CONTRIBUTION OF SIGMUND FREUD TO PSYCHOLOGY
He was born in Moravia, Austro-Hungarian Empire in May 1856.Sigmund Freud had
enormous impact on the field of psychology. Freud was influenced by Breuer who
was interested in hysteria. His work led to an understanding of personality, clinical
psychology, human development and abnormal psychology. He wrote and
theorized on broad range of subjects including sex, dreams, religion, hysteria,
women and culture.
Sigmund??™s theories and major contribution
* The id, ego and super ego
* Life and death instincts
* Psychosexual development
* Defense mechanism
* Conscious and unconscious mind 1. The id ego and super ego
Freud introduced the idea that a part of the ego is unconscious. The ego is that
part of the id which has through perception being modified by the external
world. The id controls our basic biological needs and desires. The ego operates on rationality
and makes decisions on what to do or not to do. Whenever the id has a demand,
the ego makes a cognitive analysis of the situation. The ego is the mediator
between the id and the super ego. The super ego censors and keeps repressed
` 2. Life and death instincts
Life instincts are sometimes referred to as sexual instincts. They are instincts that
deal with survival and reproduction. They are important for sustaining the life of
an individual as well as species. They also include such drives as thirst, hunger and
According to Freud, the goal of all life is death. He concluded that people hold an
unconscious will to die but the wish is largely tempered by the life instincts.
According to Freud, self-destructive behavior is an expression of the energy
created by the death instincts. When this energy is directed outward onto others,
it is expressed as aggression and violence.
Freud broke down periods of child development into stages called the
psychosexual stages. The stages are:
Oral 1-2 years
Anal 2-3 years
Phallic 3-5 years
Latency 6-12 years
Genital 13 years and above.
He believed that if one of these stages was not completed correctly, a child would
grow into an adult that was not well adjusted. He emphasized the importance of
the influence of early parent-child relationship on development. He believed that
the parents ability to manage the child??™s sexual and aggressive would have a large
effect on how the child behaved as an adult.
According to Freudian psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms are
psychological strategies brought into play by the unconscious mind to
manipulate, deny and distort reality through processes such as
repression ,identification and rationalization. Defense mechanism are used when
someone is in a situation that causes anxiety.
5.Conscious and unconscious mind
He argued that the unconscious influenced not only abnormal individual behavior
but also normal behavior of the individual in social institutions. He argued that
dreaming had a key role in psychoanalytic theory. A dream is everybody??™s contact
with the unconscious.