Unit Four: Psychological Development. Marshall High School Mr. Cline Psychology Unit Four AC

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1 Unit Four: Psychological Development Marshall High School Mr. Cline Psychology Unit Four AC

2 The Ego Now, what the ego does is pretty related to the id and the superego. The id and the superego as you can imagine are always kind of fighting.

3 They are the proverbial angel and devil on your shoulders. The id is trying to get you to do things like eat cake and not go jogging and the superego is basically trying to get you to be a good person; It's trying to get you to be an upstanding citizen. What the ego does is it basically mediates between the two. The ego is a mediator between these two parts of your personality that are always going to be fighting with each other. Now, the ego is really the only one of these three that's kind of fully conscious, so you're aware. What you think of as 'you' is what Freud would call your ego.

4 And the ego operates on something that's called the reality principle. What the reality principle basically means is that you are taking these unconscious drives - you're taking your id's desire to eat cake and your superego's desire to make you not be a horrible person and you're interpreting that and making those into real actions. So, like I said before, what the superego would make you do... it would make you apologize to your roommate. What's really making you write that note is your ego; your ego is taking the input of guilt... so the ego is basically taking bad action, which is what the id did plus guilt and it's coming up with a solution; it's coming up with an action, which is to write a note.

5 Internal Conflict Interaction So that's basically how the id, the ego and the superego interact with each other in Freud's theory. Now, I said before that while it's kind of outdated, it's actually really important to the way that we think about ourselves. And the sense in which that's true is that they're really not sections of your brain that are these things. You can't look at your brain and see that when you make impulsive decisions that part lights up, and when you're mediating this part lights up, and when you feel guilty this part lights up. That's not what's going on. But what does happen is that we really do think of our internal conflicts and work out problems. In terms of the impulsive part, the guilty, judgmental, I know what's the right and wrong part and the part in the middle that has to deal with that.

6 Internal Conflict Interaction And one way that we see this - that it's really seeped into our culture is that a lot of books and movies have basically character trios that do this, as an example just take Harry Potter. You know you've got Harry and you've got Ron and you've got Hermione for the two people out there who haven't read the books or seen the movies, and Ron is kind of hotheaded, kind of emotional - he's sort of an id figure; he doesn't really do that well in school, he doesn't think that much. Hermione, she thinks way too much. She always knows what to do; she's definitely the superego. And then Harry is basically the mediator between Ron and Hermione, and they literally... they fight, they fight a lot in the books; and Harry plays the mediator role quite often and tries to come up with an action - a realistic action that's the reality principle.

7 Internal Conflict Interaction And we see this over and over again in narrative and it's because it's really sort of a productive way of thinking about how we work things out. Now let s broach the subject of Freudian defense mechanisms and this is basically what Freud thought that you do when you're faced with stress. He thought that stress and anxiety are basically caused by your three parts of your personality fighting with each other. He thought that your id has lots of impulses and things it wants to do, it's kind of childish, it doesn't really have self control. Your superego is all self control so it's always limiting what the id wants to do, And your ego is the conscious part of you that has to deal with this conflict.

8 What Freud thought is when this anxiety gets out of hand, your ego starts to feel like it's under attack and so it tries to do one of these defense mechanisms to protect itself from having to deal with too much stress. It's important to know that these are actually unconscious, so these are different than a coping strategy, which is something you decide to do to deal with stress. A defense mechanism is something that you're doing without really thinking about it to manage the conflict between your three parts of your personality. So as an example, if your id is telling you that you're attracted to your nerdy best friend, your superego might tell you that World of Warcraft paladins aren't really boyfriend material and this would cause anxiety. So what you might do to deal with this stress that you're feeling, because you're attracted to someone inappropriate, is you tell your friends that you're worried that your best friend is attracted to you. Now, you can see this is a little weird, right?

9 You're the one who's attracted to him, you have no idea if he's attracted to you, but what you're doing is you're projecting what you feel onto him, and that's one of Freud's defense mechanisms called projection, where you basically take your unacceptable desire and you project it onto somebody else. And that's a way to sort of deal with the stress that's caused by wanting something that society tells you you shouldn't have. There are a bunch of these defense mechanisms. There's not just a couple. And some were originally developed by Freud, like projection, and others were actually added much later to the model, including ones added by a psychologist named George Vaillant. Not only did he add a bunch, but he actually classified them into levels - healthy ones, ones that are prone to being overused, etc. His four levels of defense mechanisms were ones that were pathological, or possibly related to a mental illness.

