Human Personality is a complex combination of wide ranging emotions and traits.The development of human being is lifelong and hence personality development too is lifelong.Thus the personality of human beings is neither static nor simple to understand.Various Psychologists have come up with their own theories to explain Personalities ranging from Humanistic to Cognitive perspectives.
Sigmund Freud is considered as the father of psychology and he proposed the controversial Freudian Psychoanalytic Theory of personality.The analysis is accepted and criticized with the same fervour. So lets look deep into Freudian Personality Analysis.
According to Sigmund Freud, human personality is complex and has more than a single component. According to Freud,Childhood traumas play a major role in personality development.In his famous psychoanalytic theory, Freud states that personality is composed of three elements known as the id, the ego, and the superego. These elements work together to create complex human behaviors.Each component adds its own unique contribution to personality and the three interact in ways that have a powerful influence on an individual. Each element of personality emerges at different points in life.
1.ID:The id is driven by the pleasure principle, which strives for immediate gratification of all desires, wants, and needs. If these needs are not satisfied immediately, the result is a state anxiety or tension. For example, an increase in hunger should produce an immediate attempt to eat .It is the unconscious aspect of thinking.
2.EGO:The ego operates based on the reality principle, which strives to satisfy the id’s desires in realistic and socially appropriate ways. The reality principle weighs the costs and benefits of an action before deciding to act upon or abandon impulses.In many cases, the id’s impulses can be satisfied through a process of delayed gratification—the ego will eventually allow the behavior, but only in the appropriate time and place.
3.SUPEREGO:The superego has two parts: The conscience which includes information about things that are viewed as bad by parents and society. These behaviors are often forbidden and lead to bad consequences, punishments, or feelings of guilt and remorse And the Second Part,The Ego ideal which includes the rules and standards for behaviors that the ego aspires to.Basically The superego tries to perfect and civilize our behavior. It works to suppress all unacceptable urges of the id and struggles to make the ego act upon idealistic standards rather that upon realistic principles. The superego is present in the conscious, pre conscious, and unconscious.
So,According to Freud, the key to a healthy personality is a balance between the id, the ego, and the superego.If the ego is able to adequately moderate between the demands of reality, the id, and the superego, a healthy and well-adjusted personality emerges. Freud believed that an imbalance would lead to a maladaptive personality.
Freud basically studies the interaction between Id,Ego and Super Ego using five Psychosexual stages of development where in the individual’s personality develops in a particular stage only if there is a balance between the three elements.The Freudian Psychosexual Stages of Development are as follows:
- Oral (0 – 2years of age): Fixation on all things oral. If not satisfactorily met there is the likelihood of developing negative oral habits or behaviors.
- Anal (2 to 3 years of age): As indicated this stage is primarily related to developing healthy toilet training habits.
- Phallic (3 – 5 year of age): The development of healthy substitutes for the sexual attraction boys and girls have toward a parent of the opposite gender.
- Latency (5 – 12 years of age): The development of healthy dormant sexual feelings for the opposite sex.
- Genital (12 – adulthood): All tasks from the previous four stages are integrated into the mind allowing for the onset of healthy sexual feelings and behaviors.
Thus due to the sexualization of Personality Theory,Freud was highly criticized.Some Neo Freudians like Erikson and Adler came up with new and more realistic personality theories.This does not apply to everyone.It is just one of the way of studying the personality of a human being.