Description 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 https://youtu.be/y_KztSDMNus 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. POST History of Psychology Week 5 LessonIn Week 6, we learn about Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis, along with other theorists including Kelly, Mischel, and Bandura.Psychoanalytic Theory of PersonalitySigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic perspective of personality was the first comprehensive theory of personality. According to the psychoanalytic perspective, personality is formed through our early experiences in childhood. The psychoanalytic perspective of personality proposed by Freud and his followers was the dominant theory of personality for the first half of the 20th century. Other major theories then emerged in reaction to the psychodynamic perspective including the trait perspective, biological, behaviorist and social learning perspectives.Sigmund Freud is probably the most controversial and misunderstood psychological theorist. Freud said that we develop in a serious of stages during childhood. He believed that each of us must pass through these childhood stages and if we do not have the proper nurturance and parenting during a stage, we will forever be stuck, or fixated, in that stage. Freud’s stages are called the psychosexual stages of development. In each stage, he said that children’s pleasure-seeking urges of the id are focused on specific areas of the body called erogenous zones. His stages are: the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, the latency stage and the genital stage. Most of Freud’s theory was based on his own personal recollections and interpretations of his dreams. He also considered the experiences of his patients, who were mainly women, suffering from what he referred to as hysteria (Malone, 2009). Hysteria was a common diagnosis in the Victorian era. Today, hysteria manifests as somatoform disorders, physical symptoms with no underlying medical cause. To understand the development of the theory, you must be familiar with the political, social and cultural influences of Freud’s day in turn of the century Vienna.During this time, a patriarchal society (everything passed down from father to son) and a climate of sexual repression combined with limited insight and education on human sexuality heavily influenced Freud’s perspective. Given that sex was such a taboo topic, Freud assumed neuroticism stemmed from suppression of unconscious sexual and aggressive urges. Through a long period of self-analysis, he came to the realization that he had childhood sexual feelings for his mother and felt angry and hostile towards his father. For Freud, his own recollections and interpretations of patients’ experiences and dreams were sufficient proof that his theory of psychosexual stages were universal events in early childhood. Freud gathered information from personal experience and observations of his patients. How did this affect the perception of psychoanalysis as being scientific? In reflecting on Sigmund Freud’s legacy, Drew Westen (1998) begins, “Freud, like Elvis, has been dead for a number of years but continues to be cited with some regularity. . . the majority of clinicians report that they rely to some degree upon psychodynamic principles” (p. 333). Westen argues that contemporary psychoanalysts and psychodynamic theorists no longer write about ids and egos or view psychotherapy as the search for lost memories. One of Freud’s most enduring contributions to our modern understanding of human personality is that much of mental life—thoughts, feelings, and motives—is unconscious. This means that people show behavior patterns and develop symptoms that are inexplicable to themselves.For more information on Sigmund Freud visit the Sigmund Freud Museum in Austria.http://www.freud-museum.at/en/Person as ProcessorCognitive psychology seeks to understand our mental processes: how we think, how we use language, how our memory system works, how we perceive information and how we solve problems. Within this field, there are several areas of research. One is the idea of a person as processor that comes from the notion of using the computer as a model for how our minds work. This field is called information processing. How might our brain and a computer share some complex information-processing operations?For Walter Mischel (1993), people are situation processors, and we construct meaning. His approach to personality stresses the importance of both the situation and the way the person perceives the situation. It views the person and situation as blended into a single processing system. According to Mischel and Shoda (1995), “The cognitive-affective processing system (CAPS) theory provides a comprehensive unifying view that accounts for both the variability in the behavioral expressions of personality and the stability in the personality system that generates them” (p. 262).One of Mischel’s most notable contributions to psychology include his ideas on self-regulation (Malone, 2009). Self-regulation is the process of identifying a goal or set of goals and, in pursuing these goals, using both internal (e.g., thoughts and affect) and external (e.g., responses of anything or anyone in the environment) feedback to maximize goal attainment. Self-regulation is also known as will power. Would you be able to resist getting a small reward now in order to get a larger reward later? This is the question Mischel investigated in his now classic marshmallow test. https://youtu.be/Yo4WF3cSd9QSocial-Cognitive TheoryLike Mischel, Bandura believed that situational attributes and how we perceive them are important to our understanding of personality. He presented a social-cognitive theory that emphasizes both cognition and learning as sources