In the beginning there was Freud, who said we come into this world as pure Id, which acts completely on basis of 2 instinctual drives: sexual and aggressive. To survive in society, drives must be controlled; therefore, we develop an Ego, which enables us to negotiate Id through the world around us.
Ego is formed by interaction of Id with the mother; initially this is purely sensory (Piagetís Sensory-Motor stage). Freud looked at Infancy as a stage where all gratification was Oral; Erikson expounded on this to say that the Id learns to either trust or mistrust in the environment to meet its needs.
The level of societal conformity that can be imposed on us (via parents) is dependent on our neurological and cognitive development. Piaget looked at developmental stages from this perspective. All 3 theorists describe development as evolution that leads to development and refinement of a conscience; for Freud, this was the role of Superego.
include memory, sensory perception, logical thinking, intellect, personality development. Personality is the pattern(s) by which we perceive and relate to what is going on around us. (Note: Id is purely unconscious, the ego and superego function at both the conscious and unconscious levels)
There are distinct stages of development as the Ego and Superego conform the Id [oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital].
(instinctual physiological fear response to an imagined threat) is the natural outcome of progressing through the developmental stages as the Ego utilizes reality testing, ultimately putting it in conflict with the Id.
evidenced by an infantís displeasure at being weaned off the breast or bottle and a toddlers toiletting resistance
Sigmundís daughter, Anna Freud, asserts that the way this anxiety is resolved is by the development of defense mechanisms (DMs). DMs are functional because they relieve anxiety, but can lead to dysfunctional behavior.
are an Ego function and are incorporated into personality as a way to deal with the outside world.
Description of Defense Mechanisms
- listed in the order that they develop (immature to mature)
(1) Narcissistic Defenses
: Most primitive; correspond to infants egocentric perspective
: relieves anxiety by denying painful affect associated with a certain event, or event itself. Can be so strong that it gets psychotic (Patient denies having cancer, insisting you have changed their X rays and are trying to kill them)
: Grossly reshaping external reality to suit inner needs (including delusions and hallucinations)
: attribute your own feelings and thoughts to others (often involved in paranoid delusions)
(2) Immature Defenses
Acting out: Carrying out the impulse without socially appropriate restraint (temper tantrum when you donít get your way)
: Qualities of loved object are internalized and become part of subjectís ego; can be a way of holding onto the loved one to avoid pain of loss.
Example: Cardiac neurosis: Patient develops cardiac symptoms at same age his father died of an MI.
Can also be functional (i.e. adopting parentsí habits) or Superego formation (identification with same sex parent)
: Person attributes own anxiety producing feelings to another person/situation making it out there and safe
: person returns to previous developmental stage to avoid anxiety at current stage. Example: Potty-trained 4 year old wets pants once sibling is born. Motivated by the 4 yo desire to compete for the kind of attention given to infant.
: This is the primary DM; others used when this one fails. Disturbing psychological material is removed from consciousness or prevented from going there. Child sex abuse repressed until triggered in adulthood
: anxiety is transformed into physical symptoms (mechanism of conversion and somatization disorders) This is dysfunctional overall but is functional in the sense that it eliminates the anxiety
(3) Neurotic Defenses
Displacement: An unacceptable impulse is redirected to a safer object symbolic of the original object. Freudís example was little Franz who was terrified of horses, which he had symbolically replaced for his fatherís aggression. Symbolic nature requires more sophisticated intellectual development than Projection does.
: Drastic modification of personal identity to avoid conflict, includes fugae states (Latin for flight) which are dissociative amnesiac states. I am in Cleveland on minute, the next thing I know, I am in NY with no memory of getting there. Common in repeatedly abused persons during abuse: serves function of allowing them to get out of situation by disconnecting from it: this is what happens at the end of the movie Brazil.
: Un/Conscious limitation of ego functions to avoid anxiety from conflict with id, superego or environment.
: Thinking about affect rather than experiencing them to avoid anxiety: describe situation instead of an emotion. Often used with Rationalization: intellectual justification of beliefs or behavior.
(4) Mature Defenses
- often more conscious and involve the superego which develops last, thus the term Mature.
: Vicarious but constructive service to others;relieves anxiety from discrepancy between egoís ideal self and reality
: Form of inhibition generated by strong superego motivation to eliminate directly pleasurable affects attributed to an experience due to a strict moral code. (Conscious or not) Ex: celibacy in Cloistered Communities
: Allows unpleasant material to be tolerated in the conscious: Macabre sense of humor of medical types
: turn anxiety energy into socially acceptable outlets; opposite of acting out.
Example: High school girl with unresolved Oedipal issues can deal with the anxiety of this conflict by either acting out (e.g., prostitution; socially unacceptable (you go to jail)) or sublimating, becoming a cheerleader and sleeping with the football team because that is considered to be an appropriate role for cheerleaders.
: Conscious decision to postpone attention to conscious impulse or conflict. Ex: procrastination.