Freud And Behaviourist's Theories Essay

2401 words - 10 pages

Freud and Behaviourist's Theories

In the late 19th and early 20th Century, there were many important
theories developed explaining, or trying to explain, human behaviour
and personality development. In this essay, I aim to compare and
contrast the Freudian Theory and the Theories of the Behaviourists.
These were some of the main theories constructed with aims at looking
at the way our behaviour is, or isn't, controlled by our personality.
The way I have decided to structure this essay is to firstly describe
each theory separately. I will make my comparisons between the two
theories and finally I will conclude with some criticisms aimed at
each theory.

Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939) dedicated his life to developing his
'Psychoanalytic Theory'. This theory comprises of several different
factors; each one contributing to our mental make up, thus governing
our actions, thoughts and behaviour. He completed the theory in 1926,
at the age of 70, although he continued to re-present it, rethink its
implications and apply it in new ways until his death. (Padel, 1987.)

One of the factors making up his theory was the 'levels of mind'.
Freud said that it was as if the mind was separated into three
sections. These sections being the 'conscious' mind, the 'pre-conscious'
mind and the 'unconscious mind'. The first section, the conscious
mind, being our awake state or our state of awareness. It is this
section of our mind that we use when we are consciously thinking about
something of which we are aware. The next section is the pre-conscious
mind. This is our store of readily available memories. Memories of
which we are aware and know that we are aware, but are not consciously
thinking about at the current time. These memories can be recalled
easily and are often recalled for everyday use. The final section is
our unconscious mind. This is our store of long term memories or
memories that cannot be recalled so easily. We may not even be aware
of all the memories within this section because they are stored so
deeply within the section but these memories can be triggered
unknowingly as a result of sensory stimulation. i.e. a particular
smell could trigger a memory of when we first experienced that smell.
(Horle, 2002.)

Another factor in the makeup of the psychoanalytic theory is Freud's
view on 'personality'. He claimed that our personality is made up
three elements, the 'Id', the 'Ego' and the 'Superego'. Three elements
interacting with each other and thus governing our behaviour. He said
the id is our unconscious reservoir of primitive instincts. This part
of our makeup is out to satisfy our basic urges without any
consideration of the consequences and without waiting to be polite.
The id is totally un-socialised. On the other hand, we have our
superego, which consists of ideas influenced...

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