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The Role of Freud's Id, Ego, and Superego in Relationship Dilemmas

1. Omar recently received a text message from an old girlfriend, Kristina, asking him to go out on a date. The decision of how to respond is causing Omar a significant amount of anxiety because he still has feelings for Kristina but he knows it would be inappropriate to see her considering he is currently in a relationship with another woman. With respect to their various structures of personality as outlined by Sigmund Freud, explain the position of Omar’s id, ego, and superego in this scenario.

a.) If Omar were to see his old girlfriend despite being in another relationship, he would likely experience a sense of guilt. Give an example of how Omar could use a defense mechanism to alleviate his sense of guilt.

2. Use the following scenarios to explain the concept of “fixations” and how they develop during childhood, according to Sigmund Freud.

a.) Jennifer has always struggled with controlling her bad habits such as drinking, smoking, and overeating. Whenever she gets anxious she tends to bite her nails and the last time she tried to quit smoking she gained 10 pounds because she was constantly eating.

b.) Erika is often describes as being very “uptight” by her coworkers. She is constantly stressing the importance of keeping the office clean and organized and she is very controlling over group projects. Even after everyone has made their contributions, she typically redoes the entire project on her own.

3. Billy is a high school sophomore interested in joining the swim team but he knows that joining the swim team will disappoint his dad because Billy’s dad really wants him to play football like he did in high school. With respect to Carl Roger’s self theory, explain Billy’s relationship with his father and what it means for Billy’s ability to self-actualize.

4. Daisy is a senior in high school. She has a boyfriend whom she has been dating for 6 months, and she spends so much of her time with him and thinking about marrying him that she completely neglects her school work and college applications. She is in danger of not graduating and not attending college. How might Abraham Maslow explain her situation in terms of the hierarchy of needs?

5. Consider people who believe in luck, fate, or the influence of deities (gods) on success vs. those who do not believe in such things. How does this relate to the concept of internal vs. external locus of control? In terms of physical and psychological health, how are these people different?

Exploring Fixations in Childhood: Examples from Freud's Psychosexual Stages

6. Brian was recently passed up for a promotion at work. With respect to the self-serving bias and internal vs. external attributions, how is Brian likely to explain his failure?

7. Jo and Angela both failed their last psychology exam, and they are talking about it to each other. Jo says “I know I could have done better; I just didn’t study enough.” Angela says, “That test was just so unfair.”

Who is making an external attribution?

Who is making an internal attribution?

Who is using the self-serving bias? Explain.

8. Describe the following individuals using one trait from the Five Factor Model of personality. Identify whether the individual has high levels or low levels of the trait.

Jenny is very easily bothered by the people in her study group. She believes that she is always right and is inconsiderate of the other members’ opinions.

Kristina is often described as “the life of the party”. She often goes out to dance clubs and likes to meet new people.

Brandon really enjoys his math class but doesn’t seem to like any of the others. Every day for lunch he brings a ham and cheese sandwich from home and avoids eating at ethnic restaurants, like Indian or Korean, because he thinks they are “weird”.

Cassandra and Tony are complete opposites when it comes to their calendars. Cassandra has most of her days filled with reminders and appointments, whereas Tony doesn’t and is constantly forgetting about meetings and events.

Susana is referred to as her friends as a “worry-wart.” She is constantly worrying about schoolwork, bills, and her family, so much so that she seems to check her email, bank statements, and calendars over 10 times a day to make sure she hasn’t forgotten anything, and she calls to check on her family members several times during the day.

1. According to the theory of personality composed by Sigmund Freud, personality is comprised of three elements- the id, the ego and the superego. These three elements together contribute to the complex human behavior. The very first component of personality is the id, which is present in the human being from birth and totally unconscious in nature. The id is come out from instinctive behavior such as survival, aggression, and reproduction thus acts as the source of psychiatric energy. The instinct of Omar has left some feeling for his old girlfriend.

Self-Actualization, Relationships, and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

The ego helps one individual to understand the reality and teach how to deal with it. The ego originates from the id and it comes out in a manner, which is acceptable to deal with the reality. The ego works in both conscious and unconscious mind including the preconscious mind. The ego supports the basic desire of the id and represents in a realistic way. The ego also helps to release the tension by finding an object in the real world that supports the mental image of the primary source. Here Omar is aware of the reality that it would be unfair to see his old girlfriend as he is already in a relationship.

The last component of the personality is the superego. The superego holds all the moral standards that an individual achieve from the family and society both in right and wrong sense of aspect. It provides the guideline that helps the individual to make a judgment. The sense of superego begins at the age of five. The two parts of superego include the ego ideal and the conscience. These two parts include the standards approved by parents or other social figure and the information that leads to punishment. In this case, Omar feeling anxiety and giving priority to the decision of not to meet Kristina from the decision making policy he adopts from the superego.

