Saturday, February 20, 2010

Freud's Personality Factors

Over the centuries personality has been a source of great interest to many philosophers, especially Freud. He simultaneously developed a theory of how the human mind is organized and operates internally, and a theory of how human behavior both conditions and results from this particular theoretical understanding. The basis of Freud's theory was the conscious mind, the preconscious mind, and the unconscious mind. His study had much to do with many aspects of the conscious and unconscious states; however, the major divisions included the conscious, preconscious, and the unconscious. The conscious and the preconscious are the smallest part of this theory, as well as the easiest to understand. The conscious is what you are aware of at any particular moment, in present perceptions, memories, and thoughts. The conscious is the most influential part of personality; it represents the "here and now." Freud believed the unconscious mind housed concepts, thoughts and emotions which were threatening and painful to the conscious mind and therefore were kept at a level where they would not cause conflict or create anxiety. He theorized that personality is developed through a person's childhood experiences. I became particularly interested in the three different levels of awareness: conscious mind, pre-conscience mind, and sub-conscience mind. Freud used these levels to better explain a person’s psyche or that which influences the way a person thinks, behaves and personality. The conscious deals with everyday functions like our feelings, memories or fantasies at any particular moment. The conscious is what we use when we are fully alert and aware of everything that is around us. The pre-conscious exists as a middle ground between the unconscious and the conscious. We have here our stored knowledge, past memories and other data that we can readily access and brought to our consciousness. The unconscious is a place in our mind that we store shameful experiences, sexual desires, fears, violent motives, repressed memories and other dark thoughts. According to Freud, access to the unconscious can be manifested through our dreams or slip of the tongue and other unintended impulsive behavior.

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