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Sigmund Freud's Theory Of Personality

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In 1923, Sigmund Freud proposed his theory that the make-up of an individual’s personality is largely governed by three fundamental components: the id, the ego, and the superego. Working through the unconscious and shaping behavior according to psychological fixations and conflicts or lack thereof, these elements evolve through five levels of psychosexual development (Freud, 1962). However, in spite of its compelling approach to the phenomenon, Freud’s structural theory of personality is riddled with limitations and as such, is subject to much criticism. The mind is layered into three states: the conscious, referring to the thoughts currently in our forefront; the preconscious, idle thoughts that can be easily accessed and brought to the conscious; and the unconscious, which houses the more instinctual drives that are repressed because it threatens the conscious’ equilibrium (Cloninger, 1996). Freud argues that the unconscious molds the personality as it accommodates the id, the ego, and superego (Freud, 1962). Essentially, the id is primitive and is widely believed to already exist at the time of birth. It acts on the pleasure principle, which thrives on hedonism and abstains from pain. However, the id is detached from reality so it can only obtain gratification indirectly such as through reflex actions and mental images (Morris & Maisto, 2013). To really satisfy our instincts, the ego comes into action. Promptly developing after birth, the ego follows the reality
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