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Sigmund Freud

Freud’s theory of childhood development and later adult personality and function are rooted in his concept that development progresses from the unconscious, irrational, and pleasure-seeking self to the more conscious, rational and reality-seeking self. In comparison with contrasting views that neuroses later in life are not based solely on instinctual drives, Freud’s framework definitely rests solely on the instinctual and not the cultural or social influences of the individual. Freud saw human personality or the mind as being composed of three distinct but simultaneously acting and working dimensions: id; ego; superego. Freud’s theory postulates that the complex interrelationship between these three dimensions is what allows an individual to evolve from the pleasure-seeking, instinctual self (the id) to the reality-seeking, integrated self (the ego). As Freud (1998: 4) himself put this developmental process into a nut-shell, “Where id was, there ego shall be.”

The id is the dimension of the personality that is purely, irrationally, instinctually driven. As Freud (1998: 2) labeled it, the id is “…a chaos, a cauldron of seething excitement.” The id has one purpose only-to give conscious expression to our instinctual need fulfillment. All humans instinctually crave food, shelter and warmth. These are instinctual needs arising solely from the fact that they allow one to survive but they also pleasure the individual who acquires them. This pleasurable affect is important because the id has no structure and no collective will, thus the impulses it expresses are based solely on the pleasure principle, i.e. it feels good so it is good. All of our psychic energy is focused upon the self, much as a small infant who cries when it wants its bottle (food), needs a dry diaper (body “shelter”), or yearns for its mother’s arms (warmth). In other words, as Freud (1998: 4) called it, the id is comprised solely o...

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Sigmund Freud. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:20, December 07, 2021, from