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Lecture 8, 21-03-2014
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) – Father of Psychoanalysis

Freud founded the area of psychoanalysis, which

he described in 1923 as
• a theory of the mind or personality,
• a method of investigation of unconscious process,
• a method of treatment

• In 1905 Freud argued that the mind is divided into

the conscious, the preconscious and the
• The conscious is the part of the mind that holds
everything you are currently aware of.
• The preconscious contains everything you could
become aware of but are not currently thinking
• The unconscious is the part of the mind that we
cannot usually become aware of.

The Unconscious
• Freud saw the unconscious as holding all the urges, thoughts
and feelings that might cause us anxiety, conflict and pain.
Although we are unaware of them, these urges, thoughts and
feelings are considered to exert an influence on our actions.
Alongside the three levels of consciousness, the id functions in the unconscious the superego provides moral guidance,
in 1923 Freud developed a structural model and is closely tied to instinctual and embodying parental and societal values.
of personality involving what he called biological processes. It is the The superego has two sub-systems:
primitive core from which the ego conscience and ego ideal.
•the id,
and the superego develop.
•the ego and
•the superego.
the ego mediates between id impulses,
superego directives and the real world.
Conflicts in this process can lead to anxiety.
When anxiety cannot be dealt with by
realistic methods, the ego calls upon
various defence mechanisms to release the
Freud’s Tripartite model of the structure of the mind or personality

• Three structural elements within the mind, id, ego, and super-ego.
• The id is that part of the mind in which are situated the instinctual drives which
require instant gratification and satisfaction.
• The super-ego is that part which contains the “conscience,” namely, socially-
acquired control mechanisms which have been internalized, and which are
usually imparted in the first instance by the parents.
• The ego is the conscious self that is created by the dynamic tensions and
interactions between the id and the super-ego and has the task of reconciling
their conflicting demands with the requirements of external reality.
Interpretation of Dreams
Dreams as wish fulfillment:
The house was on fire!
• Houses can host many common dream
Freud (1900/1961) claimed that dreams were attempts to fulfill wishes, symbols, but seeing the building as a
arising during sleep, derived from libidinal urges. whole represents your inner psyche.

He based this claim on findings from a purely subjective method: he

collected dreamers’ associations to the individual elements of their dreams • Each room or floor can symbolize
and then inferred implicit, underlying themes from the converging semantic something… such as different emotions,
and affective links. memories, interpretations of
meaningful events or even bodily

• Houses tell us something about our

inner self!