10 And these are kind of like it sounds like - if you mostly use these ones, that's bad; you're distancing yourself from reality so much that you probably are going to seem a little bit irrational or even insane to other people around you. He also classified some as immature. These are ones that are prevalent in mainly younger people, adolescents. If you use them too much, you maybe unable to cope so effectively with reality, and people who are depressed or have personality disorders tend to use these as well. Then he had a level of neurotic ones, which are actually pretty common. They're semi-effective in the short term, they might get you to feel a little better, but they're really not that effective in the long term and they also can cause problems if you use them too much.

11 Again, these are pretty common, a lot of adults do use neurotic defense mechanisms. And then there are the mature ones. These are obviously the good ones. They're healthy, they help you solve problems, and you integrate the conflicting impulses and everything is great. So to understand this a little bit, we can take a look at a couple defense mechanisms that are in each of these levels to really get a sense of what the levels mean and really what a defense mechanism does. So as an example of the pathological one, you have denial, which is really what it sounds like. Something happens to you and you're saying that it doesn't, it just didn't happen.

12 So if you failed a math test and you're really upset by it - this is maybe creating a conflict with your sense of self as being good at math - if you just told people that you did fine, that you didn't fail, that would be a real refusal to accept reality, and that's denial. It's pathological because you're totally disconnecting yourself of what actually happened. You're not interacting with reality if you use this defense mechanism and that can lead to some serious problems. The next one would be an example of an immature one, and that's actually what we were talking about before with projection with your nerdy friend and World of Warcraft and all that; that's an immature one because your kind of dealing with it, but again, you're getting away from reality a little bit because you're saying that he has a crush on you, which isn't...you have no idea. He might, but you don't know. So it's not quite as far from reality as just refusing to acknowledge that the situation exists (like with the math test) but it's still not...you're not quite there.

13 Another one - this is one of the ones that was added later, this isn't an original one of Freud's is passive aggression. That's another immature one. You're upset with your roommate, let's say, you made a cake and she ate it. So you might forget to pick her up from work like you promised, but you really didn't forget, you just didn't do it. This is bad because you're expressing anger but you're not doing it in a way that's tied to anything that she can understand. You're not really dealing with the situation, you're just acting out. Another level would be the neurotic ones. This is actually where a lot of Freud's original defense mechanisms were classed, and a classic one is displacement.

14 If you were playing on a soccer team and your coach benches you and then you yell at everyone around you; you're really mad at your coach but you're taking it out on other people. That's displacement. You're displacing the anger you feel onto somebody else. It helps you deal with the anger but it's not really that productive. Another one is repression. To take it back to your World of Warcraft crush again, if instead you dealt with it by refusing to think about him and avoiding him, that would be repression because you're basically not acknowledging the way that you feel at all, which is not as bad as denying that it exists, but it's still not that healthy. Then we get to the last level, which is the mature ones.

15 These are the ones that are good, these actually help you usually. One of them is sublimation. Another one is humor. If you're a writer and you wrote a novel, you worked really hard on it, and it got rejected by everyone, that would be pretty depressing. But if when that happens you turn your disappointment and your sadness about it into work ethic; you decide to work really hard at fixing the book and making it the best you can, that would be a really healthy way to deal with it, and that's what sublimation is. It's turning negative emotions into real positive actions: making your book better because you were sad about it being rejected.

