Sigmund Freud And Ivan Pavlov's Theory Of Personality

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Everybody has a unique personality that influences who we are, how we act, and the nature of our relationships. Our personality is inescapable and essentially shapes us as individuals. Despite its centrality to human existence, defining what impacts attribute to specific personalities, and consequent behaviour patterns, is something that is still heavily debated today, and as such, many alternating theories have evolved in an attempt to explain these concepts. (Shultz & Shultz, 2009). Sigmund Freud was the first psychologist to formally theorise what factors contribute to the construction of an individual’s personality, and suggested that the unconscious mind emulated great power over our behaviour and personality. Despite Freud’s theories …show more content…
Particular insight into Erik Erikson and Ivan Pavlov’s respective theories will assist to not only contrast the fundamental differences between psychoanalysis and two alternative explanations of personality, but also highlight how effective all these theories are alone, and when compared to each other in relation to their social contexts.

Freud’s career spanned many decades and in that time he established numerous theories about human personality, where it is derived from and what factors influence it. Freud’s theories were revolutionary and shaped psychodynamic theory (Heidbreder, 1940). Freud believed that the essence of psychoanalysis came from the assumption that the physical could be divided into conscious and unconscious states of awareness, and by acknowledging which behaviours emerge from each state, not only could we better comprehend the origins of personality but also make adjustments accordingly, creating a space for psychological
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As mentioned, in order to understand human behaviour Freud sought to understand what motivated us to behave, and what factors could influence this process. In Freud’s ‘The Ego and the Id’ (1923) he theorised three psychic institutions in which he believed were inherit in all people, they were the id (the unconscious), the ego (the preconscious), and the superego (the conscious). The id is representative of our most basic, biological drives and is free from any moral or social constraints, dictating expression based on what Freud described as the ‘pleasure principle’ – avoiding pain and pursuing satisfaction whereas the superego is the polar opposite, seeking perfection in the eyes of society and moral obligation (Sletvold, 2013). The ego can be described as the voice of reason, acting as somewhat of a mediator for these two dimensions, aiming to satisfy the desires of the Id in means that are deemed acceptable and beneficial to the superegos social preoccupation (Liang, 2011). Freud believed that the theory of social behaviour was a reflection of the continuous engagement and conflict between the id’s unconscious biological impulses, the superego’s influence from the social world and how the ego balanced and fulfilled the desires from each of these drives (Freud, 1923). From

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