Personality Psychology

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Psychoanalytic theory is one of the personality theories that aim at explaining the reasons behind the behavior of individuals. This theory was developed by Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalytic theory has three major assumptions, which are psychic determinism, unconscious motivation, and basic instincts. The given research seeks to explain these assumptions in details.

According to unconscious determinism, Freud observed that the mind of individuals could be divided into three parts. The first part is a conscious part. In this case, an individual is very attentive and thinks before doing anything. For example, one may be carefully watching the environment he/she is in and interpreting it. Such an individual is said to be in a conscious state. The other part is the preconscious mind. In this case, an individual is not very attentive on what is happening in the environment. An example is whereby one may be listening to music but cannot say later what the songs were about. This is because such an individual was inattentive. The last part is the subconscious mind, which controls most of the behaviors of individuals. The theory argues that individuals are able to control their conscious up to a certain level. This is why people engage in behaviors that they would not have engaged in if they were attentive. For example, people would not fight if there was consciousness and they had a chance to think carefully. Freud argued that the unconscious mind thinks and then makes individuals behave in a certain way.

The assumption of basic instincts explains that there are two instincts that influence the behavior of individuals, which are life and death instincts. Life instincts are exerted because of struggle to live. Human beings struggle to reproduce, have pleasure, and survive. Energy is therefore created to ensure that these desires are achieved. People therefore make sure that they avoid hunger and pain. This is what leads to behaviors such as being cooperative and other social behaviors among people.

Death instincts lead to destructive behaviors such as fights. According to the assumption, people fear death. They, therefore, act in a way to avoid it. Energy is created in the body to ensure that measures are taken against death. People who engage in aggressive behaviors are said to act so due to the energy generated in the body to fight against death.

Psychic determinism explains that every behavior of an individual is predetermined. This assumption explains that no action can occur spontaneously without reason. The assumption claims that the unconscious desires of an individual may make one behave in a certain way. For example, when an individual forgets the name of an individual, there must be a reason for that. When an individual is asked some questions, he/she may answer in the wrong way. This cannot be taken as being accidental. If such an individual was carefully questioned, it would be revealed that there is a reason behind such a slip of tongue. Complexions in the mind of an individual make an individual portray certain behaviors.

It is important to note that none of these assumptions can solely influence the behavior of a certain person. Psychic determinism, unconscious motivation, and basic instincts work together in shaping the behavior of an individual. However, all of the assumptions show that people are under no much control of their behavior. The theory demonstrates that there are inner forces in an individual that make him/her behave in a certain way. Thus, it can be concluded form the theory that individuals lack total control of the decision they make and that is why they may end up engaging in behavior that they may not like later.

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