, personality cannot be lumped into one theory, and second, to understand the cycles of oneself.