Personality

Nicholas Wilson

Sigmund Freud

Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) was an Austrian neurologist who became known as the founding father of psychoanalysis

Freud qualified as a doctor of medicine at the University of Vienna in 1881,and then carried out research into cerebral palsy, aphasia and microscopic neuroanatomy at the Vienna General Hospital. He was appointed a university lecturer in neuropathology in 1885 and became a professor in 1902.

Defense Mechanisms

Repression- Complete exclusion from consciousness of anxiety-producing thoughts, feelings impulses. Ex.. 3 years after being hospitalized for back surgery, the person can remember only vague details about the event

Displacement- emotional impulses are redirected toward a sub person or object. Ex.. Angered by a neighbor's hateful comment, a mother spanks her daughter for accidentally spilling her milk

Sublimation- Form of displacement in which sexual urges are rechanneled into productive, non sexual. Ex.. A graduate students works on her thesis 14 hours a day while her husband is on a extended business trip.

Rationalization- Justifying one's actions or feelings with socially acceptable explanations rather than consciously acknowledging one's true motives/desires. Ex.. After being rejected by a prestigious university, a student explains that he is glad because he would be happier at a smaller, less competitive college.

Projection- attribution of one's own unacceptable urges or qualities to other's. Ex.. A married woman who is sexually attracted to a co-worker accuses him of flirting with her

Reaction Formation- thinking or behaving in a way that is the extreme opp. of unacceptable urges or impulses. Ex.. threatened by their awakening sexual attraction to girls, adolescent boys often go out of their way to tease and torment adolescent girls

Denial- Failure to acknowledge the existence of anxiety-provoking information. Ex.. An alcoholic refuses to acknowledge that he is addicted to alcohol

Undoing- Form of unconscious repentance that involved neutralizing or atoning for an unacceptable action. Ex.. A woman who gets a tax refund by a cheating on her taxes makes a larger than usual donation to the church collection on the following Sunday.

Regression- Retreating to a behavior pattern characteristics of an early stage of development. Ex.. After her parents' bitter divorce, a 10-year old girl refuses to sleep alone in her room, crawling into bed with her mother.

Psychosexual Development

Oral Stage- Birth-1 year.. infant gains pleasure from stimulation sucking and tasting

Anal Stage- 1-3 years.. primary focus is on controlling bladder bowel movements toilet training accomplishment leads to a sense of independence

Phallic Stage- 3-6 years.. primary focus is on genitals. Boys begin to view fathers as rival for mothers affections. Freud believed girls develop penis envy

Latent Stage- 6-puberty.. stage is important in development of social and communication skills and self confidence. sexual feelings are inactive.

Genital Stage- Puberty-Death.. establish a balance between areas of life. Strong interest in opposite sex.

Id, Ego & SuperEgo

Id- the unorganized part of the personality structure that contains a human's basic, instinctual drives. Id is the only component of personality that is present from birth. It is the source of our bodily needs, wants, desires, and impulses, particularly our sexual and aggressive drives


Ego- it seeks to please the id's drive in realistic ways that will benefit in the long term rather than bring grief. At the same time, Freud concedes that as the ego "attempts to mediate between id and reality, it is often obliged to cloak the Unconscious commands of the id with its own Preconscious



SuperEgo- reflects the internalization of cultural rules, mainly taught by parents applying their guidance and influence. Freud developed his concept of the super-ego from an earlier combination of the ego ideal and the "special psychical agency which performs the task of seeing that narcissistic satisfaction from the ego ideal is ensured.