PSYC305 Week 5 Discussion

This week we discuss psychology and its more recent ideas about the causes of human behavior, including Gestalt, Neobehaviorism and Freud. Freud’s work is a popular topic of discussion in the field of psychology. While most do not accept his work as ‘scientific,’ many of his principles and theories are considered valid.

Watch the Id, Ego and Super Ego video at and assigned reading about Freud’s ideas.

Identify two of Freud’s principles or theories that you believe are valid. Support your perspective with at least three examples.

In your peer responses, please reflect on how your peer’s choices, examples, etc. are similar or different from your choices.

Minimum 300 words answer.

Classmate #1:

Greetings Class and Professor,

Identify two of Freud’s principles or theories that you believe are valid.

Sigmund Freud’s defense mechanisms or ego defenses which his daughter Anna elaborated on are still relevant today. Defense mechanisms have grown over the years but Sigmund way one of the first to touch on the subject. Ego defenses as Freud called them are techniques people use to defend their ego. Defense mechanisms are unconscious psychological strategies we use to defend our pride and avoid negative feelings. When used in a healthy manner defense mechanisms are useful and necessary. Though defense mechanisms are healthy and normal they can also become unhealthy when used too much. Today there are many defense mechanisms but the main ones are repression, denial, projection, displacement, regression, and sublimation.

Defense mechanisms are still used today and have been elaborated on. Many forms of drug treatment and anxiety treatment focus on what defense mechanisms are used in order to hide from issues. Many times, those who suffer from something such as anxiety hide from real-life issues through defense mechanisms. This also true with other mental health issues such as aggression. Those with aggression may use projection. For example, a wife’s boss yells at her at work. This leaves her feeling angry, sad, and embarrassed. She cannot yell at her boss because she would get fired. She goes home and is yelling at her children and gets into an argument with her husband. She is not angry at her family but she is projecting the anger she feels for her boss onto her family.

The video we watched this week explains Freud’s concept of the ID, Ego, and Superego. The ID is the part of us that is unconscious and its job is to fulfill our basic urges, needs, and desires such as aggression and sexual drive. The Superego is our moral conscience which leads us to act in a socially acceptable way. The Ego is the mediator between the ID and the Ego. Another way to look at this is the ID is the devil on our shoulder and the Superego is the angel. They contradict each other and our ego decides between the two which option is the best way to act.

Classmate #2:

Hello class!

In the 19th century, Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud’s methods and treatments were considered controversial. Many of his theories are still debated today. His ideas seem to have common sense and are impressive; however, his arguments lack empirical evidence to support them. In my experience, I have heard Sigmund Freud’s name quite frequently throughout my degree in Psychology. I am confident to say that even if someone were not taking Psychology, he or she would be at least familiar with the name or even heard of his theory on psychoanalysis.

Although there is still opposition to Freud’s theories, some of his views remain relevant and important to the individual’s lives. I believe Sigmund Freud’s validity in modern psychology is to use him as a point of reference only. However, if I had to pick two of Freud’s principles or theories that I believe are valid to some degree is his theory of the unconscious mind and his theory on defense mechanisms.

First, in regards to the unconscious mind, have we all heard of Freud’s comparison of the iceberg and the mind? The top of the iceberg is the conscious mind, and the unconscious is the unseen ice underneath. We are aware of what’s happening consciously and no idea of what we know unconsciously. According to Freud, the id satisfies base needs; the ego satisfies a little of what the id wants, and the superego controls the impulses of the id and persuades the ego to be more moralistic. In other words, id: instincts, ego: reality, and superego: mortality. Modern psychology still uses terminology such as the id, ego, or superego, even though there is lacking proof of its existence of the control these aspects have over the human psyche. No pun intended, Freud’s analogy of the iceberg underestimates the iceberg. So much more is happening under the water. “The mind operates most efficiently by relegating a significant degree of high level, sophisticated processing to the unconscious.” Freud thought the unconscious was a single entity; however, his theory over time has led to the discovery that there are multiple modules of the unconscious mind.

Additionally, Freud’s thesis on mental compartmentalization has influenced other psychologists, such as Marvin Minsky, and his examination of his theory of the society of mind and artificial intelligence. Furthermore, there can also be an explanation of a mistake in speech. In regards to the unconscious mind, there will come a time that a “Freudian slip” happens—just a little reveal of the unconscious mind, which motivates a slip of the tongue. Agree or disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Second, individuals have a range of defense mechanisms. Today, people cope with thoughts, impulses, and feelings through defense mechanisms. In other words, using responses that are unconsciously psychological is a way to protect oneself from anxiety, self-esteem threats, or just suppressing events or thoughts that he or she would rather not deal with. Defense mechanisms Freud proposed are displacement, denial, repression and suppression, sublimation, projection, intellectualization, rationalization, regression, and reaction formation. Going back to my original thought of using Freud as a reference point, other theorists have described other defense mechanisms, such as avoidance, humor, and altruism. As of today, defense mechanisms have become such a big part of every-day language and still have relevance today.

**As a bonus thought, I agree that Freud’s psychosexual theory was flawed and not accurate at all. However, I do believe that it is essential to acknowledge it as a starting point as a stage development theory for children. Giving the area of study attention, many theorists, such as Erickson, Piaget, Bandura, and Vygotsky, following Freud used his stages as a starting place creating theories that are expertly recognized and applied today.

Classmate #3:

Classmates and Professor,

In the lesson this week, we learned about psychoanalysis and the psychodynamic theory of personality. In psychodynamics, personality is believed to be formed through our early experiences in childhood. This theory originally developed by Sigmund Freud was the first comprehensive approach to a theory involving personality. In Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality, he believed that human behaviors are the result of the interactions between what is known as our ID, Ego, and Superego.

The ID is what is described as our animalistic instincts, and the “I want it now” urges that we may have. The superego is more of what is right and wrong, social rules, and norms. This is what most people would call our moral compass or our conscious thought. While our ego is more of our rational thought that is our sense of self, the balance between the Id and Superego. I believe this theory had validity, and we can often see this unfold in our daily lives. An example of this would be doing homework. In class, we have our forum posts due every Wednesday by 11:55 EST. Before Wednesday, we know we have to read this week’s lesson and watch a video pertaining to the forum discussion. Our ID would tell us just to skip both the lesson, readings, and forum video and just google the answers. Still, our Superego would say to us we need to learn this material properly, and it will help us in our future studies, thus answering the question correctly and following the rules. Our Ego decides which one we are going to do or compromises between the two parts of the mind. Another example of this would be having self-control in social situations such as an interaction with a person we may find attractive. On a date, we might have the ID influence of “kiss her now!” “I want a kiss now”, while our superego has a more dialed-back approach suggesting for us to wait for an opportune time to do so. Our ego will be the one to decide what is ration or compromise, if good enough, your ego can feed both at the same time in this situation.

The next theory I believe has validity is the idea Freud has in personality development. While I do not believe Freud’s psychosexual theory had much ground to stand on, and there are better theories presented like Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory, Freud laid the groundwork for personality development theory. Freud’s theory of development influenced Erikson, but instead of using the biological approach, he chose a more psychosocial l approach. The groundwork Freud laid in his personality development has led to multiple other personality theories like trait personality theory we learned about in a prior lesson. These theories have helped a variety of psychologists to discoveries in therapy sessions and the field of personality psychology today. Freud’s groundwork will forever be remembered and be used as a starter reference for personality development and theories.

Minimum 200 words answer to each.

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