Term papers writing service


An introduction to the main features and functions of the superego according to freud

What is the id?

Click here for more information on defense mechanisms. In many cases, the result was some form of neurotic illness. Freud sought to understand the nature and variety of these illnesses by retracing the sexual history of his patients. This was not primarily an investigation of sexual experiences as such.

Freud believed that children are born with a libido — a sexual pleasure urge. This particular theory shows how adult personality is determined by childhood experiences. Dream Analysis Dream Analysis Freud 1900 considered dreams to be the royal road to the unconscious as it is in dreams that the ego's defenses are lowered so that some of the repressed material comes through to awareness, albeit in distorted form. Dreams perform important functions for the unconscious mind and serve as valuable clues to how the unconscious mind operates.

On 24 July 1895, Freud had his own dream that was to form the basis of his theory. He had been worried about a patient, Irma, who was not doing as well in treatment as he had hoped. Freud, in fact, blamed himself for this, and was feeling guilty.

Freud dreamed that he met Irma at a party and examined her. He then saw a chemical formula for a drug that another doctor had given Irma flash before his eyes and realized that her condition was caused by a dirty syringe used by the other doctor. Freud's guilt was thus relieved. Freud interpreted this dream as wish-fulfillment. He had wished that Irma's poor condition was not his fault and the dream had fulfilled this wish by informing him that another doctor was at fault.

Based on this dream, Freud 1900 went on to propose that a major function of dreams was the fulfillment of wishes. Freud distinguished between the manifest content of a dream what the dreamer remembers and the latent content, the symbolic meaning of the dream i. The manifest content is often based on the events of the day. The process whereby the underlying wish is translated into the manifest content is called dreamwork. The purpose of dreamwork is to transform the forbidden wish into a non-threatening form, thus reducing anxiety and allowing us to continue sleeping.

Freud's psychoanalytic theories

Dreamwork involves the process of condensation, displacement, and secondary elaboration. For example, a dream about a man may be a dream about both one's father and one's lover.

A dream about a house might be the condensation of worries about security as well as worries about one's appearance to the rest of the world.

Displacement takes place when we transform the person or object we are really concerned about to someone else. Freud interpreted this as representing his wish to kill his sister-in-law. If the patient would have really dreamed of killing his sister-in-law, he would have felt guilty.

Id, Ego and Superego

The unconscious mind transformed her into a dog to protect him. Secondary elaboration occurs when the unconscious mind strings together wish-fulfilling images in a logical order of events, further obscuring the latent content. According to Freud, this is why the manifest content of dreams can be in the form of believable events. Some of these were sexual in nature, including poles, guns, and swords representing the penis and horse riding and dancing representing sexual intercourse.

However, Freud was cautious about symbols and stated that general symbols are more personal rather than universal. In an amusing example of the limitations of universal symbols, one of Freud's patients, after dreaming about holding a wriggling fish, said to him 'that's a Freudian symbol - it must be a penis!

It seems more plausible, as Freud suggested, that the fish represented the patient's mother rather than a penis! Freud's Followers Freud's Followers Freud attracted many followers, who formed a famous group in 1902 called the "Psychological Wednesday Society. At the beginning of 1908, the committee had 22 members and renamed themselves the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. Freud's theory is good at explaining but not at predicting behavior which is one of the goals of science.

For this reason, Freud's theory is unfalsifiable - it can neither be proved true or refuted.

For example, the unconscious mind is difficult to test and measure objectively. Overall, Freud's theory is highly unscientific. Such empirical findings have demonstrated the role of unconscious processes in human behavior. However, most of the evidence for Freud's theories are taken from an unrepresentative sample. He mostly studied himself, his patients and only one child e.

The main problem here is that the case studies are based on studying one person in detail, and with reference to Freud, the individuals in question are most often middle-aged women from Vienna i. This makes generalizations to the wider population e. However, Freud thought this unimportant, believing in only a qualitative difference between people. Freud may also have shown research bias in his interpretations - he may have only paid attention to information which supported his theories, and ignored information and other explanations that did not fit them.

The unbearable automaticity of being. American psychologist, 54 7462. Testing the theories and therapy.

The neuro-psychoses of defence. Further remarks on the neuro-psychoses of defence. The interpretation of dreams. Beyond the pleasure principle. The ego and the id. Standard edition, 19, 235-239. The resistances to psycho-analysis.

The Ego and the Id and other works pp. Psychological review, 102 14. Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions.

  1. The id is not affected by reality, logic or the everyday world, as it operates within the unconscious part of the mind. Ideally, the ego works by reason, whereas the id is chaotic and unreasonable.
  2. Greenberg 1986 believes that Freud's case studies do not place enough stress on revealing the outcome of the treatment and that Freud's aim was more to illustrate his theoretical points p. Psychoanalysis enlightened health professionals about many aspects of the human mind and its inner workings, phenomena that had previously been inexplicable.
  3. The Ego Ideal provides rules for good behaviour, and standards of excellence towards which the Ego must strive.

Journal of experimental psychology, 18 6643. Episodic and semantic memory. How to reference this article: What are the most interesting ideas of Sigmund Freud?.