Sigmund Freud’s Structure of the Human Mind and Criminal Behavior P.1

The theories of Sigmund Freud have long been debated for their validity in the psychological community. Some believe that his theory of the Id, Ego, and Superego leave minimal room for personal responsibility when it comes to making life choices, and puts too much emphasis on blaming external forces for the decisions a person makes. In his 1923 book, The Ego and the Id, he describes the structural model of the mind, separating into three parts, the ego, the id, and the superego. The Id is the impulsive, child-like part of the human psyche. He described a newborn babies mind as only possessing Id-like qualities, and believed that it operated only with the demands of pleasure, disregarding all consequences. In his essay "Groddeck's Children," Van Spruiel writes that Freud was not the first to utilize the theory of the Id, but further developed the concept based on the writings of Georg Groddeck.

In addition to the Id, the human psyche includes the Super-Ego, which is the moral component, and the Ego, which negotiates the desires and drives of the Id with the moral convictions of the Super-Ego. During this battle, the Ego frequently becomes frustrated, and exhibits defense mechanism such as denial, displacement, and repression.  When all three of these components are not in balance, it may results in one of the most fundamental battles all human encounter. As the battle ensues, people will choose either the instant gratification desires of the Id, or the long-term, morally satisfying benefits of the Super-Ego. James Neill, author of "Structure of Mind: Freud's Id, Ego, Superego" claims that the way in which they navigate this battle, and the choice they ultimately make will shape their character.

Critics agree that Freud's assertions concerning the human psyche did not allow for much human development as a person moves through life changes, and is affected by later events in their adult life. Too many of his theories trace all life consequences back to childhood, and he places nearly all of the blame for misfortune and poor choices on parental circumstance. Those that do not favor Freud's theories believe that his philosophy offers more of an excuse than an explanation for human behavior.




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