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Freud's Psychoanalytic Model of Personality

This paper offers a discussion of Freud's psychoanalytic model of the human personality. According to Freud, the personality comprises three key forces—the id, the ego and the superego. The id—the most primitive component of the personality—refers to the instinctual drives and impulses that move individuals to strive for gratification. While the ego is also governed by the need for gratification, it acknowledges the limits of reality. Unlike the id, the ego is tempered by acquired knowledge and previous experience. Finally, the superego represents the standards and values of one's parents and the social culture. The developmental stages and their impact on the formation of the personality from the Freudian perspective are also discussed.

Over the last decades, various personality theorists have constructed their unique concepts of personality. From a broad perspective, personality theory is focused on the thoughts feelings and behavior of human beings, including their interactions with their social environment (Funder, 1994). More than just an emphasis on the differences between the attributes of individuals, personality theory addresses "the basic processes of adaptation through which people interact with the conditions of their lives" (Mischel, 1993, p. 6). With his psychoanalytic approach, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) also created a dynamic personality theory that incorporated the unconscious conflicts of human beings and the personality changes that occur throughout the developmental stages (Comer, 1995). In the remainder of this paper, an integrated conception of Freud's personality theory will be presented and discussed.

Based on his investigation of the problems of his patients, Freud determined that the following three key components of the human mind comprise the personality: the id, the ego and the superego (in Comer, 1995; in Miller, 1996). As explained by Freud (1933), the id constitutes "a cauld...

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Freud's Psychoanalytic Model of Personality. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 14:08, February 21, 2017, from