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Freud Versus Rogers with Regard to Personality

By Edited Jul 5, 2016 0 0

What makes your personality different than others? Is it caused by your nature? Or is it perhaps linked to personality components? There are many answers for this question, but some people's views are different. Freud and Rogers have diverse opinions on the personality of a human. Who is right? Choose for yourself which theory you agree with.

Sigmund Freud was a doctor who specialized in nervous disorders. When he realized his patients had abnormal disorders, he began to question what they had and wondered if they were psychologically related rather than physiologically. He jumped into research and came up with something called the conscious mind.

"The conscious mind is what you are aware of at any particular moment, your present perceptions, memories, thoughts, fantasies, and feelings that you have" (2). Freud thought that most of the vital personality procedures take place below the level of conscious awareness (1). Functioning closely with the conscious mind is what Freud called the preconscious, and today we might call it "existing memory (2)." These two parts of the mind are suggested to be the smallest.

The largest part is called the unconscious. The unconscious are things that are unaware to us, such as our drives or instincts and painful memories that are hard to look at. "According to Freud, the unconscious is the source of our motivations, whether they are simple desires for food or sex, neurotic compulsions, or the motives of an artist or scientist" (2).

Freud found that personality has three structures. The id, ego, and super ego. The id is interprets the organism's needs into motivational forces which Freud called wishes (2). The id works in keeping with the pleasure principle, which can be translated as an order to take care of desires right away. Luckily for the organism, there is that small portion of the mind we discussed before; the conscious. It is attached to the world through the senses.

Around this small bit of consciousness, throughout the first year of a child's life, some of the id becomes ego (2). "The ego is called the executive branch of personality because it uses reasoning to make decisions" (1). The ego, unlike the id, works according to the reality principle, which says "take care of a want as soon as a suitable item is found." It signifies reality and, to a large degree, reason (2).

Lastly, there is the superego. The superego follows the morality principle which strives for perfection and also rewards and punishes the ego appropriately for the decisions it made. This stage is not finished until about seven years of age. In some people, it never is finished.

Rogers theory is very different than Freud's. He sees people as essentially good or healthy. In other words, he sees mental health as the standard development of life, and he sees mental illness, criminality, and other human troubles, as alterations of that normal tendency (3). Unlike Freud's theory, Roger's is a simple one. The whole theory is set on a lone "force of life" he calls the actualizing tendency. It can be clear as the built-in drive present in every life-form to extend its potentials to the fullest amount probable. We are not just talking about endurance: Rogers thinks that all creatures struggle to make the very best of their life. If they fail to do so, it is not for a lack of desire. He says it is in our environment as breathing things to do the very best we can! He believes everyone has innate capacities, capabilities, and potential in life and that personality develops in service to positive goals.

Rogers applies his theory to all living creatures, even plants. People, however, in the way of actualizing their potentials, shaped society and civilization. In and of itself, that's not a dilemma: Humans are a social creature, it is our nature. But when we formed culture, it transformed a life of its own. Instead of staying close to other features of our natures, culture can turn out to be a strength in its own right. He says even if, in the long run, a culture that gets in the way with our actualization dies out, we, in all probability, will die among it (3). In the same way, our complex cultures, compound traditions, unbelievable technologies, for all that they have helped us to stay alive and flourish, may at the same time serve to harm us, and maybe even destroy us (3).

Even though it may be hard to believe, Freud and Rogers had some things in common. They both had clients they worked on and had years of experience with. This helped them both put their theories to work, by testing them on their patients. Also, their theories were both well thought-out and sensibly tight, with wide use.

These two theories have a great variety of differences between them. However, I happen to fall more on Freud's side. I agree with him about our unconscious and the three personality components. Everyone has a part of them that wishes for things they cannot have, which would be the id. I also believe everyone has a superego and ego. His three principles also make sense to me and I believe they are what makes a persons personality.

There are different views on why human personalities are the way they are. People have different beliefs about what truly makes you yourself. Theories are there to help and explain to you why your personality is there and men like Freud and Rogers are great examples of them. A person's personality is certainly a complex study.

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Three Psychologies: Perspectives from Freud, Skinner, and Rogers
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Man's Search for Meaning
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(price as of Jul 5, 2016)


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