My Personality Theorist Term Paper

Pages: 14 (3767 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

¶ … Personality Theorist

Sigmund Freud's period of study alongside of French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot assisted him greatly in understanding more regarding the human mind. Charcot was at his apogee at the time when he met Freud and did not hesitate to present his apprentice with much of his personal work that involved research on hypnosis. Through studying the concept of hypnosis Freud discovered that it is possible for people's behavior to be influenced by the hypnotist's words. Charcot also introduced Freud into the study of hysteria, a malady that was generally considered to be characteristic to women until the time, and its ability to affect any individual regardless of gender.

Although the time he spent with Charcot influenced him greatly, he was determined to learn more concerning the unconscious and went further to examine it with the help of one of Charcot's adversaries, Hippolyte Bernheim. Bernheim took hypnosis even further and had people perform various tasks consequent to being hypnotized. Also, he could influence people in remembering episodes of their lives that they no longer knew about.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Term Paper on My Personality Theorist Assignment

Freud was drawn into the world of psychoanalysis as a result of his relationship with Dr. Joseph Bauer, considering that the latter influenced Freud in developing a personality theory. Breuer's techniques were essential in fueling Freud's interest in the field of psychoanalysis. Bauer's experience with the controversial patient named Anna O. had a strong effect on Freud and they both got actively engaged in determining a cause for the woman's intriguing condition. Through employing hypnosis in determining the cause of Anna's medical condition, Freud and Bauer discovered that the apparently inexplicable cause of her hysteria was related to the traumas she experienced while nursing her ill father. Their collaboration resulted in the 1895 manuscript "Studies on Hysteria" and succeeded in taking the whole world by surprise through bringing forward a concept relating to how people's behavior was dictated by a series of unconscious processes. Even though it did not experience positive reviews in its early years, the book later came to be one of the most important documents in the domain.

The Austrian psychoanalyst worked with a series of other individuals involved in studying human behavior and the factors that influenced it and came to be one of the field's most prominent representatives. Furthermore, "Studies of Hysteria" is generally accepted to be responsible for starting the psychoanalytical movement. His second book, "The Interpretation of Dreams" was issued as a result of his efforts to perform self-analysis and experienced a similar reception as his first manuscript, considering that critics essentially expressed little interest in it. This book, however, was most probably the reason for which Freud and the concept of psychoanalysis in general came to be appreciated in the world of psychology. Consequent to performing studies on various patients, on his family, and even on himself, Freud reached the conclusion that human personality is generally influenced by organic instincts, with the unconscious being primarily responsible for making people perform certain actions.

Key Concept (s)

Consequent to receiving an increased amount of attention as a result of his books and because of his theories in general, Freud became known internationally recognized in the therapeutic world. Numerous individuals in neighboring communities expressed interest in psychoanalysis and Freud and some of his trainees were called to give several lectures at Clark University in 1909, further contributing to presenting society with his theories. Whereas his experience in U.S. was not particularly enjoyable, he acknowledged this moment as being very important in the progress of the psychoanalysis community. The eccentricity of Freud's theories made it difficult for follower to contradict them in the first few years consequent to his rise to fame. However, the fact that the psychoanalysis community experienced notable development made it possible for a great deal of individuals to become a part of it and to eventually express their own perspective regarding it. Freud's powerful character was essential at this stage, as he managed to slow down most psychoanalysts who wanted to contradict his viewpoints. It was not until his death that other psychoanalysts experienced recognition for criticizing and even modifying Freud's theories (Millon 122).

Freud wanted people to understand that the conscious and the preconscious parts of one's mind were much smaller when compared to the unconscious. The psychoanalyst came up with three terms for these elements, as he associated the conscious with the word ego, the preconscious with the term superego, and the unconscious with the term id. From his perspective, the first two deal with memories that are easily accessible, feelings, and perceptions while the unconscious part of the mind is represented by matters that are not available to the individual. The unconscious is responsible for holding desires and instincts and memories that people do not want to remember as a result of traumas that they associated to them. While people generally believe that the conscious and the preconscious are the reasons why they act, Freud insisted that this is not necessarily true, as the unconscious is apparently capable to control a people's behavior and in being the general source for their motivation. The id was thus considered by Freud to be the most important factor in people's lives and the reason for most actions that they cannot explain (Boeree).

Freud considered that people experience several stages as they evolve from a psychosexual point-of-view and that the ego has the mission of suppressing the id throughout these stages. The Oral Stage lasts from birth to eighteen months and is the phase when the concentrates on the mouth as a result of its ability to deliver pleasure. If tutors are not efficient in satisfying the individual, it is very probable that he or she will develop issues related "with oral activities such as smoking, drinking, eating or bite his or her nails or chew pencils and pens" (Personalities -- Theories). The Anal Stage lasts from eighteen months and until three years and deals with the child experiencing pleasure as he or she directs his or her attention to bowel movements and to developing the ability to control them. Individuals who fail to go through this phase normally can develop "an obsession with cleanliness, perfection, and control (anal retentive) or they may become messy and disorganized slobs (anal expulsive)" (Personalities -- Theories). The Phallic Stage lasts from the moment when the child reaches three and until the moment when he or she is six. Individuals concentrate on their genital during this phase and realize that there are differences between genders by looking at their parents and identifying with one of them. Freud considered that the id influences boys to take on sexual interest in their mothers and start to believe that their fathers are adversaries stealing affection from their mothers. He believed that this goes even further as boys start to assume that their fathers want to punish them as a result of their thinking, developing the Oedipus Complex. Girls apparently experience a similar episode and the condition in their situation is called the Electra Complex. Freud also considered that girls are also likely to develop an additional mental affection at this stage. He believed that girls have a tendency to develop a problem called the "penis envy" as a result of the fact that they do not have male sexual organs. Difficulties were later ameliorated by the fact that each child identifies with the same-sex parent and starts to think in accordance with the gender that he or she belongs to. The Latency Stage lasts from six and until the time when the child enters puberty. Most children contain their sexual desires across this period and generally play with children that share their sexual identity. Sexual drive is activated consequent from puberty and across the rest of people's lives. If people succeed in overcoming any difficulty that they overcome during one of these stages they develop into healthy adolescents that can direct their sexual drive to partners belonging to the opposite sex. The principal center of attention in this case is the genitalia (Personalities -- Theories).

Human Nature and Individual Differences

Although he addressed the general public through his personality theory, Freud had a tendency to discriminate particular groups. The fact that he considered that girls would experience a "penis envy" during the Phallic Stage further contributes to this belief, as he apparently considered the male genitalia to represent an advantage. Freud mainly concentrated on people's weaknesses when he intended to develop a theory based on inequality concerning them. He considered that women were virtually mutilated men -- persons who are deprived of a significant part of their bodies at the moment when they are born. It is very likely that he inherited an ancient position in regard to women, as they were considered to be deformed individuals. Freud went as far as to consider that women were representative for involution and that in spite of the fact that they are traditionally seen as the basis of society they are nothing more than… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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