Sigmund Freud Theories (To support the M.A.K.E. Revelation)

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Freud's Theories to support the M.A.K.E. Revelation, or the Booksie Research and Study 2009

Submitted: December 14, 2009

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Submitted: December 14, 2009

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Sigmund Freud


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Sigmund Freud (May 6, 1856 – September 23, 1939) was an Austrian neurologist who founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. Freud is best known for his theories of the unconscious mind and the defense mechanism of repression.

Freud has been influential in two related but distinct ways. He simultaneously developed a theory of how the human mind is organized and operates internally, and a theory of how human behavior both conditions and results from this particular theoretical understanding. This led him to favor certain clinical techniques for attempting to help cure psychopathology. He theorized that personality is developed by the person's childhood experiences.


INDEX:
I - Three concepts of the Unconscious
II - Unconscious Mind or Unconsciousness
III - Libido (by Freud and Jung)
IV - The Reality Principle


Freud distinguished between three concepts of the unconscious:

1. The descriptive unconscious - referred to all those features of mental life of which people are not subjectively aware.

2. The dynamic unconscious - referred to mental processes and contents that are defensively removed from consciousness as a result of conflicting attitudes.
(examples:
-Twilight fans vs. anti-twilight individuals;
-the defense of “if you don’t like it then don’t read it”;
-“refer to the comments in amy2609’s 101 reasons why the twilight saga sucks”)

3. Definitions of individual psyche structures - Freud proposed three structures of the psyche or personality:

3.a. Id: a selfish, primitive, childish, pleasure-oriented part of the personality with no ability to delay gratification. "The Child".
3.b. Superego: internalized societal and parental standards of "good" and "bad", "right" and "wrong" behavior. "The Parent".
3.c. Ego: the moderator between the id and superego which seeks compromises to pacify both. It can be viewed as our "Sense of Self." "The Adult".

Primary and secondary processes

In the ego, there are two ongoing processes.
First, there is the unconscious primary process, where the thoughts are not organized in a coherent way, the feelings can shift, contradictions are not in conflict or are just not perceived that way, and condensations arise. There is no logic and no time line. Lust/libido is important for this process.
However, it needs contrast, there is the conscious secondary process, where strong boundaries are set and thoughts must be organized in a coherent way. Most unconscious thoughts originate here.



Unconscious Mind or Unconsciousness

The unconscious mind might be defined as that part of the mind which gives rise to a collection of mental phenomena that manifest in a person's mind but which the person is not aware of at the time of their occurrence. These phenomena include unconscious feelings, unconscious or automatic skills, unnoticed perceptions, unconscious thoughts, unconscious habits and automatic reactions, complexes, hidden phobias and concealed desires.

The unconscious mind can be seen as the source of night dreams and automatic thoughts (those that appear without apparent cause).

Consciousness, in Freud's topographical view (which was his first of several psychological models of the mind) was a relatively thin perceptual aspect of the mind, whereas the subconscious was that merely autonomic function of the brain. The unconscious was considered by Freud throughout the evolution of his psychoanalytic theory a sentient force of will influenced by human drive and yet operating well below the perceptual conscious mind. For Freud, the unconscious is the storehouse of instinctual desires, needs, and psychic actions. While past thoughts and memories may be deleted from immediate consciousness, they direct the thoughts and feelings of the individual from the realm of the unconscious.

Freud divided mind into the conscious mind or Ego and two parts of the Unconscious: the Id or instincts and the Superego. He used the idea of the unconscious in order to explain certain kinds of neurotic behavior.

In this theory, the unconscious refers to that part of mental functioning of which subjects make themselves unaware.

Freud proposed a vertical and hierarchical architecture of human consciousness: the conscious mind, the preconscious, and the unconscious mind - each lying beneath the other. He believed that significant psychic events take place "below the surface" in the unconscious mind, like hidden messages from the unconscious - a form of intrapersonal communication out of awareness. He interpreted these events as having both symbolic and actual significance.

For psychoanalysis, the unconscious does not include all that is not conscious, rather only what is actively repressed from conscious thought or what the person is averse to knowing consciously. In a sense this view places the self in relationship to their unconscious as an adversary, warring with itself to keep what is unconscious hidden. The therapist is then a mediator trying to allow the unspoken or unspeakable to reveal itself using the tools of psychoanalysis. Messages arising from a conflict between conscious and unconscious are likely to be cryptic. The psychoanalyst is presented as an expert in interpreting those messages.

For Freud, the unconscious was a repository for socially unacceptable ideas, wishes or desires, traumatic memories, and painful emotions put out of mind by the mechanism of psychological repression. However, the contents did not necessarily have to be solely negative. In the psychoanalytic view, the unconscious is a force that can only be recognized by its effects — it expresses itself in the symptom.

