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Essay/Term paper: Psychology theories

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Psychology

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Sigmund Freud is one of the most famous psychologists to
ever hit the study of psychology. His name alone
symbolizes the importance of his theories, and the name
that comes to most people's heads when saying the word
psychology is Sigmund Freud. Freud was a psychodynamic
psychologist and came from the conservative point of view
which states that man is bad and society is good, which I
do not agree with 100% because not all man's actions are
necessarily bad and with bad intentions.
Freud was a real pessimist when it came to human nature.
He identifies man's weaknesses in saying that man is a
biological creature with biological drives. He reflected these
ideas off of Darwin's original ideas. I do agree with this
theory because man's drives are survival and
self-preservation. Freud also stated that mankind's
aggression helps him to survive, he says that man has an
innate sense of survival. I also agree with this theory
because aggression and dominance guarantees our survival.
He also believed that over the many thousands of years that
man has been alive man developed rational thought. Freud
stated that people do not have to live like animals because
overtime we developed a society that has rules and
regulations in order to keep our animal nature in check. I
agree with Freud on this because of many cases when a
person has some bad intentions in mind but let's them go
when they know the consequences.
Another thing Freud said was the idea of Opposing
Instincts which when comes to mind creates conflict. The
first of the two opposing instincts is the Eros, which is the
life instinct, which also ensures the organisms life. The ID
presses us to survive and pushes us to produce. The Eros
seeks pleasure and then we rationalize it. Next comes the
Thanatos, which is the death instinct, and this instinct says
that all organisms have a death wish towards themselves
and I agree completely. This he says becomes our own
destruction. Freud says it is natural to move towards death
and this I think is obvious. The feelings we have must be
expressed and released and we direct our feelings outward.
This becomes our aggression toward others. Freud's view
on the mind is in the shape of an iceberg. He believes that
mankind's mind works in the unconscious, which I do not
agree with at all I feel that man is mostly conscious when it
comes to behaviors. Every choice that mankind makes he
is aware of, but maybe the consequences of our action
might be unknown.
The Structure of Personality which is another interesting
part of Freud's theory basically states that we have an ID, a
Superego and an Ego. The ID is a biological reservoir of
urges and impulses that need to be gratified. He says the ID
does not have a conscious, it acts on instinct. It seeks out
gratification and pleasure. It is the pleasure principle. The
Superego is the Morality Principle, and the Superego
knows the difference between right and wrong. The
Superego is a bunch of learned internalized morals and
values of society. This is basically the thing that keeps the
ID in check. Freud said that Superego is our conscious,
and that the Superego is the most powerful tool (guilt and
pride). Last but not least is the Ego, which is the reality
principle. The Ego finds socially acceptable ways to satisfy
the ID. It finds the balance between the ID and reality. The
functions of the Ego is to find a compromise between the
ID and the Superego. The Ego must also learn to deal with
anxiety, and it also helps to boost the self-esteem. Without
the Ego there would be no mental health. I completely
agree with Freud's theory of the Structure of Personality
because I feel we have different parts of our behavior that
we can control and that we are conscious about and there
are other behaviors that come directly from our
unconscious. Our ego lies to us, denies, falsifies, and
distorts reality which in turn causes us to create what Freud
likes to call the seven defense mechanisms.
The first of the seven defense mechanisms is Repression.
Repression pushes the problem to the subconscious. It is
the exclusion of impulses and thoughts from the conscious
mind. Next comes Denial, and denial is the cutting of the
conscious mind from external threats. An example of this
would be when you are walking in the mall with your
girlfriend and a beautiful woman walks by and you look but
when your girlfriend asks you say, "I wasn't looking at her."
Next there is a defense mechanism called Sublimation
which is the changing of bad behavior and impulses into
socially acceptable behavior and impulses. One example of
this could be playing football for a scholarship in order to
go to college. Another defense mechanism is Reaction
Formation which is a development of behavior opposite of
that which brings you anxiety. Somebody saying that they
hate homosexuals would be a clear example of this defense
mechanism. The next mechanism is called Projection which
is when the unconscious attribution of your thoughts and
feelings is brought onto others. Finding flaws in others is a
good example of Projection. Displacement is the next
defense mechanism, and this is when an urge is placed onto
another object. Taking out anger onto others when you
really should be mad at yourself. Last but not least is the
defense mechanism of Rationalization which is giving a
good reason in place of the true reason. A great example of
this would be when a person fails a test and they blame it
on work, or some other corny reason instead of saying that
they were to lazy to study. With all the different defense
mechanisms of the ego I feel that we use all of them some
time or another in order to hide our true instincts. Even
though I agree with a majority of what Freud says I do not
believe that man is completely bad and that society is good.
