Psychology Theories Essay Research Paper Sigmund Freud

Psychology Theories Essay, Research Paper Sigmund Freud is one of the most famous psychologists to ever hit the study of psychology. His name alone symbolizes the importance of his theories, and the name

Psychology Theories Essay, Research Paper

Sigmund Freud is one of the most famous psychologists to

ever hit the study of psychology. His name alone

symbolizes the importance of his theories, and the name

that comes to most people’s heads when saying the word

psychology is Sigmund Freud. Freud was a psychodynamic

psychologist and came from the conservative point of view

which states that man is bad and society is good, which I

do not agree with 100% because not all man’s actions are

necessarily bad and with bad intentions.

Freud was a real pessimist when it came to human nature.

He identifies man’s weaknesses in saying that man is a

biological creature with biological drives. He reflected these

ideas off of Darwin’s original ideas. I do agree with this

theory because man’s drives are survival and

self-preservation. Freud also stated that mankind’s

aggression helps him to survive, he says that man has an

innate sense of survival. I also agree with this theory

because aggression and dominance guarantees our survival.

He also believed that over the many thousands of years that

man has been alive man developed rational thought. Freud

stated that people do not have to live like animals because

overtime we developed a society that has rules and

regulations in order to keep our animal nature in check. I

agree with Freud on this because of many cases when a

person has some bad intentions in mind but let’s them go

when they know the consequences.

Another thing Freud said was the idea of Opposing

Instincts which when comes to mind creates conflict. The

first of the two opposing instincts is the Eros, which is the

life instinct, which also ensures the organisms life. The ID

presses us to survive and pushes us to produce. The Eros

seeks pleasure and then we rationalize it. Next comes the

Thanatos, which is the death instinct, and this instinct says

that all organisms have a death wish towards themselves

and I agree completely. This he says becomes our own

destruction. Freud says it is natural to move towards death

and this I think is obvious. The feelings we have must be

expressed and released and we direct our feelings outward.

This becomes our aggression toward others. Freud’s view

on the mind is in the shape of an iceberg. He believes that

mankind’s mind works in the unconscious, which I do not

agree with at all I feel that man is mostly conscious when it

comes to behaviors. Every choice that mankind makes he

is aware of, but maybe the consequences of our action

might be unknown.

The Structure of Personality which is another interesting

part of Freud’s theory basically states that we have an ID, a

Superego and an Ego. The ID is a biological reservoir of

urges and impulses that need to be gratified. He says the ID

does not have a conscious, it acts on instinct. It seeks out

gratification and pleasure. It is the pleasure principle. The

Superego is the Morality Principle, and the Superego

knows the difference between right and wrong. The

Superego is a bunch of learned internalized morals and

values of society. This is basically the thing that keeps the

ID in check. Freud said that Superego is our conscious,

and that the Superego is the most powerful tool (guilt and

pride). Last but not least is the Ego, which is the reality

principle. The Ego finds socially acceptable ways to satisfy

the ID. It finds the balance between the ID and reality. The

functions of the Ego is to find a compromise between the

ID and the Superego. The Ego must also learn to deal with

anxiety, and it also helps to boost the self-esteem. Without

the Ego there would be no mental health. I completely

agree with Freud’s theory of the Structure of Personality

because I feel we have different parts of our behavior that

we can control and that we are conscious about and there

are other behaviors that come directly from our

unconscious. Our ego lies to us, denies, falsifies, and

distorts reality which in turn causes us to create what Freud

likes to call the seven defense mechanisms.

The first of the seven defense mechanisms is Repression.

Repression pushes the problem to the subconscious. It is

the exclusion of impulses and thoughts from the conscious

mind. Next comes Denial, and denial is the cutting of the

conscious mind from external threats. An example of this

would be when you are walking in the mall with your

girlfriend and a beautiful woman walks by and you look but

when your girlfriend asks you say, "I wasn’t looking at her."

