Personality Development The Psychosexual Stages
Stages are based on the words and actions of his patients • Free association= a process by which the patient says EVERYTHING that appears in his or her mind, even if it seemingly is not connected. No censoring is allowed.
Stages • Foundations of adult personality are est. during the first 5 years of life. • Each stage represents a different focus of the id’s sexual energies.
Psychosexual stages • Age-related developmental periods in which the child’s sexual urges are expressed through different areas of the body and the activities associated w/ those areas. • All of this is happening in the unconscious!
Fixations • Conflict is not resolved-can not move on to the next stage • Psych. conflicts may emerge during each stage of development. • If frustrated, the child will be left w/ feelings of unmet needs. • If overindulged, the child may be reluctant to move on to the next stage.
Stage one: Oral Stage • Birth to age 1 • Primary erogenous zone is the mouth. • Oral stimulation in the form of sucking and chewing provides both sexual gratification and nourishment. • Too much grat. Oral fixations in adulthood such as smoking, nail biting, chewing on a pencil/pen, alcohol abuse, and overeating.
Stage one • Too little grat. From early weaning, may lead to the development of traits, such as passivity, clinging dependence.
Stage Two: Anal • Ages 1 to 3 • Anus becomes the primary erogenous zone as the child develops the ability to control elimination by contracting and releasing the sphincter muscles at will. (Toilet training) • First true form of independence
Stage Two • To earn the parent’s approval and avoid their disapproval, the child must learn to “go potty” at the appropriate time. • Training that is too harsh may lead to traits associated with the so-called anal-retentive personality= perfectionism and excessive needs for self-control, extreme neatness. Ex. Jerry Seinfeld
Stage two • Too lenient may lead to an opposite array of traits associated with the anal-expulsive personality= messiness, lack of self-discipline, and carelessness.
Stage Three: Phallic Stage • Ages 3 to 6 • Erogenous zone shifts to the penis in males and the clitoris in females. • The most critical conflict that the child must successfully resolve happens at this stage
Stage three • Child becomes aware of pleasure derived from the genital area. • OEDIPUS COMPLEX= • Child develops an unconscious sexual attraction to the opposite-sex parent and hostility toward the same-sex parent. • Oedipus unknowingly kills his father and marries his mother.
Stage Three • Females may experience the ELECTRA COMPLEX, Electra avenged her father’s death by killing his murderers—her own mother and her mother’s lover.
Stage Three • Boys resolve the conflict by forsaking their wishes for their mother and identifying with their rival—their father. • Identification (defense mechanism) with the parent of the same sex leads to the development of gender-based behaviors. • Boys- aggressive and independent traits • Girls- nurturing and demure traits
Stage Three • SUPEREGO is developed---the internalization of parental values in the form of a moral conscience. • Failure to resolve the Oedipal conflicts: • Boys- resentful of strong masculine figures, esp. authority figures.
Stage three • Castration anxiety= unconscious fear of removal of the penis as punishment for having unacceptable sexual impulses. Motivates boys to forsake their desires for their mother and identify with the father. Penis envy= unconscious jealousy of boys for having a penis. Girls feel inferior or inadequate in relation to boys.
Stage three • Bear in mind that Freud believed the Oedipus complex, with its incestuous desires, rivalries, and castration anxiety and penis envy, largely occurs at an unconscious level. On the surface, all may seem quiet, masking the turmoil occurring within.
Stage Three • Re-read the preschool study on page 63
Stage four: Latency • Ages 7 to 11 • Period of relative tranquility. • Sexual impulses remain latent (dormant) • Child’s psych. energies are focused on other pursuits such as school and making friends • Associate w/ same-sex peers…strengthens the child’s sexual identity.
Stage five: Genital • Adolescence to adulthood • The genitals become the primary focus of pleasurable sensations, which the person seeks to satisfy in heterosexual relationships. • Incestuous urges start to resurface-prohibited by the Superego and societal restrictions. • Girls may be attracted to boys who resemble “dear old Dad” • “54% marry a man who is/was similar to my father”.
Freud • Healthy personality and sense of sexuality result when conflicts are successfully resolved at each stage of psychosexual development.
Evaluating Freud • Data derived from his relatively small number of patients, from self-analysis, and famous historical figures, religion, and evolutionary prehistory. • Patients- middle and upper class women in Vienna
Evaluating Freud • Proof of validity? Did he impose his own ideas onto his patients? • Psychoanalytic ideas are difficult to prove and disprove! • Psychoanalysis is better at explaining past behavior than at predicting future behavior • Freud’s theories reflect a sexist view of women.
What has been proven w/ empirical research? • Much of mental life is unconscious • Early childhood experiences have a critical influence on interpersonal relationships and psychological adjustment
Controversial subject matter For some Freud is a hero who battle Victorian views and who was not afraid to talk about sex and its relationship to personality. Some of his ideas have proven faulty, but the overall framework of his theory is “timeless and brilliant”. Others believe that psychoanalytic theory is nonsense. Attitudes Toward Freud: Then and Now