Both man and society play a big role when it comes to
Another well known psychologist which is actually a
student of Freuds' is Carl Jung who is also a
psychodynamic psychologist which means he also comes
from the conservative point of view which I mentioned
earlier meant he felt man is bad and society is good. Carl
Jung went a little deeper than Freud did in his theories and
he challenges some of his ideas. One that I agree with the
most is that Jung's iceberg is right side up and at the top of
the iceberg is the ego, and the level underneath that is the
personal unconscious, and the final level of the iceberg is
finally the collective unconscious which is almost the exact
opposites of Freud's. What I mean by deeper is that he
feels that man is not just sexual but spiritual as well. He
says that the major difference in man is based on the Libido
which is your sex drive. As you can see Jung has a much
broader level of human interest. Jung theories are strongly
based on Darwin's theory of Evolution. Jung thinks we
evolved behaviorally which has allowed us to prosper and
move forward in order to keep up with society. I do not
agree once again that man is bad and society is good, I feel
both play a big part in human behavior. Another part of
Jung's theory as well as Freud's theory that I don't like is
that I don't feel that man is mainly sexual. The part of Jung's
theory that I do agree with is that man has evolved
behaviorally overtime because if we didn't we would still be
behaving like the cave men did thousands of years ago. It's
clearly obvious that man has evolved behaviorally.
The next part of Carl Jung's theory is the Archetypal
Complex, which are common ways of dealing with the
world. In other words it's a genetically transmitted response
strategy. It ensures survival. There are two examples of
Archetypal Complexes and they are the enemy archetype
and the social archetype. The enemy archetype means that
something that is different is threatening to us which I could
not agree with more. There are examples in everyday life
when a person does not know what something is they
immediately show some sort of aggression or frustration
which proves they are afraid of what is different or what
they do not really know or understand. The social
archetype basically means strength in numbers. Also the
social archetype is what we look to for support and look to
interact and socialize with. The response strategy is to
develop a need to conform. With the whole idea of
Archetypal Complexes I agree that different people use
different ways to deal with the world's problems, and I also
think the enemy archetype could not be more precise about
mankind being threatened by something that is different.
The next part of Jung's theory is the idea of Individuation
which is the integration of our conscious perceptions of the
outside world with our unconscious archetypal experiences.
Polarities, which are opposite extremes, which ties in the
Principle of entropy which, is a state of disorder and a
randomness of energy. The last thing Jung states in his
theory is the idea of Wholeness which is having both
polarities of our life met. Carl Jung's theory challenges
much of Freud's, but in some ways is similar. Jung gets
more into man being more spiritual than sexual which is
almost the opposite of Freud. I probably only agree with
Jung's theories of the Archetypal Complexes and the
examples that I stated with them.
The next psychologist that I will mention will be a social
psychodynamic psychologist by the name of Alfred Adler.
Adler came from the liberal point of view in which he felt
man is good and society is bad. He was much less of a
pessimist than Freud was; Almost a complete opposite
from Freud. Adler believed that society impedes humans.
His view of the mind is much like Carl Jung's, but instead of
having the ego at the top he has the conscious alone at the
top with the unconscious on the bottom, which I probably
agree with the most. He felt that social interests drive
motivation, which is an innate drive to be social and to
belong. He also stated in his theory that mankind is
dependent on others and their reactions and their
acceptance which in turn leaves mankind very vulnerable.
The main idea of this theory is that he feels that mankind is
more social than biological. I mostly agree with this
because humans these days try to be something there not.
They go to the extremes to try to fit in. A great example of
this would definitely be that in today's schools there are
cliques and clans of different people that feel that they are
cooler or better and than the people who are not as
popular do whatever they can to fit in with a certain group.
Teenagers nowadays are probably the best example there
is of Adler's theory of social interest.
