’s Differences And Similarities Essay, Research Paper
Freud and Jung
Both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung are famous psychoanalysists with unique approaches to personality. At one point they shared many of the same theories and had a deep friendship. In fact, Jung was to be heir to Freud’s position as president of the International Psychoanalytic Association. However, Jung developed several new theories and disagreements with Freud. After years of friendship the pair parted in 1913. There were three main areas of personality which Jung disagreed with Freud on–the role of sexuality, temporal forces that influence personality, and the unconscious.
The role of sexuality in personality differed greatly in Freud and Jung’s theories. Freud felt that sex was the single most important force that shaped and guided personality. His preoccupation with sex may have developed from his own personal experiences with it. As a child, Freud developed a sexual attachment to his mother. Through this experience Freud developed the Oedipus complex–a boy’s longing for his mother and desire to replace his father in the phallic stage of development. Furthermore, Freud believed that sex was the basis of most emotional problems. He felt that a normal, healthy sex life was essential to emotional happiness. It is odd, however, that Freud based so much importance in sex when his sex life was very unsatisfactory. Freud became resentful after his wife terminated their sexual relationship due to poor birth control. Freud felt that libido was the form of psychic energy that motivates a person to seek out pleasure. He also felt that our stages of development were guided by impulses of the id; the pleasure seeking part of personality. In analyzing dreams, Freud interpreted most symbols in a sexual manner.
On the other hand, Jung was not so preoccupied with sex in his theories. Jung’s childhood and personal development may explain his feelings on sex as part of personality. Jung never developed any sort of sexual longing for his mother and was actually repulsed by her unattractiveness and mental instability. Furthermore, Jung had a healthy and satisfying sex life devoid of Freud’s disappointments and frustrations. Jung felt that libido had a broader meaning than Freud’s definition. He defined libido in two ways: as a general life energy, and as a psychic energy that fuels the personality. Unlike Freud, Jung felt that libido was not primarily a sexual energy but a more generalized psychic energy. In analyzing dreams Jung did not look for sexual symbolism, but instead looked for relationships to types of dreams and the dreamer’s archetype.
The direction of the forces that influence personality was another disagreement between Jung and Freud. Freud believed that personality was developed and set in stone by age five. In this theory we are more or less slaves to the past–what happened in childhood determines your personality for life. On the other hand, Jung believed that the future and the past are important. Personality is shaped by events that happened in the past and by what we hope to do in our future.
Freud and Jung also had different opinions about the role of the unconscious. Freud felt the unconscious was very important and defined it as a deep hidden part of personality beneath the reality of the conscious. The unconscious is the uncontrolled home to the instincts which motivate us to behave in a certain manner. Jung placed more emphasis on the unconscious than Freud and even added a new dimension to it. Therefore, in Jung’s system there is a personal and a collective unconscious. The personal unconscious contains memories which have been forgotten by us because they were inconsequential or unpleasant. The collective unconscious is deeper and less accessible than the personal unconscious. It contains inherited experiences of human and prehuman species. These experiences are universal ones which happen to most people at sometime in their lives. For example, when we are born we assume that our mothers will act in a caring and supportive way. Jung associated ideas from anthropology, history, and religion to form his theory on the collective unconscious.
There are many more differences and similarities between Freud and Jung. However, these three aspects created the most distance between the two men and eventually led to the end of their relationship. Both Jung and Freud’s theories have been important and beneficial to understanding personality.