Sigmund Freud Research Paper

Submitted By kishxo
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Sigmund Freud was an neurologist born in Austria on May 6, 1856. He was the oldest of 8 siblings. At age 17 he attended school at the University of Vienna where he planned to study law but instead joined the medical faculty instead.He began his career in the medical field at Vienna General Hospital, where he spent 3 years working in various departments. After working in the hospital, Freud started specializing in nervous disorders. He married his first of three wives, Martha Bernays, whom he had 6 children with. At 24 he had developed buccal cancer, from smoking cigarettes.

Freud discovered the theory of psychosexual development. He believed that personality developed through a series of 5 stages during childhood. The stages include oral, anal, phallic, latent, and phallic.

Stage 1: Oral, Birth - 1 year.
During the oral stage, most of the source of interaction occurs through the mouth, so the rooting and sucking reflex is especially important. The mouth is vital for eating and the infant derives pleasure from oral stimulation through tasting and sucking. Due to the fact the infant is entirely dependent upon mothers, or caretaker who is feeding the child. the infant also develops a sense of trust and comfort through this oral stimulation. The conflict with this stage is the trying to get rid of the process. The child must become less dependent upon caretakers. If fixation occurs at this stage, Freud believed the individual would have issues with dependency or aggression. Oral fixation can result in problems with drinking, eating, smoking, or nail biting.

Stage 2: Anal, 1 to 3 years
During the anal stage, Freud believed that the primary focus was on controlling bladder and bowel movements. The major conflict at this stage is training the child, the child has to learn to control his or her bodily needs. Developing this control leads to a sense of accomplishment and independence. According to Freud, success at this stage is dependent upon the way in which parents approach toilet training. Parents who upraise and rewards for using the toilet at the appropriate time encourage positive outcomes and help children feel capable and productive. Freud believed that positive experiences during this stage served as the basis for people to become competent, productive, and creative adults. Not all parents provide the support and encouragement, some parents instead punish, ridicule or shame a child for accidents. Inappropriate parental responses can result in negative outcomes. If parents take an approach that is too lenient, Freud suggested that an anal-expulsive personality could develop in which the individual has a messy, wasteful, or destructive personality. If parents are too strict or begin toilet training too early, Freud believed that an anal-retentive personality develops in which the individual is stringent, orderly, rigid, and obsessive.

Stage 3: Phallic Stage, 3 to 6 years
During the phallic stage, the primary focus is on the genitals. At this age, children also begin to discover the differences between males and females. Freud also believed that boys begin to view their fathers as a rival for the mother’s affections. The Oedipus complex describes these feelings of wanting to possess the mother and the desire to replace the father. However, the child also fears that he will be punished by the father for these feelings, a fear Freud termed castration anxiety. The term Electra complex has been used to described a similar set of feelings experienced by young girls. Freud, however, believed that girls instead experience womb envy.

Eventually, the child begins to identify with the same-sex parent as a