Next there is a defense mechanism called Sublimation

which is the changing of bad behavior and impulses into

socially acceptable behavior and impulses. One example of

this could be playing football for a scholarship in order to

go to college. Another defense mechanism is Reaction

Formation which is a development of behavior opposite of

that which brings you anxiety. Somebody saying that they

hate homosexuals would be a clear example of this defense

mechanism. The next mechanism is called Projection which

is when the unconscious attribution of your thoughts and

feelings is brought onto others. Finding flaws in others is a

good example of Projection. Displacement is the next

defense mechanism, and this is when an urge is placed onto

another object. Taking out anger onto others when you

really should be mad at yourself. Last but not least is the

defense mechanism of Rationalization which is giving a

good reason in place of the true reason. A great example of

this would be when a person fails a test and they blame it

on work, or some other corny reason instead of saying that

they were to lazy to study. With all the different defense

mechanisms of the ego I feel that we use all of them some

time or another in order to hide our true instincts. Even

though I agree with a majority of what Freud says I do not

believe that man is completely bad and that society is good.

Both man and society play a big role when it comes to


Another well known psychologist which is actually a

student of Freuds’ is Carl Jung who is also a

psychodynamic psychologist which means he also comes

from the conservative point of view which I mentioned

earlier meant he felt man is bad and society is good. Carl

Jung went a little deeper than Freud did in his theories and

he challenges some of his ideas. One that I agree with the

most is that Jung’s iceberg is right side up and at the top of

the iceberg is the ego, and the level underneath that is the

personal unconscious, and the final level of the iceberg is

finally the collective unconscious which is almost the exact

opposites of Freud’s. What I mean by deeper is that he

feels that man is not just sexual but spiritual as well. He

says that the major difference in man is based on the Libido

which is your sex drive. As you can see Jung has a much

broader level of human interest. Jung theories are strongly

based on Darwin’s theory of Evolution. Jung thinks we

evolved behaviorally which has allowed us to prosper and

move forward in order to keep up with society. I do not

agree once again that man is bad and society is good, I feel

both play a big part in human behavior. Another part of

Jung’s theory as well as Freud’s theory that I don’t like is

that I don’t feel that man is mainly sexual. The part of Jung’s

theory that I do agree with is that man has evolved

behaviorally overtime because if we didn’t we would still be

behaving like the cave men did thousands of years ago. It’s

clearly obvious that man has evolved behaviorally.

The next part of Carl Jung’s theory is the Archetypal

Complex, which are common ways of dealing with the

world. In other words it’s a genetically transmitted response

strategy. It ensures survival. There are two examples of

Archetypal Complexes and they are the enemy archetype

and the social archetype. The enemy archetype means that

something that is different is threatening to us which I could

not agree with more. There are examples in everyday life

when a person does not know what something is they

immediately show some sort of aggression or frustration

which proves they are afraid of what is different or what

they do not really know or understand. The social

archetype basically means strength in numbers. Also the

social archetype is what we look to for support and look to

interact and socialize with. The response strategy is to

develop a need to conform. With the whole idea of

Archetypal Complexes I agree that different people use

different ways to deal with the world’s problems, and I also

think the enemy archetype could not be more precise about

mankind being threatened by something that is different.

The next part of Jung’s theory is the idea of Individuation

which is the integration of our conscious perceptions of the

outside world with our unconscious archetypal experiences.

Polarities, which are opposite extremes, which ties in the

Principle of entropy which, is a state of disorder and a

randomness of energy. The last thing Jung states in his

theory is the idea of Wholeness which is having both

polarities of our life met. Carl Jung’s theory challenges

much of Freud’s, but in some ways is similar. Jung gets

more into man being more spiritual than sexual which is

almost the opposite of Freud. I probably only agree with

Jung’s theories of the Archetypal Complexes and the

examples that I stated with them.

The next psychologist that I will mention will be a social

psychodynamic psychologist by the name of Alfred Adler.


Adler came from the liberal point of view in which he felt

man is good and society is bad. He was much less of a

pessimist than Freud was; Almost a complete opposite

from Freud. Adler believed that society impedes humans.

His view of the mind is much like Carl Jung’s, but instead of

having the ego at the top he has the conscious alone at the

top with the unconscious on the bottom, which I probably

agree with the most. He felt that social interests drive

motivation, which is an innate drive to be social and to

belong. He also stated in his theory that mankind is

dependent on others and their reactions and their

acceptance which in turn leaves mankind very vulnerable.

The main idea of this theory is that he feels that mankind is

more social than biological. I mostly agree with this

because humans these days try to be something there not.

They go to the extremes to try to fit in. A great example of

this would definitely be that in today’s schools there are

cliques and clans of different people that feel that they are

cooler or better and than the people who are not as

popular do whatever they can to fit in with a certain group.

