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Psychodynamic Theory And Crime Essay

1453 words - 6 pages

Psychodynamic (Psychoanalytical) theory was developed by Sigmund Freud in the late 1800’s and has gained increasing popularity in the history of criminality (Siegel, 2005). Freud believed that every individual carries “[the] residue of the most significant emotional attachments of our childhood, which then guides our future interpersonal relationships” (Siegel). Freud theorized that the personality is a three-part structure made up of the id, ego, and super ego. These three components work together in creating a behavior. The id creates the demands, the ego put the demands created by id into a larger context using reality, and finally the superego suppresses the id and attempts to make the ...view middle of the document...

Unlike the id whose driving force is the pleasure principle, the ego’s central driving force is the reality principle. The reality principle still seeks to satisfy the id’s desires, however, it does so on the basis of plausibility and how socially appropriate the demand is. Freud concluded "the ego represents what we call reason and sanity, in contrast to the id which contains the passions." 
(Sigmund Freud, 1923, The Ego and the Id). Take for example the last case involving Amy, who being hungry couldn’t resist her urge for hunger. The ego in that scenario, being driven by the reality principle would have delayed gratification and would have considered if the action would be socially acceptable, so what if Amy didn’t give into her urges? Well, the thought of shoving a handful of croutons down her mouth would have remained unchanged, however since many people were there, including her boss, she decided to wait until she sat down to eat.
The superego that principally is driven by morality differs from both the id and ego for several different reasons. The first in which it suppresses all urges and demands of the id that is deemed wrong or socially acceptable. Additionally, it compels the ego to act morally than realistically. Finally, the superego strives to become morally perfect independent of reality. The superego is the final stage in Freud’s theory of psychosexual development. The superego includes our beliefs, morals, and values that we acquire from our parents and society. Societal influence is just as important as constructing what is right and wrong as parental influence. However, the superego doesn’t end there, and could be divided into two subcomponents: the ego ideal and the conscience. The ego ideal is made up of all of our rules for good behavior. The conscience is composed of the rules for which behaviors are considered bad (Cherry, 2014). It is important to keep in mind that although the ego and superego can arrive at the same decision about something, the superego’s reason would be more morally based than that of the ego’s decision which is based more what others think and the consequences of the taken action. For example, Amy who finally sat and ate, noticed that her bill was miscalculated by $10 dollars. She could’ve have gotten away with only paying $10 dollars for a full-course meal, but instead she pointed out the cashier’s mistake and paid the full price of the meal. She valued honesty and knew the employees and owner had to make a living as well.
In classical Freudian theory, the structure of the psyche is determined in the first five years of life. There is a significant way in which early experiences shape adult behavior, especially early experiences that there is no recall memory. These two types of memory, explicit and implicit help us recall and interpret different events using informative recall or emotional recall respectively. Richard H. Hall, head professor of neuroscience at Missouri University of Science and...

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