Sigmund Freud's theory of personality was changing as he progressed in his theoretical development. For Freud, the human personality is the product of the struggle between our destructive impulses and the search for pleasure. Without leaving aside the social limits as regulatory entities.
The construction of the personality becomes a product: the result of the way that each person uses to deal with their internal conflicts and the demands of the outside. The personality will thus mark the way in which each one develops in the social and faces their conflicts: internal and external.
Freud , Austrian neurologist and father of psychoanalysis, presented five models to conceptualize personality : topographic, dynamic, economic, genetic and structural. These five models were intended to shape a complete scheme in which the personality of each one of us could be articulated.
Freud's theory of personality is characterized by being structural. The models that we explain below are not to be taken as one of absolute truth. However, they are very useful tools to understand the dynamics of the human psyche . Although they will be explained separately, they are all related to each other.
Freud used the metaphor of the parts of the iceberg to facilitate the understanding of the three regions of the mind . The tip of the iceberg, which is the visible, is equivalent to the conscious region. It would have to do with everything that can be perceived at a particular moment: perceptions, memories, thoughts, fantasies and feelings.
The part of the iceberg that submerges, but can still be visible, equates to the preconscious region of the mind. It has to do with everything that one is able to remember: moments that are no longer available in the present but that can be brought to consciousness.
The bulk of the iceberg that is hidden under the water, is equivalent to the unconscious region. In this area all memories, feelings and thoughts inaccessible to consciousness would be stored . Save content that can be unacceptable, unpleasant, painful, conflicting and above all distressing for the person.
This model is possibly one of the most difficult to understand in Sigmund Freud's theory of personality. It has to do with the psychic dynamics that occurs in the subject's mind, between the impulses that seek gratification without measure and the defense mechanisms that try to inhibit them.
Regulatory psychic dynamics is primarily intended to ensure that each person can develop and adapt in the social environment. The defense mechanisms derived from this model are: repression, reactive formation, displacement, fixation, regression, projection, introjection and sublimation; they are an important pillar of Sigmund Freud's theory of personality.
It has to do with the way in which what Freud called "drive" works, which can be understood, roughly , as the energy that drives us to seek a specific end. The drive is the motor and the energy that moves us. In this sense, Freud considered that all behavior was motivated by drives, which he divided into the life drive (eros) and the death drive (thanatos).
The life drive is related to the individual's capacity for self-preservation, an impulse to create, protect, relate. Instead, the death drive is related to the destructive tendencies of the human being towards himself or towards the other, relating them to the principle of Nirvana which is nothingness, non-existence, emptiness.
This model follows the five stages of psychosexual development. Characterized by the search for gratification in the erogenous zones of the body, the importance of which depends on age. Freud discovered that not only does the adult find satisfaction in the erogenous zones, but the child does too. Excessive gratification in these stages or sudden frustration from one of them will cause certain personality types to develop.
The stages or stages of psychosexual development, in Sigmund Freud's theory of personality, are:
This model in Sigmund Freud's theory of personality stands out for the separation of the mind into three instances. These three instances would develop throughout childhood. Each instance has different functions that act on different levels of the mind , but together to form a unique personality structure.
"The price we pay for our advanced civilization is a loss of happiness through the intensification of guilt"