Another part of Adler's theory that he brings up is the idea
of the creative self which he says drives us toward human
nature. There are two parts to this theory and they are the
superiority complex and the inferiority complex. First the
superiority complex states mankind tries to better
themselves in order to overcome our weaknesses. I agree
with this because I am living proof. In everything I do I
always try to make myself better. I don't give up until I feel
I have completely given it everything I have got. On every
weakness that I have especially when it comes to fitness I
kill myself everyday to look my greatest and to feel the best
that I can feel. This takes much hard work and dedication,
but I do not even think about it when I think about how I
am going to feel and look when I accomplish my goals. The
second part of this theory is the inferiority complex which is
when society measures us up to their standards. This is also
when we begin to avoid our weaknesses instead of trying
to overcome them. I have many examples when there is
person who is not so good at an activity whatever the case
may be, and completely get frustrated and give up instead
of bettering themselves. I have even probably done this as
well as most mankind which I feel is going to be the
downfall of our society and our race. Alfred Adler's entire
theory I feel is a great one and I feel he has a great
perspective on human behavior and I would agree with
Adler on almost all of his theory. I feel he is the most
accurate in his interpretation of human behavior.
B.F. Skinner was a behaviorist which means he is neutral
in his theories; all men start as blank slates. He believed
that men are controlled by their environment and they can
be molded. All behavior is learned and conscious.
Operant Conditioning is the idea that man is shaped by
repetition and/or reinforcement. Reinforcement can be
broken down into many different categories. First is
primary reinforcement which meets biological and
psychological needs. Next comes secondary reinforcement
which is a conditioned reinforcer and it is a learned value.
An example of this would be money. Positive reinforcement
is the next part, and it is anything someone wants that
increases positive behavior. Negative reinforcement is
oftenly mistaken for punishment which it is not. Negative
reinforcement is basically avoidance or behaving in a way
to avoid a negative stimulus or consequence. Escape is
another part of negative reinforcement which is avoiding
something that is already there. Punishment which
decreases the likelihood of a negative behavior. Examples
of this could be jail or other sorts of consequences.
Punishment has limited effects. There are short-term
residual effects.
Another part of Skinner's theory is something by the
name of Beyond Freedom and Dignity which says that man
does not have free will. He is a product of reinforcement.
Skinner says free will is an illusion and that man should
have no pride. He also says that whatever mankind
accomplishes he accomplishes because of a system which
has certain limitations.
B.F. Skinner says that "Man's Biggest Problem" is that
mankind's behavior is more easily influenced by small or
immediate reinforcers than it is by large but distant and
uncertain reinforcers. In other words Skinner feels that we
will take immediate gratification and not look at the
long-term results. He feels man is very short cited.
The part of Skinner's theory that I do not agree with
completely is that he thinks that man is a blank slate and he
can be shaped and molded by his society. I feel that society
should not take full credit for all of mankind's behavior.
Also I do not fully agree that all behavior is learned. I feel
some is genetically inherited. Operant Conditioning is the
part of Skinner's theory I feel is pretty accurate because in
daily life the more you do an activity the more it gets
processed in your mind and becomes almost automatic.
The idea that man has no free will I do not agree with
because I believe all of mankind has freewill. When Skinner
says that Man's Biggest Problem is that he will take
immediate gratification before looking into long term effects
I completely agree with him on that. People these days only
think about what is going to happen now without thinking
about what will happen in the future. Skinner's theory of
Man's Biggest Problem is probably one of the most
accurate theory's I that I could ever agree with.
Erich Fromm who is a liberal social psychodynamic
psychologist who was also a student of Freuds'. He
believes that man is innately good and society is the thing
that corrupts him. He also feels that the conscious mind
dominates over the unconscious. Fromm says man is a
social creature and he believes that mankind has social
needs. He says life is a struggle and society makes our lives
Fromm feels that the four needs of mans' social life are
relatedness, frame of reference, identity, and
transcendence. Relatedness is a basic need and it states
that man needs to feel connected to humanity whether it be
friends, family, or activities. It also states that man has to be
interacted with other in order to belong. The problems start
when a person feels that they are not a part of something.
