This essay will be critically discussing Freudian personality theory to explain the development of the human personality as well as giving an applicable example from a reality scenario.
Firstly, Psychoanalysis is the technique of treating psychological disorders by exposing unconscious tensions. Sigmud freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality argues that human behavior is the result of interface among three component parts of the mind the id, ego and superego.
The id is a reservoir of unconscious or unaware psychic energy that strives to satisfy basic drives such as demanding immediate gratification over something. In regards with the “ego” it is an aspect of the personality that allows for planned functioning and it develops throughout life. Finally, the superego is a part of personality that represents adopted ideals and provides standards for judgment and for future goals.
This structural theory of personality has a great importance on how conflict among the parts of the mind affect behavior and personality. these conflicts are mostly unconscious.
According to Freud, Personality develops during childhood and id is shaped through a series of five Psychosexual stages which he called his psychosexual theory of development. There is Oral stage which is the first stage. Then Anal stage, phallic stage, latency stage and Genital Stage.
During each stage, a child is presented with a conflict between biological drives and social expectations, if the child succeeds these conflicts he or she will then have a mastery of each development stage, and eventually to a full matured personality.
Freud believed that the nature among the structure changes when the child is getting older. Specifically, he argued that id, ego, and superego undergo the above mentioned five stages. Each stage with its different aim or focus each stage he related to a different physical center of pleasure.
If the child performs the internal conflicts properly thus will mean that they will be able to function well in adulthood. If the child cannot resolve a stage thus can lead to fixation in that stage. Fixation is a lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage were unresolved. These could lead to results in unhealthy personality traits and the other way around.
For example, if a child has fixation on anal stage he or she will tend to have characteristics of being disorganized, messy and destructive.
There has been various criticism on how Freud conduct his theories. In part because of his singular focus on sexuality as the main focus of human personality development.
There is a saying that says “in every advantage there is a disadvantage, however there are some theorists that contradict to Freuds theories. Hence Freud focus on sexuality, he did not say much about nor mention the impact of environment or culture.
His theories were based on the study of disease whether caused by pathogens or non-infectious physical disorder best known as Pathology. They ignored healthy functioning. He has neglected the important factors.
Many states that Freudian theories are not experimental. It is proven that some researchers began to take more scientific look at his ideas they found many were unable to be supported.
Feminist are very critical of many Freud’s theories, argue that his theories are male-dominated, anti-women. Karen Horney followed Freud. He saw the notion of masculine narcissism.
The stage that I will elaborate on is Oral stage of Freud’s Psychosexual Stages. Oral stage is the first stage. This stage occurs from the time the child is born to eighteen months of age. The focus in this stage is pleasure seeking through the child’s month. In this stage the baby feels the need for tasting and sucking and are then leading in producing pleasure.
If the infant’s needs are not met during this stage the child will be fixated in the oral stage. Biting, smocking, overeating, thumb-sucking are the results of fixation in the oral stage.
Having read and understood the concept, I could say I relate this stage to my biological sister’s personality or should I say behavior.
Twelve years ago, my mother was a student at the University of Forte Hare during that time she gave birth to a little baby girl, however, my mother couldn’t multitask and she then sent the child to a Day -Care Center at the age of three months. It is obvious that the care she was given as the crèche will not be the same as the one my mother would give to her because of the large number of babies to be looked after.
Her eating schedule changed and was imbalanced. I presume she would cry for her bottle and not get it at the time she desired. Thus, illustrates the ideas of pleasure center on the mouth which is sucking the bottle.
As my sister grew older we noticed that she has a tendency when she’s angry or things don’t go according to her wished she bites her wrist so hard that she eventually had a black mark on her wrist. From our point of view as the family Nwabisa’s behavior is unhealthy.
Having read about Freuds theory I conclude by saying my sister has fixation in the oral stage.
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De Sousa A, (2011), Freudian Theory and consciousness: An international, interdisciplinary Perspective.
Lawrence A. (1968), Personality: Theory, Assessment and Research. New York, London, Toronto.
Moore C, W F Meyer, H G Viljoen (2017). Personology: From individual to ecosystem, Cape Town, Pearson.
Simpson, J. A., Weiner, E.S.C (1989), The oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press.