Freud, known to many as the father of psychology, developed the theory on id-ego-superego as an attempt to broaden the understanding on what drove human psychology and how our feelings and thoughts are organized. The id-ego-superego are regarded as the 3 components of the psyche, as defined by Freud. Various of his theories, not only this one, have been discredited over time. I believe they’re interesting concepts, and as they’ve shaped the course and development of psychology, I think they’re worth understanding.
Id: The most primitive drive, concerned only with fulfilling pleasure. Has sometimes been referred to as the irrational and emotional part of the mind. It is often regarded as being selfish, because it’s concerned only with its own self-satisfaction. Babies and young children are often used as examples because they’re usually driven by the pleasure and instant gratification principles. Key word: want
Ego: Based on the reality principle. The ego is capable of understanding that one’s own desires may vary for people around (reality), and is willing to make this consideration. The ego tries to meet the basic needs of the id but also takes into account the real world. The ego understands that actions have effects, whether positive or negative, and tries to balance out thinking before carrying out decisions/actions. Key word: balance
Superego: Based on moral principles instilled by rearing and moral/ethical restraints placed upon by caregivers. The superego encompasses an individual’s ideals, goals, and conscience as well as society’s. The superego is concerned with what other will think, and stands in opposition to the id. The superego acts to perfect and civilize our behavior. Key words: morals, compromise
According to Freud, a healthy individual will have developed a strongest ego to keep the id and superego in check. If the id becomes too strong, impulses and desires may become overwhelming (resulting in a selfish, inconsiderate individual) and affect interpersonal relationships. However, if the superego is too strong, an individual may feel excessive rigid moral constraints that result in judgmental individuals, thus straining interpersonal relationships as well.
Doctors are giving psychedelics a second look after scientists won permission to study hallucinogens’ potential for treating some mental disorders. Patients diagnosed with depression have reported that after taking hallucinogens, their lives have gained more meaning and their relationships with family/loved ones have improved.
“Researchers from around the world are gathering this week in San Jose, Calif., for the largest conference on psychedelic science held in the United States in four decades. They plan to discuss studies of psilocybin and other psychedelics for treating depression in cancer patients, obsessive-compulsive disorder, end-of-life anxiety,post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction to drugs or alcohol.”
Jean Piaget was a developmental biologist that studied the intellectual development of children, particularly his own three. All of his observations and recordings stem from his experience with his own three children, hardly an adequate and representative sample, but I think that some of his ideas are worth considering.
To Piaget, the progression through stages of cognitive development occurred as structures in the brain that allowed for this stage to be developed. In other words, intellectual development was regulated by major developments in brain growth at different times, even though time (age) was variable. To Piaget, these stages were of invariant sequence as he claimed that they were progressed through in the same order, thus being culturally universal.
Piaget postulated the following 4 stages of cognitive development:
Sensorimotor (birth-2 years): Babies organize their physical action schemes (sucking, grasping, hitting) for dealing with the immediate world and recognize themselves as an agent of action capable of acting intentionally.
Pre-operational period (2-7 years): Children learn to think and use symbolic/internal images, but their thinking is unsystematic and illogical. It is during this period that children learn to use language to represent objects by images/words. Children at this cognitive stage still think egocentrically, and thus are unable to understand another person’s viewpoint. Another interesting feature is that children categorize different objects (pertaining to different categories) by a single, common feature.
Concrete operations (7-11 years): Children develop the capacity to think systematically, but only when they can refer to concrete objects and activities. They also achieve conservation principles of number, mass and weight. A child in this cognitive stage can also now group objects based on multiple features, not just one.
Formal operations (11-__): In this stage, children resemble little scientists: they are able to think logically about abstract proportions and test hypotheses systematically. Thus, they develop the capacity to think systematically on a purely abstract and hypothetical plane.
Note that Piaget’s stages refer to the actual cognitive development of the child, not the child itself. Piaget’s ages are not fixed, these ages are where most psychologists grouped them at according to the emergence of characteristics.
Musician is struck by a brain infection that leaves him with retrograde amnesia and a memory span of less than 30 seconds. The interesting part is that he has selective memory loss: his musical abilities are still intact!
Where do you believe intelligence originates from? Some believe it's genetics, while others say it's all up to yourself. What's your take on this subject?
I believe intelligence is a result of the nature-nurture interaction, that is the integration of genetics (nature) within the context of the environment (nurture). The environment encompasses many things: society, culture, the way you were brought up, religion, your background, the kind of school you went to and their approach to learning and many other factors that shape you but are not inherently biological. I do not believe something as complex as human intelligence can be attributable to a single source.
Think about it this way. What good would genes associated with intelligence be in a region with limited or no schooling opportunity? Of course, they probably convey some advantage. But, do you think this individual would develop the same as if he/she were living in a country with a top notch educational system? What about if this individual lived 100 years ago?
I believe that these questions emphasize the importance of current context (historical, spatial, societal, etc…) in development, not just of intelligence.
"John has a few snorts of cocaine, finds he can take it or leave it, and never bothers to take another hit. Jim has a few snorts of cocaine and before he knows it, his whole life revolves around getting more of the white powder, until his job, his marriage, his health are gone. Why? The answer may lie in one of the most exciting neuroscience discoveries of the last fifty years: the finding that new neurons are born in the adult brain…” Click on link to read more…