Three Levels of Consciousness

Discuss this statement with reference to Freud’s ideas about the three levels of consciousness, the id, ego and superego, psychosexual stages of development and defence mechanisms. Sigmund Freud is a psychologist that he creates the first psychodynamic theory. This theory described how human’s personality was established and how they were operating, how the internal forces us to do or not do everything.

Fred created the theory of the 3 levels of consciousness, psychosexual stage of development and defence mechanisms that described the idea and perspective about human personality. In this synopsis, discussion will be made about the impact of Freud’s theory, how they affect the development of psychology and the concepts of themselves and exploring the reason why the influence of Freud’s theory has declined. Firstly, the three levels of consciousness include id, ego and superego (Diane & Sally, 2009) . Fred’s view of how people‘s consciousness levels operate.

Ego relates to the idea, thoughts or rational perceptions of human; Superego relates to conscience, morals of human that learn from the society or traditional culture; Id relates to selfish, childish though or immediate gratification of human (Robert, 2001). Those levels of consciousness mutually balance and control each other. There would be negative feeling happened if the id produce some desires, at the same time superego would produce repugnant feeling. People follow the thought of id (desire) and practice it, after that the result is guilty feelings.

For example, if id‘s power lost control, people would like to do something wrong to himself or damage the society. But those levels of consciousness are hard to apply to the people. Especially the id (unconscious) level is hard to find out and prevent it to affect others and the society. Because the unconscious of human usually discover by a Clinical Psychologist, that they hypnotize the patient to get the result. A personality development also relate to parenting style, environment and social culture. In different parenting pattern, several types of personality could be train to the children.

In different conditions people can grow their children to be what they want, they would use their own style. For example, a liberal family which allow their children to do whatever they want compare to a tradition family which are authority to control their children to do everything. The children in these two groups would be developed totally different. The levels of consciousness theory cannot fit in several conditions of different culture. It only generally describe a people’s consciousness may work like that. Freud discovered this theory by his work as he worked with the mental illness people.

These patients were different that they were accepting to the treatment. Freud had not found any ‘normal’ person to text. This is difficult to imagine the terms in this theory. Secondly, defence mechanisms theory described about the protection of human being to avoid neglect feeling-anxiety (James, p504). It is a reaction pattern that coping with the problems. And there are lots coping forms of defence mechanism such as repression, rationalization, displacement, reaction formation, sublimation, projection and regression (James, 2010).

When human beings face different problem and issues in daily life, they will use different method protect them to avoid anxiety. For example, when a student asks a professor to give him extension for doing assignment, the professor refuses. So the student kicks down the rubbish bin and speak some aggressive words. In this case, the student uses displacement to respond to his situation. He tries to put his anger from study to hit a rubbish bin. Defence mechanisms describe that displacement is diverting behaviour or thought away from its natural target toward a less threatening target.

Freud created the defence mechanisms theory by his personal experience. When his daughter Anna was growing up, Freud discovered that Anna’s reaction to several difficulties in her daily life which had a fixed method. After his observation of Anna’s reaction he created the theory of defence mechanisms (James, 2010) . However every human being is individual and unique. There are lots of reasons to affect the children’s behaviour, like environment, parenting style, social culture. So defence mechanisms only briefly describe unique event may show that people’s mind but not the real meaning or their personality.

Fred’s perspective of the reaction of people protect themselves is too negative that he thinks human being selfish. In other word Freud mentioned that the defence mechanisms theory help people to avoid the anxiety to protect them not to be emotional or depression. According to his theory, if one people face some trouble in their life, they will use different patterns avoid the damage. So the unhappiness or pressure of them would be transformed to others people or activities. For example, someone wanted to apply a job which is his favour. However he missed the deadline to apply that he forgot to check the due date of application.

So he would give himself an excuse like he did not reality like this job. He used rationalization to prove his action was rational and justifiable. Then he would not get hurt of this event. If the defence mechanisms theory is right, this is hard to explain that people usually remember lots of unhappiness moment in the past. Suppose the defence mechanism was helping people to avoid the crises but this theory have not described when did it fail and why. Thirdly the idea of stage of psychosexual development describe about the personality is affected by the sexual needs of human as they are child.

Stages of Psychosexual development describes that human’s personality is influence by the sexual pleasure in 5 stages. The five stages include oral, anal, phallic, latent and genital stage. The stages of psychosexual development cover the age from birth to puberty onward. (Richard & Elizabeth, 1983) . The psychosexual energy would flow to other parts of the body when the child grows. So human have several needs in each stage need to focus and solve. If human can successfully complete the stages of psychosexual development, they would have a health personality.

If not, the personality of people would have several issues until the sexual needs have been resolved. Freud believes that everyone have psychosexual pleasure that need to satisfy in each stages. Fred proposed that the behaviour of child reflect that they have the original pleasure need to express. The psychosexual pressure started from stimulation of the mouth to sensation of bowel movement, touching the genitals, supress the psychosexual interest and strong contact with others people. For example, in oral stage human’s sexual interest is focus on their month (the habitat of eating).

If the parent did not provide enough stimulation of child’s month, the psychosexual energy would fixate at the oral stage. ‘Someone fixated at this stage continues to receive great pleasure from eating, drinking and smoking and may also have lasting concerns with dependence and independence’ (James, 2010). The Psychosexual development theory is a controversial concept that Fred assumes the sexual need of human being start at that young age. Although this is undeniable that the behaviour on different age of child development could be found, however this is hard to prove the child’s behaviour relate to sexual pleasure.

Freud’s idea of fixation at various stages, central to much of his thinking is difficult to test (Grunbaum, 1986; Popper, 1986) . For example, the stages of psychosexual development talks about that when people’s characteristic of being orderliness or sloppiness, it relates to the anal stage and the child might affect by a strict or lenient toilet training. However this is no evidence connecting the people who is orderliness or sloppiness to a toilet training (Fisher & Greenberg, 1977) . In other words, the last two stage of psychosexual development is not completed in the theory.

The latent period is evidently a product of European culture but it doesn’t appear in all societies. Also the latent and genital stage described a common behaviour like playing with peers of people’s same sex and opposite sex (James, p 503) . but this is no evidence to prove that it relates this is the psychosexual need of human. In phallic stage of early childhood Freud mention that boy would have a sexual attachment to their mother, girls to their fathers, these development call Oedipus and Electra complexes. Freud even recognizes that the child at that age would aggressive urge the same-sex parent.

These assumptions are hard to prove so the crises of psychosexual development emphasis on sexual are rejected by many psychoanalysts (Diane, 2009, p26-27). To summarize the stage of psychosexual development, Freud mentions several views to the child’s behaviour to sexual energy. However there is less evidence to prove. In conclusion, Sigmund Freud’s three levels of consciousness, psychosexual stage of development and defence mechanisms theory bring lots of new and brave assumption in the history. The perspectives and theories he had provided are very important to open our eyes.

Freud influence extends not only in psychology area, it extent to sociology, literature, art, religion and politics. However his view of human development tends to much more negative and adventurous. Fred’s psychosexual stage of development is not fulfilled but this is a vanguard of psychology. Fred’s theories provide lots of important information and lead the psychologist base on his theory to do their research on human development. Such as Erikson, he created the eight stage of psychosocial development theory is alike to Fred’s psychosexual stage of evelopment. Although Freud’s theory is hard to practice, his ideas of human being still learned by people but not that much. Freud left an indelible mark on human’s psychological development.

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