Theory of Choice paper (Sigmund Freud ) - Article Example

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Sigmund Freud Name and Number Date Submitted Sigmund Freud Of some of the theorists that have helped make landmark theories about human development, one of these theorists is Sigmund Freud. Of the many theories and areas of research that Freud developed and analyzed, one of his predominant focuses was on social and emotional development of human beings…
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Theory of Choice paper (Sigmund Freud )
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Sigmund Freud and Number Submitted Sigmund Freud Of some of the theorists that have helped make landmark theories about human development, one of these theorists is Sigmund Freud. Of the many theories and areas of research that Freud developed and analyzed, one of his predominant focuses was on social and emotional development of human beings. Prior to becoming one of the most influential theorists in psychology and development, there is more to the story of who Sigmund Freud was. Born May 6, 1856 in Freiberg, Moravia, Sigismund Schlomo Freud (he later changed his name to Sigmund) was born unto Jacob Freud, a textile dealer and Amalia Nathansohn, Jacob Freud’s third wife. From his father’s other marriages, Sigmund had two other siblings and seven whole biological siblings, one of which died as a toddler. This was a time when the Jews and the Germans were having their differences. When Freud was four years old, his family settled in Vienna and even at a young age, Freud felt detached from his beloved Moravia, which was full of rolling hills and mountains and serenity while Vienna was filled with many people and was a busy place (Chiriac, 2012). It is said that Freud inherited a certain skepticism and sense of humor from his father and this later turned into a person with the mind of free thoughts and a liberalist. His mother gave him his sentimental side and Freud was able to feel emotional feelings with great intensity. From his mother, he felt unconditional love and she called him, ‘my golden Sigi.’ At the age of eight years old, Freud did something that he later would interpret as a monumental part of his growth and development when he purposely urinated in his parents’ bedroom and his father scolded him and said that he would never become anything because this humiliating situation stuck with him and he continued to replay the instance in his mind for years to come. In other instances, Freud still felt disappointed in some of the ways that his father had handled various situations such as being yelled at and being called a “Jew” (Chiriac, 2012). Of some of many of Freud’s interests, education was a highlight as he entered elementary school a year ahead of time. He read numerous books and was fluent in reading several languages by the time he graduated from secondary school. Freud had planned on practicing law after graduation but ended up studying in the medical field and began classes at Vienna University in 1873. In 1876, Freud conducts his first professional element of research on the sexual glands of anguilas and published research on the central nervous system of larva in 1877. In 1879, Freud begins courses in psychiatry with a focus on neurology and then took a year to fulfill military duty. He later realized that he had no desire to practice medicine but instead wanted to teach and conduct research. In 1884, he discovers the analgesic effects of cocaine and begins to use it himself as well as prescribe it. He worked in a Psychiatric Hospital in 1883 and begins nervous disorders through electrotherapy treatments. In 1885, he is awarded a grant study and traveled to Paris to go to the Salpetriere Hospital and it was there Freud observed hysteria and the effects of hypnosis (AROPA, 2012). Many of Freud’s accomplishments in psychiatry opened new doors as he studied the unconscious mind, neuroses and psychotherapy and elaborated on these concepts. He also looked into behavioral psychology and tried to define how personality was determined and if it was biological (Stengel, 1956). Freud died September 23, 1939 in London, having married Martha Bernays and having six children and having accomplished a wealth of experimentation in psychoanalytics as an Austrian neurologist (AROPA, 2012). A major theory of Freud’s discusses childhood development that occurs from birth to adulthood and acknowledges the social and emotional changes that occur at different stages in life. His theory is defined as psychosexual development. In this theory, the key stages suggest that the different phases a person goes through will impact personality and behavior later in life. According to Sigmund Freud, personality is mostly established by the age of five. Early experiences play a large role in personality development and continue to influence behavior later in life though it is a controversial theory. Freud believed that many of the phases that a young child goes through in order to seek pleasure is a driving force behind their behavior as adults. His belief was that if the psychosexual stages were completed at a certain time in childhood, that a person would have a healthy personality. Otherwise, a person could become fixated and stuck in the stage. One example has to do with the first stage of development that is the oral stage. Freud insisted that if a person did not progress through that