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Personality Theories

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Introduction to Behavioral Science: Personality Theories
Dardree Weah
University of Phoenix

Sigmund Freud is the founder of psychoanalysis; his model portrays personality as a dynamic system directed by three mental structures: the id, the ego, and the super ego. The id is made up of innate biological instincts and urges. The id operates on the pleasure principle. It is self-serving, irrational, impulsive, and totally unconscious. It seeks to freely express pleasure-seeking urges of all kinds. The id acts as a power source for the entire psyche or personality. The ego is sometimes described as the executive because it directs energies supplied by the id. The ego is guided by the reality principle. It is the system of thinking, planning, and problem solving, and deciding. It is in conscious control of the personality and often delays action until it is practical or appropriate. The super ego acts as a judge or censor for the thoughts and actions of the ego. Freud believed that our behavior expresses unconscious forces. He claims that the unconscious holds repress memories and emotions, plus the instinctual drives of the id. He considered sexual impulses to be a primary source of motivation for a person, and that mental activity is essentially unconscious. Freud identified four psychosexual stages, the oral, the anal, the phallic and genital. At each stage, a different part of the body becomes the child’s primary erogenous zone. Each area then serves as the main source of pleasure, frustration, and self-expression. Freud believed that many adult personality traits can be traced to fixations in one or more of the stages (Morris & Maisto 2010). Freud‘s view religion as an expression of underlying psychological neuroses and distress. At various points he suggested that religion was an attempt to control the oedipal complex as a means of giving structure to social...

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