Teenagers nowadays are probably the best example there

is of Adler’s theory of social interest.

Another part of Adler’s theory that he brings up is the idea

of the creative self which he says drives us toward human

nature. There are two parts to this theory and they are the

superiority complex and the inferiority complex. First the

superiority complex states mankind tries to better

themselves in order to overcome our weaknesses. I agree

with this because I am living proof. In everything I do I

always try to make myself better. I don’t give up until I feel

I have completely given it everything I have got. On every

weakness that I have especially when it comes to fitness I

kill myself everyday to look my greatest and to feel the best

that I can feel. This takes much hard work and dedication,

but I do not even think about it when I think about how I

am going to feel and look when I accomplish my goals. The

second part of this theory is the inferiority complex which is

when society measures us up to their standards. This is also

when we begin to avoid our weaknesses instead of trying

to overcome them. I have many examples when there is

person who is not so good at an activity whatever the case

may be, and completely get frustrated and give up instead

of bettering themselves. I have even probably done this as

well as most mankind which I feel is going to be the

downfall of our society and our race. Alfred Adler’s entire

theory I feel is a great one and I feel he has a great

perspective on human behavior and I would agree with

Adler on almost all of his theory. I feel he is the most

accurate in his interpretation of human behavior.

B.F. Skinner was a behaviorist which means he is neutral

in his theories; all men start as blank slates. He believed

that men are controlled by their environment and they can

be molded. All behavior is learned and conscious.

Operant Conditioning is the idea that man is shaped by

repetition and/or reinforcement. Reinforcement can be

broken down into many different categories. First is

primary reinforcement which meets biological and

psychological needs. Next comes secondary reinforcement

which is a conditioned reinforcer and it is a learned value.

An example of this would be money. Positive reinforcement

is the next part, and it is anything someone wants that

increases positive behavior. Negative reinforcement is

oftenly mistaken for punishment which it is not. Negative

reinforcement is basically avoidance or behaving in a way

to avoid a negative stimulus or consequence. Escape is

another part of negative reinforcement which is avoiding

something that is already there. Punishment which

decreases the likelihood of a negative behavior. Examples

of this could be jail or other sorts of consequences.

Punishment has limited effects. There are short-term

residual effects.

Another part of Skinner’s theory is something by the

name of Beyond Freedom and Dignity which says that man

does not have free will. He is a product of reinforcement.

Skinner says free will is an illusion and that man should

have no pride. He also says that whatever mankind

accomplishes he accomplishes because of a system which

has certain limitations.

B.F. Skinner says that "Man’s Biggest Problem" is that

mankind’s behavior is more easily influenced by small or

immediate reinforcers than it is by large but distant and

uncertain reinforcers. In other words Skinner feels that we

will take immediate gratification and not look at the

long-term results. He feels man is very short cited.

The part of Skinner’s theory that I do not agree with

completely is that he thinks that man is a blank slate and he

can be shaped and molded by his society. I feel that society

should not take full credit for all of mankind’s behavior.

Also I do not fully agree that all behavior is learned. I feel

some is genetically inherited. Operant Conditioning is the

part of Skinner’s theory I feel is pretty accurate because in

daily life the more you do an activity the more it gets

processed in your mind and becomes almost automatic.

The idea that man has no free will I do not agree with

because I believe all of mankind has freewill. When Skinner

says that Man’s Biggest Problem is that he will take

immediate gratification before looking into long term effects

I completely agree with him on that. People these days only

think about what is going to happen now without thinking

about what will happen in the future. Skinner’s theory of

Man’s Biggest Problem is probably one of the most

accurate theory’s I that I could ever agree with.

Erich Fromm who is a liberal social psychodynamic

psychologist who was also a student of Freuds’. He

believes that man is innately good and society is the thing

that corrupts him. He also feels that the conscious mind

dominates over the unconscious. Fromm says man is a

social creature and he believes that mankind has social

needs. He says life is a struggle and society makes our lives


Fromm feels that the four needs of mans’ social life are

relatedness, frame of reference, identity, and

transcendence. Relatedness is a basic need and it states

that man needs to feel connected to humanity whether it be

friends, family, or activities. It also states that man has to be

interacted with other in order to belong. The problems start

when a person feels that they are not a part of something.

