Freud, psychoanalysis, and symbolism

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Philosophy ・APA ・3 Sources

Freud uses conscious and unconscious factors to explain personality. He proposed the psychoanalytic notion of character exchanges and transformations. Using the psychodynamic paradigm, Freud contends that people's behaviors are the outcome of innate emotional impulses known as the id, ego, and superego (Petocz, 2005). This principle is frequently applied in actual life. The superego is responsible for maintaining morals in society. It directs people's moral and ethical decisions.

Freud's structural and topographical model shapes my personality. I used to cry when I was hungry when I was younger (the id). During my early years in school, I learned that I should not cry when I am hungry but ask for food or wait until I get home from school (the ego). And now as a mature person, my personality is shaped by the superego. I can do wrong things like being unfaithful when dealing with monetary issues without being noticed. However, my conscience guides me and tells me it is wrong and I have to uphold societal morals. 

Freud further proposed five stages of psychosexual development; oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital stages (Weinstein, 2001). Personally, I have successfully undergone all the stages successfully. I do not have any fixation problems. I am confident, I appreciate both parents and am conscious of morals values regarding sexuality. I engage in sexually appropriate behaviors, a clear indication of successful accomplishment of all the stages. 

Freud's theory of personality faces many criticisms. However, it is still a controversial theory of understanding human nature. Without the psychodynamic theory, we could not appreciate the role of the conscious and unconscious in the development of human personality (Silverman, 2017).  It also describes the moral basis of our personality. 


Petocz, A. (2005). Freud, psychoanalysis, and symbolism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Silverman, D. K. (2017). Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1417-1

Weinstein, F. (2001). Freud, psychoanalysis, social theory: The unfulfilled promise. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

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