Identify Freud’s developmental stages

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. 1) Identify Freud’s developmental stages.

Freud maintained that children pass through a series of psychosexual stages during which the id’s pleasure-seeking energies focus on distinct pleasure-sensitive areas of the body called erogenous zones. During the oral stage (0–18 months), pleasure centers on the mouth; during the anal stage (18–36 months), it centers on bowel/bladder elimination.

During the critical phallic stage (3–6 years), pleasure centers on the genitals. Boys experience the Oedipus complex, with unconscious sexual desires toward their mother and hatred of their father. They cope with these threatening feelings through identification with their father, thereby incorporating many of his values and developing a sense of what psychologists now call gender identity. The latency stage (6 years to puberty), in which sexuality is dormant, gives way to the genital stage (puberty on) as sexual interests mature.

In Freud’s view, maladaptive adult behavior results from conflicts unresolved during the oral, anal, and phallic stages. At any point, conflict can lock, or fixate, the person’s pleasure-seeking energies in that stage.


2) Describe projective tests and how they are used, and discuss some criticisms of them.

Projective tests provide ambiguous stimuli that are designed to trigger projection of one’s inner dynamics. The Rorschach inkblot test seeks to identify people’s inner feelings and conflicts by analyzing their interpretations of 10 inkblots. Critics question the validity and reliability of this test. Nonetheless, many clinicians continue to use it.


3) Describe Freud’s view of personality (Ego, Id and Superego).

Freud believed that personality arises from our efforts to resolve the conflict between our biological impulses and the social restraints against them. He theorized that the conflict centers on three interacting systems: the id, which operates on the pleasure principle; the ego, which functions

on the reality principle; and the superego, an internalized set of ideals. The superego’s demands often oppose the id’s, and the ego, as the “executive” part of personality, seeks to reconcile the two.

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