The first school of thought we studied this year was Freud’s. The identification of the id, ego, and superego personalities, the psychosexual stages that we grow through, and the defense mechanism all seem very logical. But from studying the theories more, Freud’s ideas become more of coincidences than the truth for me. The id, ego, and superego types of personalities are something that I believe true of everyone. Every person has one of the characteristics that they can hold true to themselves depending on the situation. Someone could have a weakness for sweets and be constantly eating chocolate (id,) but that same person could be very thrifty and refuse to spend their money on something that they don’t need (superego,) and maybe everything else about them could fall in the middle (ego.) The psychosexual sexual stages also come off as obvious guesses to me. The thought that everyone goes through phases in their life I can attest to, and that certain ones come at certain times, but who didn’t know that?
When children are really young they constantly put things in their mouths, so anyone, not only Freud, could call this an oral stage. The comparisons of the stages to fairy tales are far stretched. To think that famous authors had certain sexual thoughts in their heads when writing bedtime stories for kids is a little out there. Freud’s defense mechanisms are the most accurate of his ideas. I’ve always been curious as to why people act in certain situations the way they do. The mechanisms were one part of his ideas that I had used in everyday life. Rationalization and denial are things I saw every day, and when learning about them, compared to other things he discovered, I could relate and see better where there was the truth. Freud basically believed in the unconscious, and that it’s what rules everything we do. I believe in the subconscious, that it affects some decisions that we make, but I don’t think that it ruins our life.
There is a reason we have a conscience so that we can be aware of the choices that we are making and what is going on around us. Behaviorism is the opposite of Freud’s beliefs. Behaviorists believe that the unconscious is not at all involved in the decisions and choices people make, because they believe that we really can’t make decisions. They believe that we have no free will and that everything we do is because of things learned in the past. I agree that we learn from observing others and that we learn from our own mistake s. That’s what life is all about. Learning so that we can make ourselves better. I see that through reinforcements we will do certain things to also be true. I think everyone does things because they will get something back in some way. Although everything in the school of behaviorism I agree with and find it fit in with many situations of everyday life, it is something that I cannot wholly side with. The fact that behaviorists believe that we have no free will at all is scary. I feel that I do have personal choices over things I do, and I don’t react to every situation because I learned to do things that way.
The last theory of personality we have studied in this course is Humanism. Humanism is the belief that our life is run by free will. Life is all about self-actualization to humanistic psychologists, and our goal in life is to be content with ourselves. They believe that we can’t do that until we accomplish certain goals, the most important being things we need to survive and the ones that would bring us the most happiness being the hardest to get to. As with the other theories, I believe that this one is partly true. We do have free will and we do all want to be happy with ourselves, but I believe that the other schools of thought do play a role in our lives that this can’t be totally accurate. That last thought brings me to my conclusion.
Freud’s theory seems to me to be the most far off of them all. Some things seem true, but as I said, they are too obvious and sometimes stretched to fit certain situations in our lives. I believe my opinions and thoughts fall into the social-learning theory. Behaviorism out of all the theories is the one I find most to be accurate, but I do believe that we have free will like social learning suggests. We learn things but choose to learn them a certain way. For example, we know that if we study that we will receive a good grade. That is a learned trait. Just because we know that we will get something good out of studying, doesn’t necessarily mean we will study, that is where our free will comes in. We will study if we aspire to get good grades, but we aren’t forced to do it.