of individual differences in behavior. His theory combines components of the behavioral and cognitive approaches (Malone, 2009). In social cognitive theory, the concepts of reciprocal determinism, observational learning, and social experiences contribute to psychological development.Bandura suggested that we need to understand the person’s behavior, thoughts, and the context in which their behavior occurs in order to understand the person(Malone, 2009). All three of these factors are caused by and cause each other, which is known as reciprocal determinism. Bandura’s consideration of a person’s internal cognitive process and environmental context is more progressive than psychodynamic and behavioral perspectives, which had more limited views on human behavior.Recall that Bandura also emphasized how we learn from watching others. He felt that this type of learning is important in the development of our behaviors, development, and personality. Social learning theory can trace its roots back to Plato and Aristotle who believed students learn from teachers who are their models and that humans are hard-wired to imitate. Yet for Bandura, observational learning involves much more than imitation. Imitation is when a person simply copies what the model does. Observational learning is much more complex.According to Lefrancois (2012) there are several ways observational learning can occur: (1) You can learn a new response. After watching your co-worker get chewed out by your boss for coming in late, you start leaving home 10 minutes earlier so you won’t ever be late. (2) You may or may not imitate the model depending on what you saw happen to the model. (3) You may learn a general rule you can apply to other situations.An important part of observational learning involves modeling. A person who performs a behavior that serves as an example is called a model, and there are three kinds of models that Bandura identified. The first is a live model who demonstrates a behavior in front of a person. For example, think of one of the coaches for your daughter/son’s soccer team. At practice, the coach will demonstrate a drill before having the players try it.The second is a verbal instructional model. This model does not perform the behavior, instead this model explains or describes the behavior. For instance the coach will tell his young players to kick the ball with the bottom of their foot and not their toe. The third kind of model is a symbolic model. Symbolic models can be either real people or fictional characters that demonstrate behaviors in books, movies, television shows, video games, or via Internet sources. Coaches will watch soccer matches with their players when they come on TV. The coach will point to players and tell his players to watch their footwork, etc.However, modeling doesn’t simply occur. There are specific steps in the process of modeling that must be followed if learning is to be successful: attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation (Malone, 2009). First, you must be focused on what the model is doing, in other words, you have to pay attention. Those young soccer players who are talking or picking at the grass will not be able to model the skill their coach is demonstrating because they’re not watching him. Next, you must be able to retain, or remember what you observed. This is retention. Then, you have to perform the behavior that you have observed and committed to memory. This is reproduction. Finally, you must have motivation. You need to have the desire to want to copy the behavior. Whether or not you are motivated depends on what happened to the model.If you saw that the model was reinforced for her behavior, you would be more motivated to copy her. This is known as vicarious reinforcement. On the other hand, if you observed the model being punished, you would be less motivated to copy her. This is called vicarious punishment. Think again of the coach who is constantly offering words of encouragement and praise, high five’s and fist bumps, even when the kids do not get the skill correct. Imagine what would happen to their motivation each time they made a mistake if he yelled at them instead.Bandura researched the issue of modeling behavior, particularly if children model adults’ aggressive and violent behaviors (Bandura, Ross, & Ross, 1961). His classic experiment commonly known as the Bobo doll study is presented here. What are the implications of this study? Bandura concluded that we watch and learn, and that this learning can have both prosocial and antisocial effects. Prosocial (positive) models can be used to encourage socially acceptable behavior. If a parent wants his/her children to read, then Bandura would suggest reading to them, having them observe you reading, keeping books in the home, or talking about your favorite books. If you want your children to be healthy, then let them see you eat right and exercise, and spend time engaging in physical fitness activities together. The same holds true for things like kindness, courteousness, and honesty. The big idea here is that children observe and learn from their parents, even their parents’ morals, so be consistent and toss out the old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do” because in the face of such hypocrisy children tend to copy what you do instead of what you say. Besides parents, many public figures are also viewed as prosocial models that have been able to inspire global social change. Some of the most well-known are Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi. Can you think of someone who has been a prosocial model in your life?The antisocial effects of observation learning are also worth mentioning. This has been observed in family evaluations for Georgia’s Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) and