Freud's Psychoanalytic Theoy of Personality

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Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, is one of the most influential figures in psychology to this day. In 1885, he studied in pairs with neurologist Jean Charcot. Jean treated people who had a condition known as grande hysteria. It was a mental disorder, mostly in women, that caused one to experience physical symptoms such as seizures and paralyses of the arms and legs. Studies done on people with this condition came up empty. This then lead Freud to the conclusion that some mental disorders are produced by psychological factors rather than physiological factors. This idea was then named Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality. This theory consists of 3 main claims. These include Psychic Determinism, symbolic meaning, and unconscious motivations. First, psychic determinism is the idea that everything happens for a reason so to speak. That we don't have control over our actions. Freud said this happens because, "we are at the mercy of powerful inner forces that lie outside our awareness". The second claim of this theory, Symbolic meaning, is a strange concept to me. It states that an object has special symbolic meaning. An example out of the Lilienfield Text is that in class, a male professor breaks a long piece of chalk in two. This would then have a symbolic connection to something sexual in nature. The third claim is Unconscious Motivation. This states that we rarely understand why we do what we do even though we seem to make up an explanation for it almost instantaneously. Freud believes that there is an unconscious part of our personality in which we are completely unaware of that plays a much larger role in our personality then the smaller portion of the conscious part of personality which is the part we are aware of.

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What do you think of these theories? Why? You need to go beyond summary and analyze the topic. Make connections outside of class. Imbed your pictures into the post.

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This page contains a single entry by mill5249 published on November 20, 2011 11:34 PM.

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