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Lifespan Development and Case study

LifespanDevelopment and Case study

LifespanDevelopment &amp Case study

Theorist information

Theorist: Sigmund Freud

Year: 1905

Theorist: Carl Jung

Year: 1933

Theory overview

Freud’s theory of personality shows that the interactions of three components of the human mind, that is, the Id, superego and ego result in the manifestation of an individual’s behavior. This theory places a focus on how conflicts between these parts of the mind shape a human being’s personality and behavior. The conflicts are unconscious and occur inherently (Mok, 2012).

Carl Jung’s theory shows that people are very complex creatures, who possess a large variety of opposing qualities. Examples of these opposing qualities are masculinity and femininity, extraversion and introversion and rational and irrational tendencies (Pearson, 2014).

Aspect of lifespan development

This theory focuses on personality development.

This theory focuses on social development.

Theory components

This theory constitutes three components, which lead to psychoanalytic development and thus development of personality. They include the Id, ego and superego.

The theory places a focus on the human psyche, and it divides it into two levels, that is, the conscious and the unconscious. The unconscious level is further divided into personal unconscious and collective unconscious.

Process (expansion of theory components)

Personality develops from the interactions of three distinct structures of the human mind, that is, the Id, the ego and the superego. The conflicts among these three elements and efforts to find a balance among what each of these three elements desire determines our behavior and approach to the world. The Id is regarded as the most primitive of these elements, and is concerned with the satisfying of basic physical urges and needs. It can be regarded to be operating quite unconsciously. The superego encompasses our morals and social rules. It can be described to being our conscience. The superego develops as a child gets to learn what is considered right and wrong. The ego is the rational part of our personality. It is conscious to some extent and partly unconscious. Its role is to strike a reasonable balance between the demands of the moral superego and the primitive id in practical scenarios (Sternberg, 2012).

The conscious part of personality is represented by the ego. With regards to this, what is sensed by the ego is said to be conscious. In an individual who has matured psychologically, ego is secondary to self. Anything or any images that are not sensed by the ego are referred to as unconscious. Personal unconscious are unconscious processes that stem from our own personal experiences. Collective unconscious comprises of ideas that are far from our own personal experiences, and originate from our ancestors’ repeated experiences. Collective unconscious has contents that are known as archetypes. Archetypes are expressed in types of hallucinations, dreams, fantasies and delusions. Several archetypes acquire a personality. One is the persona, which is the side of our personality that we strive to show to others, and another is the shadow, which can be regarded to being the dark side of our personality. Realizing and accepting our shadow enables us to attain full psychological maturity. Another obstacle in attaining maturity is for men to accept their amina (feminine side) and women to accept their aminus (masculine side). Other archetypes include the hero, the great mother and the wise old man. Self-realization is the ultimate in psychological maturity (Mok, 2012).

Application to learning/ Education

Freud’s psychoanalytic theory can be applied at the more junior levels of education such as pre-school, elementary school, middle school and high school. This is because at these levels, students can be considered not to have attained psychological maturity (Pearson, 2014). The theory can encourage students at these levels to strive to ensure that the superego part of their predominates at all times.

Jung’s theory is applicable in all levels of education. It can be best applied when trying to figure out the best learning style of students. For example, by applying Jung’s theory, a student can be able to determine if s/he has an extroverted learning style, whereby the learner enjoys generating ideas from interactions with other people, or introverted learners, whereby the learner prefers to solve problems on his/her own and generate solutions from internal sources (Scott, 2015).

Application to educator role

Teachers and educators are required to apply Freud’s psychoanalytical theory if they want to bring up morally upright students. The teachers and counselors should always strive to ensure that they encourage their students to bring out the superego and more importantly the ego arms of their minds, ensuring that they develop into upright adults and citizens (Mok, 2012).

Counselors and teachers can use their observation and discernment capabilities to determine which of their students learn best using an extroverted style, and who learn best through an introverted style. Having determined this, the teachers will be able to come up with the most appropriate ways of teaching and educating their students (Sternberg, 2012).

Theory: Mechanisms of change

The values, morals and social rules should be established within an individual during childhood and as they transition to teenagers. If this does not happen, the id form of the individual’s mind will predominate in many situations, and this will be detrimental to the establishment of a healthy personality (Scott, 2015).

Self-realization should be encouraged in an individual from childhood. Failing to do this will lead to an individual growing up without realizing his/her true potential and capabilities (Scott, 2015).

Self-study: Personal mechanisms of change

As a migrant student, I was made fun off because of my accent, language and clothes. This made me feel inferior and lowered my self-esteem, as I thought I had to be like others to integrate into the society. I did not realize that even though I was different, I still had a healthy personality, as I focused so much on my differences with the rest of the students.

My differences with others in school enabled me to become very introverted and anti-social. This could have probably not been my character then, but it was influenced by the environment I was in.

Self-study: Reflection of reaction to theory

My strong relationship with Jesus Christ has enabled the superego arm of my mind to stand out in many situations.

I was able to discover my academic strengths and capabilities in school. This enabled me to adopt the most suitable learning style for me, and I subsequently graduated in the top ten percent of my class.

Self-study: Application to specific part of lifespan

It has been applicable when I was at a young age, where my spiritual life grew as my relationship with Jesus Christ was strengthened. I was therefore able to suppress the id arm of my mind.

When I was a teenager, I adopted my siblings’ strict study habits, whereby I was able to discover my best learning styles and capabilities.

Self-study: Factors that affect normal development.

My strong spiritual growth: My religious beliefs strongly enabled me to differentiate between the tendencies of the id and the superego part of my mind.

Motivation from my siblings to study: This enabled me to discover my most appropriate ways of learning and thus become an academic achiever.

Self-study: Where am I now?

The psychoanalytic theory of personality has enabled me to strike a balance between the biological demands of my body and what is morally right

I am fully aware of my academic capabilities and am on course to graduate with a master’s degree in school counseling.

Self-study: Where am I going?

An understanding of Freund’s psychoanalytical theory of personality will enable me become a better counselor after am done with my masters in school counseling.

An understanding of Carl Jung’s theory will enable me help students discover their learning capabilities and characteristics early in their school life, thus ensuring they consistently maintain good grades during their time in school.


Mok, M. (2012). Educational Psychology for the Knowledge Age. Educational Psychology, 32(1), 1-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01443410.2012.631391

Pearson, F. (2014). Theories in educational psychology. Concise guide to meaning and practice. Educational Psychology In Practice, 30(2), 210-211. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02667363.2014.900915

Scott, D. (2015). Educational psychology, second edition. Educational Psychology In Practice, 31(4), 442-443. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02667363.2015.1094197

Sternberg, J. (2012). The early years of life: psychoanalytical development theory according to Freud, Klein and Bion. Journal Of Child Psychotherapy, 38(2), 237-240. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0075417x.2012.684495