Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, and Adler Alfred were influential thinkers and contributors to the discipline of psychology (Fairbairn, 2013). Despite the distinctions in theories and perspectives, the three philosophers spent their lives searching a better understanding of humans’ psychological frailties. Furthermore, they tried to identify different approached of bettering them. Specifically, Freud suggested that the development of a child proceeds through stages associated with one’s physical development, and the way crises are resolved in different stages shapes one’s adult personality (Smith, 2013). He named the stages after erogenous zones that are capable of experiencing pleasure from the environment. Accordingly, the pioneering spirits of Freud, Jung, and Adler led to the emergence of theories, which provide insights into human personality, and their contributions are invaluable in psychological perspectives and approaches in contemporary societies (Fairbairn, 2013).
Compare and contrast the psychoanalytic theories of Freud, Jung, and Adler. What are two characteristics of these theories with which you agree? What are two characteristics with which you disagree? Sigmund Freud founded the psychoanalytic theory; Carl Jung developed the Jungian theory; and Alfred Alder coined the theory of individual psychology. According to Fairbairn (2013), Feud’s work focused on understanding and explaining human personality. Sigmund theorized that the human psyche, which consists of the ego, id, and superego, shapes an individual’s personality. Freud and Alder agreed that an individual’s personal characteristics are related to their childhood (Fairbairn, 2013). Freud’s approach attempts to address the issues that underlie a person’s life while Adler theorized that a basic plan for one’s life was the center of their activities. According to Jung, individuation is essential to the process of becoming whole, as it entails the process of assimilating the conscious with the unconscious (Smith, 2013). Jung associated with Freud, who influenced his early works on psychoanalysis. The contributions of the Freud, Jung, and Adler serve as major underpinnings of modern psychology. The bridges and commonalities their theoretical perspectives give modern theorists are a pathway to new approaches and perspectives.
I agree with Freud’s revolutionary approach that explains various aspects of the human personality. I also agree with the foundation of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, which states that people are unaware of many factors that influence their emotions and behaviors (Fairbairn, 2013). I agree with the way Freud’s theory explains mental functions and the developmental stages; however, I disagree with the narrow focus of his theory. Freud’s approach emphasizes on the structure of the human mind while paying little attention to sociological, cultural, or environmental aspects (Smith, 2013). As a result, Freud’s theory of human sexuality is myopic; therefore, I disprove his claims about sexual motivations.
I agree with the way Jung distinguishes major orientations and attitudes of personality – introversion and extroversion. I also agree with the four basic functions that Jung identified, feeling, thinking, sensing and sensing, and their role in influencing personality types. I disagree with Jung’s views that a person’s dreams can provide an overview of their psyche. In sum, Jung’s ideas seem to be more obscure and mystical (Fairbairn, 2013).
I agree with Adler’s argument that self-actualization serves as a major driving force in a person’s life. His theories are more practical and highly applicable because they are devoid of mythology or sexuality (Fairbairn, 2013). I disagree with the value Adler places on religious principles and their relation to individual psychology. I also disagree with his views about fictional finalism and fictions (Fairbairn, 2013).
Describe the stages of Freud’s theory and explain characteristics of personality using these components
The oral stage occurs from birth to eighteen months, which is virtually at the beginning of an individual’s childhood. Children largely depend on their mother at this stage, and they draw pleasure from activities such as swallowing and suckling (Smith, 2013). According to Freud, children that were fixated at this phase draw pleasure from activities such as smoking, kissing, and drinking in their adulthood. Later in the oral stages, children start cutting teeth and experiencing pleasure in chewing and biting. The fixation, which occurs at this state, results in oral-sadistic or oral-aggressive personality (Smith, 2013).
The anal phase occurs from eighteen months and three years. Freud suggests that during this stage, individuals derive pleasure from the retention or expulsion of feces. Specifically, a child starts exploring their environment, but they experience discipline and control from their parents. The fixation at this stage leads to anal-retentive characteristics, such as orderly and mean personalities, or anal-expulsive characters that are messy and generous.
The phallic stage occurs between three years and five years. During this stage, children discover pleasure through touching their genitals (Smith, 2013). They also start competing for their parents’ attention. Freud suggests that boys experience Oedipus complex at this stage, that is, they become attached to their mothers but resent their fathers. On the other hand, the girls experience the Electra complex, which is the resentment towards the mother. Freud proposes that the fixation, which occurs in the phallic stage, as well as the failure to resolve the Oedipus or Electra complex, attributable to the relationship and sexual difficulties, which occur later in a person’s life (Smith, 2013).
The latency stage occurs between six and twelve years. Freud suggests that a person’s true personality develops at the end of this phase while sexual desires are directed into activities different activities that may include learning, sports, among others (Smith, 2013).
The genital stage occurs from thirteen years to adulthood. As a young person’s approaches the reproductive age, they start focusing their sexual energy or libido towards their individuals of the opposite sex. A successful negotiation of the earlier psychosexual stages allows a person to start forming positive relationships with other people (Fairbairn, 2013).
Describe Uses of At Least Three Freudian Defense Mechanisms with Real-Life Examples
Defense mechanism, which is associated with Freud Sigmund, refers to strategies that an individual develops to protect them against anxiety (Smith, 2013). According to Feud, the safeguards protect the mind against thoughts and feelings that are too complex or difficult for a conscious mind to process effectively (Fairbairn, 2013).
Denial is one of the defense mechanisms that occur when an individual is unable to admit an obvious truth or face reality. For example, alcoholics or drug addicts often deny the fact that they are having addiction or alcohol problems while a victim of a traumatic event may deny its occurrence. In most instances, denial seeks to protect a person’s ego from things that a person cannot cope with (Fairbairn, 2013). Research suggests that repression is a defense mechanism that functions to keep certain information out of a person’s conscious awareness (Fairbairn, 2013). For example, an individual may repress memories of abuse that they suffered during childhood. According to Fairbairn (2013), projection is a defense mechanism that functions to take an individual’s feelings or qualities and ascribe them or projecting them on others. For example, an individual that dislikes their colleague may believe that it is the person does not like them (Fairbairn, 2013).
Defense mechanisms are always involved in keeping unwanted or inappropriate impulses or thoughts from affecting the conscious mind. Sigmund Freud‘s personality psychoanalytic theory suggests that human behavior is influenced by interactions that occur among three parts of the human mind which are: ego, the id, and superego. The ego develops numerous defense mechanisms to cope with anxiety-provoking demands that the superego, id, and reality create. While Freud and Jung’s ideologies are closely associated with Freud’s, they disagreed with his psychosexual development and sexual motivation theories. They criticized the fact that Freud laid too much emphasis on sexual motivation. Ideally, the theories of Adler, Freud, and Jung paved the way for modern and new psychological discoveries.
Fairbairn, D. (2013). Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality. New York: Prentice Hall, Press.
Smith, M. (2013). Personality Development: A Psychoanalytic Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.