Psychoanalytic Theory

Sigmund Freud established a theory that was based on human behavior and personality, in which he called it, “Psychoanalytic Theory. ” He worked with patients that suffered from mental illnesses, in which he believed that originated from their childhood experience. Not only does he believe that childhood experiences influence an individual’s behavior, their unconscious desires may be another reason for a juvenile’s delinquent behavior. When this theory was discovered, Freud involved three concepts to the personality; the id, the ego, and the superego. The Id is the only element of the personality that is present from birth.

This is about the desires, wants, and needs of an individual. This is particularly important in early life because an infant has needs that should be met. For example, if there is a baby that is hungry and will not stop crying until he or she gets fed, that would be where the id rules in. In this structure of the id, it is quite unorganized because it demands immediate satisfaction with no thoughts of manners and proper action.. If the needs are not met, this may cause anxiety and tension. The id does not know the difference between good and bad, it only seeks for gratification, but this is where the ego comes into place.

The ego makes sure that the necessities of the id are handled in an appropriate behavior that will benefit an individual in the long run. The id will strive for satisfaction anywhere and anytime, but the ego will take charge and only allow the behavior in the right time and place. Functions of the ego are only in the conscious and unconscious mind. The id has a structure of the personality that is unorganized, whereas, the ego is more organized. Since the ego is more organized, it is liable for common sense, judgment, defense, taking in information, and memory.

This part of the personality helps us separate out what is real, organize our thoughts, and make sense of the world around us. (Ruth 2006) Also, our bodies have defense mechanisms in certain situations; denial, fantasy, repression, and displacement. It is not done in such a direct or conscious manner. These defense mechanisms come into play when the id behavior conflicts with reality. While ego is constantly trying to satisfy the superego, the superego is continuously inspecting the ego’s actions and punishes it with feelings of guilt, and apprehension. The last element of the personality is the superego.

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This is responsible for our morals that we have learned through experiences from our families, friends, and surroundings; in other words, our sense of right and wrong. This stage of the personality usually develops at about the age of five. The superego looks at the influence of educators, teachers, and people chosen as role models. In contradiction to the id, the superego is what makes an individual act in an appropriate manner, whereas the id just demands immediate satisfaction. The superego is the complete opposite of the id, and the ego is the element that tries to compromise the other two elements.

While the ego is in charge of an individual acting in an appropriate behavior, the superego is liable for the rules and standards. Usually, these rules and standards are made by parents and with obedience to these rules, it may lead to feelings of accomplishment. According to Freud, he believed that a person with a good ego would be able to balance the id and the superego. Without balance between the two, behavior of a juvenile may be troublesome. Freud started this theory because there must have been many advantages, and many qualities that he saw in his patients that would help him support this theory.

As he listened and analyzed his patients, he was convinced that their issues developed because of their childhood experiences. This theory helps explain how important the childhood experience of an individual is. Everything that happens in the early years of a child will influence them in a certain way. For example, if a little boy was to be molested as a kid, he may grow up to be a disruptive kid and possibly molest others because he either wants revenge for his molester, or he doesn’t know that it was wrong at such an age.

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