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The Role Ego Plays in Your Personality

Sigmund Freud

"The ego represents what we call reason and sanity, in contrast to the id which contains the passions."

Sigmund Freud

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Personality Psychology: Important Terminology
Personality Psychology: Important Terminology
  • Classical conditioning: A behavioural technique where a natural stimulus is paired with a previously neutral stimulus. The previously neutral stimulus eventually cause the r...
Defining Personality

While we often talk about personality, psychologists disagree on what exactly constitutes personality.

Personality is then broadly defined as the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that originate within the person and make a person unique. It is what makes you, you.

Key Characteristics of Personality
  • Personality is organized and consistent.
  • Personality is generally stable, but the environment can influence it. A shy personality in social situations might take charge and be more outspoken in an emergency.
  • Personality causes behaviours to happen. You react to your environment based on your personality.
Repression as a defense mechanism
Repression as a defense mechanism

Repression can best be defined as the psychological defense mechanism that involves pushing undesired thoughts into the unconscious in order to not think about them anymore.

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Types of repression

Repression is of two types: primary and proper.

While the primary one takes into account the fact of hiding undesired thoughts or facts, the proper one takes place whenever an individual becomes aware of the thoughts that had initially been hidden and tries to hide them again.

Repression and its way of functioning

The objective of hiding our undesired thoughts in our unconsciousness is to feel less anxious.

However, Freud stated that this process can backfire at any point, as these hidden thoughts or feelings can still create anxiety, eventually leading to psychological distress.

When Psychology Became A Separate Scientific Discipline
When Psychology Became A Separate Scientific Discipline

When psychology developed as a science that was separate from biology and philosophy, they did not know how to describe the human mind and behaviour.

Different schools of psychology...

Psychology: Early Schools of Thought
  • Structuralism was the first school of thought and focused on breaking down mental processes into their most basic elements using techniques such as introspection. Major thinkers are Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Titchener.
  • Functionalism formed as a reaction to the theories of structuralism and focused on the role that the mental processes play instead of the mental processes themselves. Thinkers associated with this outlook include John Dewey, James Rowland Angell, and Harvey Carr.
Gestalt Psychology
  • This school of psychology is based on the idea that we experience things as unified wholes.
  • The approach started in the late 19th century in response to the molecular approach of structuralism.
  • Instead of breaking down thoughts and behaviour to their smallest parts, the gestalt psychologists believed you should view the whole of experience.