Psychodynamic perspective assumes the behaviour comes from the
unconscious thought or mind of a person. There are 3 levels of consciousness.
The first is conscious level. Within this it includes thoughts and perception.
The second level is preconscious level. Within this level there are memories
and stored knowledge and it can be described as things that we could be aware
of if we wanted to be. The third level is the unconscious level. Within this it
include fear, violent motives, immortal urges, irrational wishes and selfish
needs and shameful experiences that individuals are unware of and cannot be
The psychodynamic perspective also states that
there are 3 types to the personalities. The first one is the ID. Within this it
includes instincts and involves you being selfish (only care about what you
want and you are regardless of everyone else. The second type of psyche is ego
and this is reality. The superego tells us what is right or wrong and it
considers everyone else before yourself. The ego balances the id and the
superego. An individual can become neurotic (worry about other people and doubt
yourself) when the ego isn’t in charge and the superego takes charge. An
individual is psychotic (don’t worry about anyone else) when the ego isn’t in
charge and the id takes charge.
Sigmund Freud came up with five psychosexual stages
and explained the behaviours that can occur if someone is fixated in this
stage. The first stage is oral and this takes place from birth to one years
old. An individual’s pleasure comes from the mouth and the ingestion of food.
Chewing, sucking, biting and swallowing are the source of oral pleasure and it
these actions reduce tension that the child might have. It an individual is
fixated in this stage then it can result in them smoking, drinking alcohol,
over eating, chewing their pen or biting their finger nails. The individual
becomes dependant on others, can be gullible and will follow others but can
potentially respond aggressively to others. The second stage is anal and this
takes place from 1 to 3 years old and it includes bowel and bladder control. An
individual will withhold urine/faeces until its release and this is a source of
pleasure. The exercise of anal muscles reduces tension in the child. The anus
becomes the centre of the child’s pleasure as toilet training starts and the
pleasure comes from either defecating or retaining their faeces. If someone is
fixated in this stage, it can result in cleanliness, perfection and control,
however they may become messy and disorganised. An individual can be fixated in
this stage due to late toilet training. The third psychosexual stage is phallic
and this occurs when an individual is 4 to 6 years old. Pleasure centres on the
genitals and self-manipulation is the main source. A child may identify
themselves with the same-sex parent in order to reduce tension. Fixation in
this stage can result in a weak or confused sexual identity. The fourth stage
is latency and occurs from the age of 6 to puberty. In this stage, sexual
feelings are inactive and pleasure centres around social interactions and the
child represses all interest in their sexuality. An individual will channel
their energy into emotionally acceptable relationships to reduce tension that
was experienced in the previous stage. The final stage is the genital stage and
this occurs from puberty to death. In this stage, the individual will
experience maturing sexual interests and it is a time for sexual reawakening.
The source comes from an individual outside of the family.
In the psychological perspective they explain certain types of behaviour
through defence mechanisms. Some examples are; suppression (putting things into
darkness/into your unconscious mind), regression (acting younger than you are
to feel better), displacement (taking your emotions out on someone else),
sublimation (diverting something negative into acceptable), reaction formation
(pretending you are someone different), projection (see your own faults in
others), rationalisation (excuse and justify your mistakes), compensation
(strengthen someone to hide another), denial (refuse to accept your negative
behaviour) and identification (attach to something positive).