Sigmund Freud (1856-1934) Vienna,Austria founder of the Psychoanalytic Approach, which emphasizes the unconscious aspects of the mind, conflict between biological instincts and societyís demands, and early childhood experiences. Freud was intrigued by the abnormal aspects of the mind, he believed the key to understanding the mind and behavior rested in the unconscious mind. He compared the human mind to an iceberg, the conscious mind was only the tip of the iceberg, the portion above water. The unconscious was the huge bulk of the iceberg, the portion under water. As if we were unaware of the things that mold our behavior and personality.(1917) Freud believed the unlearned biological instincts influenced the way people think, feel, and behave,( especially sexual and aggressive impulses conflicting with societyís demands) were the chief environmental contributions to our personality.






According to Freud personality has three structures the id, ego, and super ego.


ID is the structure of personality that consists of instincts, which are individuals reservoir of psychic energy. The ID is completely unconscious ( the part of the iceberg under water ). It has no contact with reality, it works according to the pleasure principle, which is a Freudian concept that the ID always seeks pleasure and avoids pain.



EGO the structure of personality which deals with the demands of reality. According to Freud the EGO abides by the reality principle, which tries to bring the individuals pleasure within the norms of society.



SUPER EGOThe ID and EGO has no morality, they do not consider what is wrong or right. The SUPER EGO is the structure of personality that is the moral branch of personality





Freud has a defense mechanism, which is when the ego calls on a number of strategies to resolve the conflict between the demand for reality, wishes of the id, and constraints of the super ego which includeÖ..


REPRESSION ( The master defense mechanism )

The ego pushes unacceptable impulses out of awareness and back into the unconscious mind

Example. A young girl was sexually abused by her uncle. As an adult she canít remember anything about the traumatic experience.



The ego replaces less acceptable motives with more acceptable ones.

Example. A college student does not get into the fraternity of his choice. He says if he would have tried harder he could have gotten in.



The ego shifts unacceptable feelings from one object to another.

Example. A woman canít take her anger out on her boss so she goes home to take it out on her husband.



The ego replaces unacceptable impulses with socially acceptable ones.

Example. A man with strong sexual urges becomes an artist who paints nudes.



The ego attributes personal shortcomings, faults, and problems to others.

Example. A man who has a strong sexual desire to have an extramarital affair accuses his wife of flirting with other men.



The ego transforms an unacceptable motives to itís opposite.

Example. A woman who fears her sexual urges becomes a religious zealot.



The ego refuses to acknowledge anxietyís producing realities.

Example. A man wonít acknowledge that he has cancer even though a team of doctors has diagnosed his cancer.



The ego seeks security from an earlier development period in the face of stress.

Example. A woman returns home to her mother every time she and her husband have a big argument.










Development during the first 18 months of life where infantís pleasures centers around the mouth. Chewing, sucking, and biting are chief sources of pleasure that reduce tension.



Development occurring between 1 1\2 and 3 years of age, where childrenís favorite pleasures involve the anus or eliminative functions associated with it. Freud views anal exercise as reducing tension.



Development between 3 and 6 years of age. Pleasure focuses on the genitals as children discover self stimulation is enjoyable. According to Freud this stage triggers the Oedipus Complex, which is the childís desire to replace the parent of the same sex and enjoy the affections of the parent of the opposite sex. Girls experience the Electra Complex, which is when the girl realizes she has no penis, which produces penis envy. Freud believes this issue is never resolved, but dissipates over time as she relates to her mother and adapts to her feminine side.



Development between 6 years of age and puberty, when children repress all interest in sexuality and develop social and intellectual skills. this activity channels much of the childís energy to emotionally safe areas and aids the children in forgetting the highly stressful conflicts of the Phallic Stage.



The final stage of development from puberty on. A time of sexual reawakening. The source of sexual pleasure becomes someone outside the family. Freud believes the unresolved conflict with parents reemerge during adolescence. Once resolved the individual would become capable of developing a mature love relationship and functioning differently with adults.



The psychoanalytic defense mechanism that occurs when individuals remain locked in an earlier stage of development from over or under gratification.











Freud believed (1900) the reason why we dream is Wish Fulfillment, which is an unconscious attempt to fulfill needs(especially sex and aggression)that canít be expressed or go ungratified during waking hours. He also stressed that dreams often contain memories of infancy and childhood experiences, especially events associated with parents. In this view many of our dreams reflect combinations of distant early experiences with our parents and more recent daily events. Freud believed dream interpretation is difficult because we disguise Wish Fulfillment when we dream.(Wish Fulfillment reflects hopes and fears.


Freud distinguished between a dreams Manifest Content and Latent Content.


Manifest Content is the dreamís surface content, which contain dream symbols that distort and disguise the dreams true meaning


Latent Content is the dreamís hidden content, itís unconscious meaning.





Freud believed was a turning inwards of aggression instincts. He theorized that a childís early attachment to an object, usually the mother, contains a mixture of love and hate. When a child looses the object or their dependency needs are frustrated feelings of loss coexist with anger. The experience is turned inward and experienced as depression.