1. Does the Freudian perspective indicate that Steve’s relationships with women are internal or externally motivated? Who system of personality is most involved?
Steve’s actions are internally motivated by the id. Steve’s tendency fulfill his sexual desires is in accordance to the pleasure principle of the id. The id strives for immediate satisfaction of its needs and does not tolerate delay, thus Steve is driven to obtain instant gratification. The id propels us to achieve our own primitive desires without regard to anyone else; it’s a selfish force operating to obtain the most primal urge, sex.
5. At what Freudian stage is Steve fixated? Provide evidence for your answer. Describe the stage and how it contributed to the fixation. What would have caused this fixation?
Based on the Freudian perspective, Steve is likely fixated on the phallic stage. It’s mentioned in the case study that Steve had a strained relationship with his mother as a child, he lacked his mothers affection, yet he craved it. Now in adulthood, he tends to use women for sex and affection. On Freudian principles, the conflict Steve has with his mother would be attributed to the Oedipus complex, or the unconscious desire of a boy for his mother. At least Freud would see this as a sign that Steve has an unconscious desire for his mother in a sexual manner that has now affected his adult life.
This unresolved conflict has left Steve unable to be have a successful relationship with the opposite sex. Instead he has become narcissistic, as he attempts to reassure himself through sex to avoid feeling inadequate and inferior.
6. Others might express their behavior differently than Steve if they were fixated at the same stage. Give some examples of how they might behave.
A women fixated on the phallic stage would be attributed to the Electra complex, the unconscious desire of a girl for her father, accompanied by a desire to replace or destroy her mother. The girls father would be the love object as opposed to the Oedipus complex of a boy and his mother. In Freud’s theory, penis envy would be a supporting cause of the phallic fixation, the girl would blame her mother for her so called inferior condition, yet envy’s her father and transfers her love to him. The female phallic personality, motivated by penis envy, exaggerates femininity and uses her talents and charms to overwhelm and conquer men.
Extra Credit #1
Many of Freudís majors theories have fallen out of favor among psychologists for their lack of falsifiability (i.e., can not be tested empirically true of false using the scientific method). Despite that, many of Freudís ideas have had a significant impact on the field of psychology- the study of the unconscious; the importance of early childhood experiences; stage development; defense mechanisms. After reading about Freud this week, which of his theories/ideas is your favorite? Why? Try to be specific.
My favorite theory of Freud’s would be his ideas regarding the conscious, preconscious, unconscious mind. Particularly, the iceberg diagram depicting that conscious, or ego, as just the tip of the iceberg. I had never stopped to think that conscious behavior is driven by unconscious behavior, but in my opinion, it’s absolutely true. Our conscious is just a fragment of ourselves that we are actively engaged in daily, while our unconscious is the true driving force behind behavior that remains active at all times. Meanwhile, our preconscious is a balance between both zones, retrieving memories from the past and bring them to consciousness. Though this theory is simplistic, I had never stopped to think about the process of “how I think”.