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Sigmund Freud Essay

I need sleep! General this statement wouldn’t mean a thing to the normal person, but to Sigmund Freud statements like this would become the basis for his discoveries. Freud was born in Moravia, and became a student of the well known, father of psychology, Wilhelm Wundt. It didn’t take long for Freud to come up with his own theories, and when he did he changed the science of psychology forever.

Freud wasn’t the first one to come up with the conscious mind, although he is credited for making it popular, he did in fact though come up with the preconscious mind. The preconscious mind is what we might call today, “available memory:” anything that can easily be made conscious, the memories you are not at the moment thinking about but can readily bring to mind. Along with this theory, he added to it that besides the conscious and preconscious mind there are even smaller parts.

Freud came up with three parts of are personality, the id, ego, and super ego. The id is part of your unconscious mind. This part of your mind holds your desires and impulses, the id must be satisfied. Some examples of what the id would desire would be: food, water, relief, warmth, and sex. The super ego is part of your conscious mind, which reminds you of your morals and acts as your conscience. The ego is part of both your conscious and unconscious mind, and acts as a mediator between your id and super ego. Your ego is in charge of satisfying your id, by delaying gratification so it become exemptible by your super ego. The way your ego does this is by using defense mechanisms such as denial and projection.

Freud observed that, at different times in our lives, different parts of our skin give us greatest pleasure; this would later be called the erogenous zones. There are five stages that Freud came up with; the first is the oral stage. The oral stage lasts from birth to about 18 months. The focus of pleasure is the mouth; sucking and biting are favorite activities. Then there is the anal stage lasting from about 18 months to three or four years old. The focus of pleasure is the anus. The phallic stage lasts from three or four to five, six, or seven years old. The focus of pleasure is the genitalia. The latent stage lasts from five, six, or seven to puberty, that is, somewhere around 12 years old. During this stage, Freud believed that the sexual impulse was suppressed in the service of learning. Finally, the genital stage begins at puberty, and represents the resurgence of the sex drive in adolescence.

These theories are just a few, of many that Freud came up with to explain human behavior.

Although Freud’s theory seem to make sense, and satisfies some people’s need to know “why,” they are very questionable. One on the criticisms of Freud’s theories is they can’t be observed nor tested. For example, it makes sense that we have a super ego, but how can we test if we have one? Can we see it? Freud’s theories are good enough for some people but for other, there is a need of proof.

Another concept that is often criticized is the unconscious. Behaviorists, humanists, and existentialists all believe that the unconscious is not the great churning cauldron of activity he made it out to be. Most psychologists today see the unconscious as whatever we don’t need or don’t want to see. Some theorists don’t use the concept at all. Without ways to prove Freud’s theories, there will always be contradictors.

I agree Freud’s thoughts are interesting and do make sense, but I’m not sure I will ever believe in them. I don’t agree at all with the Oedipal crisis. The Oedipal crisis states when you are little girl you want to marry your dad, and if you are a little boy you want to marry your mom. It states that finally this is achieved when you marry some one else; for your partner will have many traits of either your father or mother. Although maybe this theory might be true for some, it is not true for all; and I don’t believe you marry some one like your parent to satisfy that need.

Freud’s theories of the human personality has really made me evaluate myself, and the way I think and want things. I thought the way he explained the three small parts of the personality coexisting together in the conscious and unconscious mind really made sense. After learning about my id, ego, and super ego I starting thinking about the things I do on a daily bases that really connect with those parts of my personality. For instance I took I test and not doing so great on it, I blamed it on bad teaching. Little did I know, I was using the defense mechanism rationalization to make my id and super ego agree. The more I evaluate my life, wants and needs, the more I see Freud’s theories showing up every day.


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