Sigmund’s Freud contribution to human psychology comes in his proposal of the existence of the unconcisuos. According to him, this is the part of the human nature that human do not know about themselves. This was in direct contrary to the concept of positivism. While positivism promotes real knowledge and control upon human character, emotions, actions and reactions, Freud’s unconscious tells otherwise. The concept have also helped in margenalizing the concept of freewill, stating that there are several factors that humans are not in control.
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In the human psyche this refers to the unconcious.
Nonetheless, since it is William James who was first to tackle the concepts of the unconcious and the subconcious, it would be a mistake to give all the credit to Freud. The important contribution made by Freud in human psychological functioning would be his ways to study and uncover the reality and existence of the unconscious. It is through his methods that the concept of the unconscious becomes more convincing and closer to reality.
The methods of studying and interpreting the unconcious paved way to the establishment of beliefs and proofs of its actual existence.
Freud have also highlighted the concept of repression as something that could have a vast effect on the unconcious, for repress ideas reflects personal wants and desires as well as fears and sufferings. It is through dreams that Freud have been able to illuminate the basic reality of the unconscious. It was then followed by his detailed work on psychosexual development that explains an event in man’s life where he experience a desire for his opposite sex parent and jealousy on the parent of the same sex. This phenomenon was called Oedipus complex or Electra complex.
Freud tried to present the development of human nature in accordance to his theory that was based on psychosexual gratification. According to his theory, man as he grows learns to control him self and delay gratification for psychosexual fantasies. The concept of repression enters as a process by which humans tries to forget their psychosexual wants due to increasing moral pressures and societal standards. Nonetheless, these wants are changed into other form of gratification later in life.
Freud was also famous upon the idea of two main drives of the human consciousness which are the death drive and the life drive. Freud believes that as human suffer unpleasure or stimulus that affects the body, the human consciousness grows tired and weary. Upon the decrease in the stimuli there will be an increase in pleasure, this could be noted with the calmness that the consciousness received on times of rest, sleep and when surrounded by a clean and serene environment. With all this concepts in place, Freud concludes that death was a driving force for man and it is in fact the most pleasurable state in which a man could attain.
Brill, A.A. (1995). The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud. Modern Library.