Omar is feeling anxiety as the ego is not enough to meet the demand of the id and superego. He can alleviate his sense of anxiety by preparing a defense mechanism on the aspect of denial, rationalization, repression and projection. Denial can help to block the sense of anxiety from previous experience of awareness. Rationalization will help Omar to create a reason to ignore felling of guilt. Repression is an unconscious mechanism. It forces the memories associated with anxiety to remain in unconscious mind. The projection will help Omar to compare with someone of same vulnerability to suppress his anxiety.

2. The case of Jennifer has highlights the struggle to control the bad habit of smoking and drinking and her gain in ten pounds weight because of constant eating behavior. The scenario lies upon the fixation concept originate from the Psychosexual Stage theory proposed by Sigmund Freud. The following case shows the unfulfilled oral stage of development of Jennifer as she bites her nails and has an excessive drinking and eating habit. Biting the nails and eating habit results from the oral aggressiveness and orally passiveness respectively. During oral stage, the individual finds oral pleasure through sucking, biting and chewing. The insufficient gratified results in the fixation which Jennifer persists throughout her entire lifespan. The oral stage development shows the impact of childhood experience on the personality on the later stage of life. Jennifer is also facing a problem with her rise in weight due to excessive eating habit.

The following case is associated with the stressing issue of Erika to keep the office clean and keep the task in order. She is also reported with controlling the working group for projects. In this case, the psychosexual stage theory suggests that some difficulties during the phallic stage development and latency stage development results in the fixation in Erika. According to Freud, during the age of 3-6, the id of an individual develop an attraction to opposite sex parents in unconscious mind. In the case of Erika, a disruption in gender role identification has led to the consequence of anxiety with her coworkers. Moreover, unfulfilled latency stage is another reason that makes Erika redo the project work after the coworkers finish the task. During the latency stage an individual focus on the group behavior like schooling, sports, some particular hobbies and friendship with other children of same age. The latency period begins at the age of three and seven and it continued to the age of twelve.

External and Internal Locus of Control: The Role of Luck, Fate, and Deities

3. According to Carl Rogers, as a flower grows to its full potential if the environmental factors are for the flower; the human can also achieve their potential if the environment supports. Every human is concerned with one basic motive, which is termed as self-actualization. Self-actualization drives an individual to fulfill the potential and take it to the highest level. But the human potential is different from that of the flower as the human can develop aspects to fulfill their potential by judging their personality. Every individual has their creative mind and potential. As in this case, Billy is interested to join the swim team as he feels that swimming will help him to flourish in life. The creativity of the individual often hampers by the fragile self-concept and external pressure that misguide the potential. Here, Billy's father wants him to continue his football practice as his father used to play football in high school. He believes that Billy will also do well in high school football. Billy’s self-actualization allows him to find his potential in swimming, but his father has set condition of worth. Billy's father is not showing the positive attitude towards Billy's decision and it deviate Billy from true self. According to Carl Rogers's self-actualization concept, every human needs positive regard from others to motivate their potential. In this case, Billy's self-actualization requires acceptance and approval without any condition by his father.

4. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs highlights that each person has their own set of motivation which is unrelated to any reward. Maslow tried to understand the driving force that motivates people to achieve certain targets. It has found that when one need of the people gets fulfilled, then they try to achieve another need. Maslow's hierarchy of need is mainly associated with five motivational needs which are depicted in a hierarchical pyramid. The first level of motivational power is physiological needs that mainly concern the satisfaction of hunger and thirst of an individual. The second stage of motivation is safety need that confirms the safety of an individual that make the person feel secure and stable in life. The third motivation is belongingness and love needs that depict the fact of one's need for love and to be loved by others. It also highlights the need to belong to someone and accepted by that person. Fourth motivation is associated with esteem need that guides an individual to feel independent. It also makes the person capable of self-estimation and guide them towards the achievement. The fifth and the last motivation is the need to live with unique potential. Every individual need to fulfill the lower level needs before going to the higher level.

Attributions and the Self-Serving Bias: Applying Brian's Promotional Failure

In this case of Daisy, a failure of lower level fulfillment has observed. Daisy spends too much time with her boyfriend for the last six months that she ignores her study and college application. Daisy is so much focused on the belongingness and love needs that she ignore the safety need of life associated with her study, which is necessary for making her career. Daisy finds her self-actualization with love needs that she never focus on the self-estimation to realize her current condition of regular study. Now she is facing the danger of not graduating and not attending the college.

5. The locus of control point affects the viewpoint of an individual and the way of interaction with the surroundings. There are two categories of people one who thinks they can control anything and anther believes they are controlled by the other factors. Control is defined as the power which can influence an individual's action. An individual's locus of control can have an internal position and external position. The people who believe in luck, fate or the influence of gods in success have the external locus of control. As they believe their success and failure depend on the environmental influences. The individual who believe their success is irrespective of the outside influences and they base their success on their own work, have an internal locus of control.

