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Psychoanalytic Approaches to Personality The area of psychology with perhaps the most controversial history due to its complete lacking of empirical evidence psychoanalysis has its origins in the teachings of Sigmund Freud Psychoanalysis is a form of therapy developed by Freud in the early 1900s involving intense examinations into ones childhood thought to be the origins of most psychopathology which surfaced during adulthood Ideas about the subconscious which saw the human mind as being in continuous internal conflict with itself and theories that all actions are symbolic for there are no accidents were also major themes of the psychoanalytic approach Successful therapy was a long-term and costly process which most people during that time with the exception of the wealthy could not afford Sigmund Freuds main contribution to this new field of studying personality was in the area of the understanding the unconscious an aspect of the mind to which he claimed we did not have ready access to but was the source of our actions and behavior Freud believed the human mind was divided into three parts the id ego and super-ego The id is mans generic meaning referring to both sexes instinctual primitive and hedonistic urges for pure pleasure which the id was bent on experiencing without regard to any consequences The super-ego is mans senses of morality first brought on by experiences with authoritative figures and parents which basically hold ideas of what is right and wrong and is almost a direct paradox to the id The ego which can be seen as the mediator between the id and the super-ego takes into account the activities of the external world and attempts to invoke some balance among all three parts of the mind with failure resulting in neurosis of some kind Freuds Lecture III provides what I believe to be another important theory in understanding personality from this perspective stemming from his
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