stage appropriately, the person would later become more dependent on other people and may try to seek oral stimulation through activities such as eating, drinking or smoking later in life (Cherry, 2012). The oral stage is defined as the time frame between birth and one year of age during which the infant is focused on things that they can do with their mouth such as sucking and the infant relies completely on a caretaker. The second stage is the anal stage that ranges from one year old to three years old and the erogenous zone is the bowels and bladder for stimulating pleasure. This is a stage when a child becomes proud of themselves and their accomplishment of being potty trained. A parent may react in different ways that can determine how a person feels about negative reinforcement or reacts to being rewarded. If a person completes this in a timely manner, as adults they will be more productive and creative people. The third stage is the phallic stage and occurs during the ages of three to six years old when the child is more aware of their genitals. It is at this point where children become aware of the difference between genders and may develop an Oedipus complex in which boys are closer to their mothers and girls are closer to their fathers through the Electra complex. Freud suggests that it is a child’s mentality that wishes that their parent of the opposite sex would pay more attention to them than the other parent and act more possessive of their parent of the opposite sex. Freud also believed that girls may have penis envy. The latent period is from ages six to puberty in which a young person experiences sexual feelings that are inactive and there is no libido to cause drive. At this time, people are more apt to develop friendships with peers and develop an ego and superego. This stage helps a person to develop self-confidence and to become more independent. The genital stage is the final stage that starts at the age of puberty and carries on until death when the focus of a person’s stimulation is a mature sexual interest. There becomes interest in the opposite sex for pleasure and the person also develops caring feelings for others (Cherry, 2012). When evaluating the theory that Freud has developed, it seems as though there is a fixation on sex and the libido and that those are the main components behind a person’s behavior. One evaluation of this subject is that these five stages may not be adequate enough to define a person’s entire psychoanalytic method of thinking. Though a child’s experiences do play a role of importance in how they develop in life, the idea that life is merely based on pleasure and the drive of the libido ignores other theories that suggest that there is more to development than that. This theory was developed much upon the studies that Freud performed about the unconscious reactions that people have that are almost instinctive. The environment and other biological processes may hinder how a person thrives. Children with developmental disabilities that are slower learners or progress at different rates may turn out to not have any delayed fixations in life (Westen,1998). It is through empirical data that people have suggested through experimentation in years beyond Freud’s legacy that there is much more to behavioral science and development in society that stretch well beyond the libido as the driving force. The reason I chose Sigmund Freud is that it was a name that I knew and had heard of as far as psychology goes. I wanted to learn much more about him because I never understood when adults referenced Freud in conversation. I wanted to know what kind of legacy he had and what he had done that impacted people so much that his name comes up as a topic of discussion even still today. I disagree with his ideas. Though I am not into older adulthood, I do not think that I have had any fixations or issues that I can relate to these strange descriptions of fixation. I do not think that sucking my thumb or on a pacifier as an infant has much to do with the type of person I am going to turn out to be. I cannot say that these theories do not provide insight because in some ways they do but as psychology and the studies of development have progressed, I think that better ideas have developed over the past century or more. I learned a lot about the stages of development through Freud’s theory. I had heard of the Oedipus fixation but had never really understood it. I think it seems a bit strange and a little too much to handle that a boy’s first love is his mother and that they claim possession to try to ward off their fathers and that girls have penis envy. I have learned that there are many theories about development and this is just one prime example of how one man thinks that a person’s childhood greatly impacts the rest of their lives. References AROPA. (2012). Childhood, school years. Sigmund Freud-chronology. AROPA. Retrieved from Cherry, K. (2012). Freud’s stages of psychosexual development. Retrieved from Chiriac, J. (2012). Sigmund Freud’s childhood. Sigmund Freud-biography. AROPA. Retrieved from Stengel, E. (1956, May 5). Freud’s impact on psychiatry. British Medical Journal 1(4974): 1000–1003. Westen, D. (1998). The scientific legacy of Sigmund Freud: Toward a psychodynamically informed psychological science. Psychological Bulletin, 124(3), 333-371. doi: 10.137/0033-2909.124.3.333 Read More
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