Freud Research Papers
Research papers on Dr. Sigmund Freud can approach his work or life from a vast amount of angles. Paper Masters will custom write you a Freud Research paper on any topic related to the famous psychologist or his psychological theories.
Sigmund Freud is perhaps one of the most well known psychologists in the world. Freud’s advancements in the field of psychotherapy, dream interpretation and child development have remained a central focus of psychological education and practice. While many of Freud’s contributions are still widely recognized and discussed in scholarly discourse, none appears more important than Freud’s discoveries on the development of personality. Through his insights and research on personality Freud has been able to fuel modern understanding of the human psyche.
This is a research paper overview on Dr. Freud and his many works. The particular paper overview centers on the nature of religion. A research paper focusing on Freud's work on the nature of religion may include the following elements:
- Summarizes his work that is related back to the historical context of and impact on Vienna and Austria-Hungary and those writings on religion had between 1905-1930.
- The research paper must also relate Freud's theory in the context of sexual issues versus Catholicism
- Discuss Freud's increased anti-Semitism
- Note socialist rise in influence pushing birth control, abortion, and class struggle
- Include in the research paper Austria's connection with Pan-Germanic influences that affected Freud's theories (Bulgaria a good example).
The Life and Work of Freud
Sigmund Freud created his theory on personality with several new key concepts still used today. The Id, Ego, Superego, and defense mechanisms were first discussed with Freud, but his followers continued to use these words and add to it with their own theories. Sigmund Freud an Austrian psychologist made a study of the unconscious with several key concepts still used today. He wrote one of the first theories on the psyche; however, he was careful to claim expertise only in his own area of experience. Freud’s father was a Jewish merchant who was 40-years-old when Freud was born. They lived in a remote village until 1860 and moved to Vienna. Freud remained in that area until the Nazi invasion in 1939.
In 1873 Freud entered the University of Vienna to study medicine. In 1882 Freud trained at the General Hospital for psychiatry. In 1885 Freud went to Paris to study under Jean-Martin Charcot. After a short stay in Paris, Freud went back to Vienna. Encouraged by Josef Breur, he stared research on using free association.
Freud and Personality Theory
Sigmund Freud believed that an individual’s personality is shaped and guided by their unconscious. He believed that in order to understand a person’s personality, it is necessary to study the symbolic meanings of their behavior. Freud was one of the first psychoanalytic theorists to suggest the unconscious has far more power than the conscious in how personality develops.
One appealing aspect of Freud’s personality theory is the way the unconscious mind works to protect individuals from a constant state of tension and conflict. According to Freud, the human mind is like an iceberg, with the majority of the iceberg (the unconscious) being below the water and the tip of the iceberg (the conscious) being visible above the water. In order to prevent a person from being in a constant state of confusion and conflict, the unconscious portion of the mind locks information away. Further, he stated that many of the actions and behaviors that a person exhibits, even the trivial ones such as a smile, are based on information buried in the unconscious. For this reason many of the things a person says unintentionally are nicknamed Freudian slips.
Another appealing aspect of Freud’s personality theory has to do with the three structures of the ego: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the selfish, self-centered part of a person’s personality. It is the part in control when a person is determined to have what they want when they want regardless of the cost to self or others. The ego’s main function is to get things done, especially when it comes to satisfying the demands of the id and society. The superego is mainly concerned with moral and concepts of right and wrong. The ego provides balance between the ego and the id by trying to satisfy the id in a manner that conforms to the norms and rules of society (Santrock, 1997). This aspect of Freud’s theory is especially appealing in that it provides an explanation for why individuals are able to curb their selfish desires when need dictates.
Freud’s personality theory also presented ideas that are controversial or disagreeable in nature. For instance, Freud argued in his theory of the Oedipus complex (or Electra complex), that young girls develop penis envy because they realize the penis represents superiority. For this reason a young girl resents her mother and becomes attached to her father. Another controversial theory related to this same aspect is that girls never fully resolve their issues regarding inferiority according to gender and therefore, do not develop a superego that is as strong as the one developed by men. Both of these aspects lack appeal in that they suggest women are born inferior to men, which is demonstrated by their personality development.
Sigmund Freud was a respected or hated psychoanalytic theorist depending on the person consulted. While some of his theories regarding personality development are widely discarded, other aspects help form the basis for modern theories. Freud’s contribution to the area of personality development continues to influence others and to spur heated debates.