Relatedness is probably the most powerful need. Frame of
Reference are common ideas and beliefs of looking at the
world. This is when we seek out a belief system or a value
system. We receive our frame of reference from where we
find our relatedness. Without frame of reference there is no
meaning to life. Identity is the next out of the four needs of
mans' social life which is when you know who you are and
what you stand for. With identity you have to establish your
own uniqueness or identity. Recognizing differences in
others help you to find your own identity. Next comes
transcendence which is rarely achieved and this means to
rise above societies conformities in order to be an
individual. With transcendence there is a risk of losing your
relatedness, and for this not to happen relatedness must
allow you rise above society. A conflict of freedom and
loneliness means that the more that we become
transcendent the more we lose the relatedness. I agree with
Fromm when he states that society corrupts man. I also feel
that the conscious mind dominates over the unconscious. I
do not agree that man is 100% social either. When Fromm
says that the four needs of social life are relatedness, frame
of reference, identity, and transcendence I could not agree
with more. Everyday you see people that have to be well
connected in the social pipeline and without it I do not think
they would function normally. There are plenty of people
that have to be liked and be in a certain group in order to
be mentally stable. People think it is a bad thing when you
are not in the popular group or not cool enough to be liked
and accepted by a certain group. I also do feel that there
are some people who know who they are and what they
stand for. These are the people that survive the longest is
the long run because they know who they are and they will
not change for anything. Realizing other people's
differences also helps to boost your identity which in turn
causes a person to create their own uniqueness. I think that
I am a perfect example of a person who has all four needs
met at all times and that I know exactly what I am and who
I stand for. I would not change who I am and my behavior
just to fit into the social pipeline. I have to plenty of parties
where there has been everything from drinking to sex and I
have never given in to the peer pressure of drinking,
smoking or anything else while I was there, but I still had all
the fun in the world. The reason why I don't give in is
because I care about my health I have set values for myself
and I like to follow them exactly like I planned. This way I
will never do something that I would regret. All of Fromm's
theories are very accurate when it comes to social needs,
but when it comes to human behavior in general I don't feel
that man is completely social.
Michael Itsines is the next psychologist which is a
mixture between a psychodynamic psychologist and a
behaviorist. I feel that behavior is an upside down iceberg
and consciousness is at the top and the unconscious is on
the bottom. I think that most behavior is conscious. Neither
man or society is bad just at times it seems like one of the
two influences a little more of behavior. I feel that man is
both biological and social. The part that I think is biological
is the part of Freud's theory where he states there is an ID,
Superego and an Ego. Another thing that I agree with is
Freud's theory of the Defense Mechanisms. I feel that
mankind uses each one of them in everyday life. Another
thing that is a great example of man being biological is that
at sometimes man can have animal drives and desires. The
only thing that keeps us from behaving like an animal is the
thing that man developed thousands of years ago and that is
rational thought. This is the difference between human and
animal behavior. That's what separates man from animal.
We do this in order to curb our human nature. Another
reason why I think man partially biological is because of
Carl Jung's theory of Archetypal complexes which are
genetically transmitted response strategies and I feel that
mankind has this.
On the social side I feel that man is partially motivated by
social needs such the four needs of man's social life which
are relatedness, frame of reference, identity, and
transcendence. I agree with Fromm on this theory. This is
probably on the most accurate examples of man being a
social creature. Also Adler stated in his theory that social
interests motivate us. Social Interest is an innate drive to be
social and to belong. B.F. Skinner states in his theory that
behavior is driven by external rewards. Also he says that
reinforcement plays a huge role mankind's behavior. I feel
that man is also driven by the idea of free will which to
Skinner seems to be an illusion. I think mankind has free
will but maybe takes it for granted. Overall I feel that man
can be both good and bad at times but then again so can
society. Sometimes society has a great deal of influence on
human behavior. An example of this would be that man
pushes himself in order to be the best he can be and to
reach the top. Mankind will stop at nothing in order to be
number one. Selfishness and greediness are probably going
to be the downfall of the human race. If mankind could
actually see differences in other people instead of making
them look like something there are not everybody and
everything would be much happier and they would live a
much more fuller life. In my theory I think that mankind
should be much more grateful and appreciative for the
environment that is created and for what they have become
due to their environment. Man's behavior just can not be
either biological or social because I feel that mankind also
passes on behavior through genetic inheritance. Man has to
be both according to my own theory and I stand by it. 

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