Relatedness is probably the most powerful need. Frame of

Reference are common ideas and beliefs of looking at the

world. This is when we seek out a belief system or a value

system. We receive our frame of reference from where we

find our relatedness. Without frame of reference there is no

meaning to life. Identity is the next out of the four needs of

mans’ social life which is when you know who you are and

what you stand for. With identity you have to establish your

own uniqueness or identity. Recognizing differences in

others help you to find your own identity. Next comes

transcendence which is rarely achieved and this means to

rise above societies conformities in order to be an

individual. With transcendence there is a risk of losing your

relatedness, and for this not to happen relatedness must

allow you rise above society. A conflict of freedom and

loneliness means that the more that we become

transcendent the more we lose the relatedness. I agree with

Fromm when he states that society corrupts man. I also feel

that the conscious mind dominates over the unconscious. I

do not agree that man is 100% social either. When Fromm

says that the four needs of social life are relatedness, frame

of reference, identity, and transcendence I could not agree

with more. Everyday you see people that have to be well

connected in the social pipeline and without it I do not think

they would function normally. There are plenty of people

that have to be liked and be in a certain group in order to

be mentally stable. People think it is a bad thing when you

are not in the popular group or not cool enough to be liked

and accepted by a certain group. I also do feel that there

are some people who know who they are and what they

stand for. These are the people that survive the longest is

the long run because they know who they are and they will

not change for anything. Realizing other people’s

differences also helps to boost your identity which in turn

causes a person to create their own uniqueness. I think that

I am a perfect example of a person who has all four needs

met at all times and that I know exactly what I am and who

I stand for. I would not change who I am and my behavior

just to fit into the social pipeline. I have to plenty of parties

where there has been everything from drinking to sex and I

have never given in to the peer pressure of drinking,

smoking or anything else while I was there, but I still had all

the fun in the world. The reason why I don’t give in is

because I care about my health I have set values for myself

and I like to follow them exactly like I planned. This way I

will never do something that I would regret. All of Fromm’s

theories are very accurate when it comes to social needs,

but when it comes to human behavior in general I don’t feel

that man is completely social.

Michael Itsines is the next psychologist which is a

mixture between a psychodynamic psychologist and a

behaviorist. I feel that behavior is an upside down iceberg

and consciousness is at the top and the unconscious is on

the bottom. I think that most behavior is conscious. Neither

man or society is bad just at times it seems like one of the

two influences a little more of behavior. I feel that man is

both biological and social. The part that I think is biological

is the part of Freud’s theory where he states there is an ID,

Superego and an Ego. Another thing that I agree with is

Freud’s theory of the Defense Mechanisms. I feel that

mankind uses each one of them in everyday life. Another

thing that is a great example of man being biological is that

at sometimes man can have animal drives and desires. The

only thing that keeps us from behaving like an animal is the

thing that man developed thousands of years ago and that is

rational thought. This is the difference between human and

animal behavior. That’s what separates man from animal.

We do this in order to curb our human nature. Another

reason why I think man partially biological is because of

Carl Jung’s theory of Archetypal complexes which are

genetically transmitted response strategies and I feel that

mankind has this.

On the social side I feel that man is partially motivated by

social needs such the four needs of man’s social life which

are relatedness, frame of reference, identity, and

transcendence. I agree with Fromm on this theory. This is

probably on the most accurate examples of man being a

social creature. Also Adler stated in his theory that social

interests motivate us. Social Interest is an innate drive to be

social and to belong. B.F. Skinner states in his theory that

behavior is driven by external rewards. Also he says that

reinforcement plays a huge role mankind’s behavior. I feel

that man is also driven by the idea of free will which to

Skinner seems to be an illusion. I think mankind has free

will but maybe takes it for granted. Overall I feel that man

can be both good and bad at times but then again so can

society. Sometimes society has a great deal of influence on

human behavior. An example of this would be that man

pushes himself in order to be the best he can be and to

reach the top. Mankind will stop at nothing in order to be

number one. Selfishness and greediness are probably going

to be the downfall of the human race. If mankind could

actually see differences in other people instead of making

them look like something there are not everybody and

everything would be much happier and they would live a

much more fuller life. In my theory I think that mankind

should be much more grateful and appreciative for the

environment that is created and for what they have become

due to their environment. Man’s behavior just can not be

either biological or social because I feel that mankind also

passes on behavior through genetic inheritance. Man has to

be both according to my own theory and I stand by it.