16 You lose your job and then you joke about it with your friends. That's a way of expressing bad feelings but in a way that's easier to deal with. You're not denying it, but you're expressing it in a healthy way. So that's basically an overview of a lot of defense mechanisms and then classified into those levels of basically 'are they healthy, or not?' in descending order from pathological to immature, to neurotic, to mature. And this is, again, to deal with anxiety that results from - at least how Freud theorized - your id, your ego and your superego fighting with each other. That causes stress, and you use these mechanisms, these unconscious ways, to deal with that stress in varying effectiveness. So, we're going to talk about Freud's stages of psychosexual development

17 Psychosexual is kind of a big word, but all it really means is that Freud thinks that personality develops through stages that have to do with one's sexuality. Basically, this is a way of explaining personality and it rests on the idea that you go through phases - as an infant through to childhood and then the final stage is adulthood - in which you're basically fixated on certain body parts. Instinctual Libido What Freud thought, which is a little funky, is that humans basically have what he called an instinctual libido. Libido is probably a familiar word that basically means sex drive. But the weird thing about Freud's theory is that he basically thought that infants, from birth, have a sex drive; we have an instinctual libido. In the beginning, there's some form of sexual drive that is present and it's key to developing personality.

18 Stage 1 - Oral Stage And he thought that this libido developed in stages - these are the psychosexual stages - and they develop through you focusing on different body parts. What he thought was that if anxiety or trauma occurred during one of the stages, then what you're going to have when you're an adult later on in life is a characteristic set of problems, neuroses, anxieties, that have to do with development being interrupted at that stage at that particular body part. So yes, it's weird. I hope you're with me. Now we're just going to go through these stages and talk them through. The first one is the oral stage. This is from when you're born to when you're two years old.

19 If you think about it, it makes a little sense that oral would be the first one; babies like to chew on things, they like to suck on things, so it makes a certain amount of sense that Freud would go there. The life is really dominated by breast feeding, initially, for babies. An important part about this stage is that the baby is pretty much entirely id driven at this point. It's not thinking, it's doing things instinctually. It has certain wants and desires that are pretty simplistic. It goes about and it does them. What Freud thought this had to do with personality is that when babies are weaned - when they're not allowed to breast feed anymore - the baby learns the principle of delayed gratification.

20 This is super important because you can't just go over to the bathroom whenever you want in life, you can't just eat whenever you want; this is a pretty key concept to being a functioning adult and not just doing what you want all the time. What Freud thought was that if the parents were too indulgent in this stage or didn't enforce this well enough, the kid might resist growing up. He wouldn't develop this sense in a proper way. If parents were basically too delayed with their gratification, the kid would basically grow up being manipulative of others. That was the way that Freud thought the whole breast feeding id development in the oral stage went. This is when this entered our language: people who are stuck at the oral stage, Freud called having an 'oral fixation'.

21 The basic theory about the oral stage that Freud has is that if people are interrupted at this stage, they'll actually do things like smoke and eat too much. That's sort of having an oral fixation. This has actually entered our vocabulary. It's actually the title of a Shakira album. Stage 2 - Anal Stage The next stage is what Freud called the anal stage. About 15 months to three years is considered the general anal stage range. And as one might expect from the title the key experience here (remember the key experience from the oral stage was breast feeding) is toilet training.

22 What this does is, as you can imagine, it continues the development of delayed gratification because, like I said, you can't just go running off to the bathroom whenever you want. That's not cool. In this stage, basically, the ego starts to develop. It starts to reign in the id. The ego is always dealing with having you interact with reality, so the ego starts to reign the id a little bit; not as much as the super-ego will later, but it works on it a little bit. And what's basically going on during toilet training is that parents are trying to teach the kid to be clean, but they need to do this in a way that the ego can grow up properly. So if they are way too demanding, if they are not understanding that toilet training is hard (I can't quite remember that, but I'm sure it was), if they're not understanding of that, the kid is going to grow up really obsessed with order.

23 This is what Freud thought. These are actually people that we describe - this is another one that of those ones that has gotten into our language - as 'anal compulsive'. If you've ever described someone as anal because they have their action figures all in a row and they're color coordinated, that's what you're basically saying, is that they are too obsessed with order, and what Freud would think is that their parents didn't toilet train them properly. They were too demanding. But if the parents aren't demanding enough, predictably, the kid is going to grow up to be a total mess. This is one that hasn't really gotten into our language so much - Freud's term for this was 'anal expulsive'.

24 You don't really go around calling people that, but what it basically means is you've probably had a roommate like this that is just a mess, they leave their stuff everywhere, and Freud thought that kind of personality type was related to parents who weren't demanding enough of their kids during toilet training.

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