other states alike. When a child entered the foster care system due to abuse and/or neglect, part of the evaluation included the family members. This included extended family such as aunts and uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc. in an effort to get as complete a picture of the family and its challenges as possible. Quite often, one will find that these families had a significant history of involvement with DFCS, with problems such as child abuse, substance abuse, and criminality spanning generations.Children who grow up in these environments observed and imitated their parents’ behavior. Research suggests this may explain why abused children often grow up to be abusers themselves (Murrell, Christoff, & Henning, 2007). In fact about 30% of abused children become abusive parents (U. S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2013). Abused children grow up witnessing their parents deal with anger and frustration through violent and aggressive acts. These children learn this way of dealing with situations that make you feel angry or frustrated. Violent television shows, movies, and video games may have antisocial effects. Studies demonstrate a link between viewing violence and aggression in children (Anderson & Gentile, 2008; Kirsch, 2010; Miller et al., 2012). By the time a child graduates from high school, he or she will have been exposed to around 200,000 violent acts including murder, robbery, torture, bombings, beatings, and rape through various forms of media (Huston, Donnerstein, Fairchild, et al., 1992). Not only does viewing media violence increase aggressive behavior by teaching people how to act that way in real life situations, it has also been suggested that repeated exposure to violent acts also desensitizes people to it. People are less likely to have negative reactions to the violence they witness in the media and in real life, and are more likely to participate in it (Funk, 2005; Rule & Ferguson, 1986).Bandura also proposed self-efficacy, one’s level of confidence in one’s own abilities (Malone, 2009). Self-efficacy affects how you approach challenges and reach your goals. People who have high self-efficacy view goals as achievable; have a positive view of challenges, seeing them as tasks to be mastered; develop a deep interest in and strong commitment to the activities they are involved in; and quickly recover from setbacks.Conversely, people with low self-efficacy avoid challenging tasks because they doubt their abilities to be successful; tend to focus on failure and negative outcomes; and lose confidence in their abilities if they experience setbacks. Feelings of self-efficacy can be specific to certain situations. Can you think of situations in which you have high and low levels of self-efficacy? Self-efficacy develops in early childhood as we encounter various tasks and experiences, and continues throughout our lifetime. As we conclude this week’s guidance consider this: How does Bandura’s concept of self-efficacy relate to Rotter’s ideas about learned helplessness?ReferencesAnderson, C. A., & Gentile, D. A. (2008). Media violence, aggression, and public policy. In E. Borgida & S. Fiskes (Eds.), 2008. Beyond Common Sense. Psychological Science in the Courtroom (pp. 281-300). Malden, MA: Blackwell.Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S. A. (1961). Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63, 575-582.Funk, J. B. (2005). Children’s exposure to violent video games and desensitization to violence. Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 14(3), 387-404. doi:10.1016/j.chc.2005.02.009Huston, A. C., Donnerstein, E., Fairchild, H. et al. (1992). Big world, small screen: The role of television in American society. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.Kirsch, S. J. (2010). Children, adolescents and media violence: A critical look at the research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Kpharden. (2012, Feb 22). Albert Bandura Bobo doll. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/Z0iWpSNu3NULefrancois, G. R. (2012). Theories of human learning: What the professors said (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning/Wadsworth.Malone, J. (2009). Psychology : Pythagoras to Present. MIT Press, Cambridge: MA. Miller, L. E., Grabell, A., Thomas, A., Bermann, E., & Graham-Bermann, S. A. (2012). The associations between community violence, television violence, intimate partner violence, parent-child aggression, and aggression in sibling relationships in a sample of preschoolers. Psychology of Violence, 2, 165–178. doi: 10.1037/a0027254Mischel, W. (1993). Introduction to personality (5th ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace JovanovichMischel, W., & Shoda, Y. (1995). A cognitive-affective system theory of personality: Reconceptualizing situations, dispositions, dynamics, and invariance in personality structure. Psychological Review, 102(2), 246-268.Murrell, A. R., Christoff, K. A., & Henning, K. R. (2007). Characteristics of domestic violence offenders:Associations with childhood exposure to violence. Journal of Family Violence, 22, 523-532. DOI 10.1007/s10896-007-9100-4Rule, B. G., & Ferguson, T. J. (1986). The effects of media violence on attitudes, emotions, and cognitions. Journal of Social Issues, 42(3), 29-50.U. S. Department of Health & Human Services (2013). Long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect. Child Welfare Information Gateway. Washington, D.C.: Author. Retrieved from http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/long_t…Westen, D. (1998). The scientific legacy of Sigmund Freud: Toward a psychodynamically informed psychological science. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 333–371.
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