Unconscious thoughts are not directly accessible to ordinary introspection, but are supposed to be capable of being "tapped" and "interpreted" by special methods and techniques such as random association, dream analysis, and verbal slips (commonly known as a Freudian slip), examined and conducted during psychoanalysis.



Libido (Freud and Jung)
Freud also believed that the libido developed in individuals by changing its object, a process codified by the concept of sublimation. He argued that humans are born "polymorphously perverse", meaning that any number of objects could be a source of pleasure.

Libido in its common usage means sexual desire; however, more technical definitions, such as those found in the work of Carl Jung, are more general, referring to libido as the free creative—or psychic—energy an individual has to put toward personal development or individuation.

Sigmund Freud popularized the term and defined libido as the instinct energy or force, contained in what Freud called the id, the largely unconscious structure of the psyche. Freud pointed out that these libidinal drives can conflict with the conventions of civilized behavior, represented in the psyche by the superego. It is this need to conform to society and control the libido that leads to tension and disturbance in the individual, prompting the use of ego defenses to dissipate the psychic energy of these unmet and mostly unconscious needs into other forms. Excessive use of ego defenses results in neurosis. A primary goal of psychoanalysis is to bring the drives of the id into consciousness, allowing them to be met directly and thus reducing the patient's reliance on ego defenses.

According to Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, the libido is identified as psychic energy. Duality (opposition) that creates the energy (or libido) of the psyche, which Jung asserts expresses itself only through symbols: "It is the energy that manifests itself in the life process and is perceived subjectively as striving and desire." (Ellenberger, 697)

Defined more narrowly, libido also refers to an individual's urge to engage in sexual activity.




The reality principle

Id impulses are not appropriate in civilized society, so society presses us to modify the pleasure principle in favor of the reality principle; that is, the requirements of the external world.

(Example: by not acting childish in front of many; do not show your beyond-100% real-self in the society; adjunct proper manners and conduct in personality helped in diminishing or restraining the Id principle)

Formation of the superego
The superego forms as the child grows and learns parental and social standards. The superego consists of two structures: the conscience, which stores information about what is "bad" and what has been punished and the ego ideal, which stores information about what is "good" and what one "should" do or be.
(example: what is happening in booksie and what the MAKE Revelation study is all about)


He further argued that, as humans develop, they become fixated on different and specific objects through their stages of development. He called them as ‘psychosexual development’.

In the Psychosexual development, there are five stages;
1. Oral stage - exemplified by an infant's pleasure in nursing and sucking in mouth. Weaning is appropriate to complete this stage; a lingering or fixating result in this stage can alter the person’s personality. Fixation at this stage may result in passivity, gullibility, immaturity and manipulative personality.

2. Anal stage - exemplified by a toddler's pleasure in evacuating his or her bowels.
Fixation at this stage results in:
Anal retentive (parents are too precise with the toddler in toilet training as well as other activities during toddler years is concerned): Obsession with organization or excessive neatness
Anal expulsive (parents lack the attention that should be given in the child during toddler years, in which not only it concerns with toilet training, but other activities as well): Reckless, careless, defiant, disorganized
Hence, parents should made a moderate approach during this stage

3. Phallic stage - during the ages 3-6 (Oedipus and Electra Complexes)

4. Latency Stage - occurs during ages 7-10 until puberty; though people do not tend to fixate at this stage, but if they do, they tend to be extremely sexually unfulfilled.

The latency stage is typified by a solidifying of the habits that the child developed in the earlier stages. Whether the Oedipal conflict is successfully resolved or not, the drives of the id are not accessible to the ego during this stage of development, since they have been repressed during the phallic stage.
Hence the drives are seen as dormant and hidden (latent); and the gratification the child receives is not as immediate as it was during the three previous stages. Now pleasure is mostly related to secondary process thinking. Drive energy is redirected to new activities, mainly related to schooling, hobbies and friends. Problems however might occur during this stage, and this is attributed to inadequate repression of the oedipal conflict, or to the inability of the ego to redirect the drive energy to activities accepted by the social environment.

5. Genital Stage – occurs in ages 11 until puberty stage and beyond; this is where sexual interests mature; consequences of this stage results in frigidity, impotence, and unsatisfactory relationships.

This lasts from puberty, about the twelfth year of age, and onwards. It actually continues until development stops, which is ideally in the eighteenth year of age, when adulthood starts.

This stage represents the major portion of life, and the basic task for the individual is the detachment from the parents. It is also the time when the individual tries to come in terms with unresolved residues of the early childhood.

In this stage the focus is again on the genitals, like in the phallic stage, but this time the energy is expressed with adult sexuality. Another crucial difference between these two stages is that, while in the phallic gratification is linked with satisfaction of the primary drives, the ego in the genital stage is well-developed, and so uses secondary process thinking, which allows symbolic gratification. The symbolic gratification may include the formation of love relationships and families, or acceptance of responsibilities associated with adulthood.


The theories are gathered and posted in this section to support the Booksie Research and Study 2009


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