Theories of Personality
Why is it important to have a perspective?
It provides a framework!
The Psychoanalytic Perspective:
Compared mind to iceberg:
level: conscious- the thoughts and feelings, what we’re aware of right now, and
the least important of the level according to Freud
level: preconscious- analogous to memory
level: unconscious- thoughts, memories, idea, etc.
Just below consciousness
Inaccessible to conscious experience
Freud assumes unconscious forces shape personality.
in psychoanalysis, a method of exploring the
unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes
to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing.
is Freud’s theory of personality that attributes
thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts; the
techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to
expose and interpret unconscious tensions.
, according to Freud, a reservoir of mostly
unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings, and memories.
to contemporary psychologists, information processing of which
we are unaware.
Some of these thought we store temporarily in our
He thought that people
block from our consciousness because they
would be too unsettling to acknowledge.
thought although we were not consciously aware
of them, these troublesome feelings and ideas
powerfully influenced us.
He believed that our unconscious could be revealed in our dreams.
The content of dreams is their
The censored expression of the dreamer’s unconscious wishes is
Freud believed that human personality arises from a conflict between our
aggressive, pleasure seeking biological impulses and the internalized social
restraints against them.
Three interacting systems
contains a reservoir of unconscious psychotic
energy that, according to Freud, strives to satisfy basic
sexual an aggressive drives.
The id operates on the
pleasure principle, demanding immediate satisfaction.
Like a newborn infant, present of birth
is the largely conscious, executive part of the
personality that, according to Freud, mediates among the
demands of the id, superego and reality.
The ego operates
on the reality principle, satisfying the id’s desires in ways
that will realistically bring pleasure rather than pain.