Considering the physical and psychological health of the internal locus vs. external locus individuals it has found that the internal locus individuals are always pressurize themselves and always try to find out the drawback of their own work. These phenomena put them into psychological conflict compare to the external locus individuals. It also has some adverse effect on their physical health as they are always biased with hard work. On the other hand, external focus persons do not believe in their responsibilities. Thus, they do not suffer in mental conflict for the success rate of their work. The less psychological pressure helps them to maintain good physical health.

6. The reason for the Brian's passing up from the promotion at work can be discussed on the role of internal vs. external attributes and self-serving bias. Attributes give an explanation of an individual's behavior and that of others. There are mainly two attributes that play a key role in behavioral explanation. Internal attribution is concern about the individual, whereas the external attribution focuses on the environmental effect. Internal attribution is associated with the personality trait of an individual that focus on the motives and beliefs of one individual. External attribution assigns the cause of certain behavior in reaction to some external or environmental situation. It is a common tendency that people often explain their behavior on the basis of situational features. Here Brian can explain his failure may result due to some of his misbehavior towards the management, which is a part of internal attribution. The cause of misbehaving may originate from the external pressure of the situation, which can be categorized under external attribution.

The self-serving bias highlights the tendency of an individual to consider internal attribution for success and external attribution for failure. These may result from the depression and low self-estimation. There are several factors and variables such as motivation, gender, age, culture, emotion, locus of control and self-awareness that contribute to the self-serving bias. Brian can explain his failure by self-serving bias that he has no fault towards work and the management or the work environment is only responsible for his failure. The external attribution always suppresses his success.

7. Angela is making an external attribution here. As she believes that the psychological exam system was unfair and making the environmental situation responsible for her fails in the test.

Jo is making an internal attribution here. As Jo admitting that the result can be better if he studied hard. The only thing responsible for his failure is the lack of study.

Self-serving bias characterized by the tendency of an individual to praise on the work whatever he or she has done if that leads to success and put the blame on the external bodies if the individual meet failure. Angela is using self-serving bias in this case. Both the students were judge by same psychology exam and both of them failed. But Jo is admitting that there is nothing wrong with the examination pattern. He is solely responsible for the failure as he did not study enough and he also admit that he might have studied hard. On the other hand, Angela did not admit her responsibility for the failure of the test. She is arguing that the examination pattern was unfair for her failure in the psychology test.

Making Sense of Personality Traits: The Five Factor Model in Action

8. The personality of particular individuals comprised of five factor model such as openness, extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism. These five factors can have high, moderate or low levels in individuals and act as a particular trait.

The trait prominent in Jenny is openness. The high end of openness indicates the independence of the individual as well as the imagination power. The high end of openness also reflects an individual should have a broad interest towards various aspects of life and shows interest in new ideas. The low end of openness highlights the narrow interest towards things and conforming nature of the individual. A person with the low end of openness shows no interest in new ideas. In the case of Jenny, a low end of openness has found as she believes she is always right and never listen to her study group member's ideas.

Kristina has a trait of extraversion. Kristina is sociable in nature and always like to meet new people and enjoy having a party with a friend. Her nature indicates a high end of extraversion. The high end feature of extraversion associates with the social approach of individuals and shows the friendly behavior towards others. The person also shows an adventurous mind. Whereas the low end of extraversion indicates the reclusive and quite nature of the individual. The person is always cautious of meeting new people.

Brandon has a trait of agreeableness. The high end of agreeableness shows the sympathetic and soft-hearted nature of an individual. The individual is also good natured and polite to others. The low end of Agreeableness reflects the tough mind of the individual. The individual is rude towards others and ruthless in showing opinions. In this case, Brandon is identified with a low end of agreeableness as he avoids the ethnic restaurants for lunch as he thinks Korean and Indians are weird in nature.

The following case of Cassandra and Tony shows the trait of conscientiousness. Whereas both of them shows opposite end of conscientiousness. Cassandra has a high end of the trait as she marked the calendar for remainders and appointments. The high end of conscientiousness reflects the well organized and disciplined nature of the individual. The person is very dependable and careful with matters. On the other hand, the low end of the trait highlights careless attitude with no organized plan towards work. The person is undependable. Tony has a low end of conscientiousness as he constantly forgets about meetings and events.

Susana is identified with neuroticism trait. The high end of the trait associated with insecure feeling as well as nervousness towards a situation by an individual. The person is also very emotional in nature to certain things and has a tendency of self-pitying. The following case of Susana shows the hind end of neuroticism as she is always worried about her schoolwork, bills and about her family. She often checks her email, bank details, at least, ten times a day. On the other hand, the low end of neuroticism shows the calm behavior of the person. The person is quite relaxed and self-satisfied with the situation and felt secure with their decision.

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My Assignment Help. Understanding Personality Theories: Freud, Carl Rogers, And Maslow [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2017 [cited 24 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/theory-of-personality-composed.

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