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Explanations Of Personality Development Essay

983 words - 4 pages

Explanations of Personality Development

According to Sigmund Freud, what we do and why we do it, who we are
and how we became this way are all related to our sexual drive.
Differences in personalities originate in differences in childhood
sexual experiences. In the Freudian psychoanalytical model, child
personality development is discussed in terms of "psychosexual
stages". In his "Three Essays on Sexuality" (1915), Freud outlined
five stages of manifestations of the sexual drive: Oral, Anal,
Phallic, Latency, and Genital. At each stage, different areas of the
child's body become the focus of his pleasure and the principal source
of sexual arousal. Differences in satisfying the sexual urges at each
stage will inevitably lead to differences in adult personalities.
Conflicts between the sex drive and rules of society are present at
every stage. A proper resolution of the conflicts will lead the child
to progress past one stage and move on to the next. Failure to achieve
a proper resolution, however, will make the child fixated in the
present stage. This is believed to be the cause of many personality
and behavioural disorders.

Freud believed that personality has three structures: the id, the ego,
and the superego. The id is the Freudian structure of personality that
consists of instincts. In Freud's view, the id is totally unconscious
i.e. it has no contact with reality. As children experience the
demands and constraints of reality, a new structure of personality
then emerges called the ego, the Freudian structure of personality
that deals with the demands of reality. The ego is called the
executive branch of personality because it uses reasoning to make
decisions. The id and the ego have no morality. They don't take into
account whether something is right or wrong. The superego is the
Freudian structure of personality that is the moral branch of
personality. The superego takes into account whether something is
right or wrong. The superego as what we often refer to as our
"conscience."

During the oral stage (birth to 18 months), the child if focused on
oral pleasures (e.g. sucking). Too much or too little gratification
can result in an Oral Fixation or Oral Personality, which is evidenced
by an obsession with oral activities. This type of personality may
have a stronger tendency to smoke, drink alcohol, over eat, or bite
his or her nails. Personality wise, these individuals may become
overly dependent upon others, gullible, and group followers. On the
other hand, they may also fight these urges and develop negative
personalities and...

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