If there was one person I’d love to have coffee with, it would be Sigmund Freud. I have always been so engaged in anything he’s studied or theorized. Sigmund Freud brought us the three different parts of our mind to understand. He gave us these three components of level of awareness. The fist level he calls The conscious mind. This is where we are right now, we are paying attention to what is happening to us at this very moment. An example would be you reading what I’m writing. There is a Pre-conscious mind according to Freud we all have. This would be an example of things we are aware of but really not paying too much attention to at the moment. Perhaps the television is on in the background when you’re reading this? That would be your Pre-conscious mind, you know the TV is there yet it has no interference to what you’re doing now, like reading my post. We also have a subconscious mind.
Freud believed this level of our awareness is “the process and content are out of direct reach of the conscious mind. The subconscious thus thinks and acts independently.” (Bannister, 2008). Interesting factor, Freud thought this part of the mind is where the most of our uncontrolled behavior is driven from. He felt this is where we do most of our thinking. My question is, if he felt this was mostly the cause of our behavior controlled or uncontrolled, then we must be living in a mostly subconscious state? Although, “more recent research has shown that the subconscious mind is probably even more in charge of our actions than even Freud had realized.” (Bannister, 2008). My question still remains.
I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing that Clinical psychologist Don Bannister described Freud’s position on the human personality as being. I wonder how it would effect someone today if someone said this about another person. Would it be a compliment or a put down. Clinical psychologist Don Bannister said this about Sigmund Freud. “…basically a battlefield. He is a dark-cellar in which a well-bred spinster lady (the superego) and a sex-crazed monkey (the id) are forever engaged in mortal combat, the struggle being refereed by a rather nervous bank clerk (the ego).”
If you take out the “ego’s” reference in this quote it would read “basically a battlefield. He is a dark-cellar in which a well-bred spinster lady and a sex-crazed monkey are forever engaged in mortal combat, the struggle being refereed by a rather nervous bank clerk.” (edited) To me that doesn’t sound very nice. Okay on to what we came here for…the structural model of the psyche – id, ego, and superego according to Sigmund Freud.
The three main parts of our ego system consists of the Id, the superego, and the ego.
To me, this is the most greedy of all of our egos. This level of our ego is only concerned with pleasure to avoid the pain. It’s our hedonistic part of our ego. You can find someone using this level by people who make fun of other people and find pure enjoyment by doing so. Sometimes, people make fun of other people because it gives them pleasure when in fact a lot of those times people who do this type of behavior are doing so to avoid their own pain. Also, in another sense we use this for sexual pleasure. According to Freud the Id has 2 major instincts. The “Eros: the life instinct that motivates people to focus on pleasure-seeking tendencies (e.g., sexual urges).” and the Thanatos: the death instinct that motivates people to use aggressive urges to destroy.” (Bannister, 2008). The next part of our ego system is the “Ego” itself.
Your ego understands that behaviors have consequences. It also includes our rationalization of what we need to live socially among people. It gives us the perception, recognition, judgment and memory. Freud believed this process is developed during childhood. The primary principle of the ego is to balance the Id and the superego. “The Ego controls higher mental processes such as reasoning and problem-solving, which it uses to solve the Id-Super ego dilemma, creatively finding ways to safely satisfy the Id’s basic urges within the constraints of the Super ego.” (Bannister, 2008)
Freud believed our superego was learned in our childhood from our parents. It is in this factor we are taught right from wrong. Our superego also holds our values and our beliefs which are contained in our conscious. “The Super ego is a counterbalance to the Id, and seeks to inhibit the Id’s pleasure-seeking demands, particularly those for sex and aggression.”(Bannister, 2008). To sum it all up we can say “The id is the part of our mind we share with lower animals and is governed by the pleasure principle. The ego is the executive of the personality and is governed by the reality principle. The superego is the moral component of the personality and consists of the conscience and the ego ideal.” (Hergenhahn, B., & Olson, M., 2007 p. 56)
Bannister, D. (2008, October). Freud’s personality factors. Retrieved from http://changingminds.org/explanations/personality/freud_personality.htm
Hergenhahn, B., & Olson, M. (2007). An Introduction to Theories of Personality. (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Until Next Time,