Psychology of Human Nature
Psychology is the very important perspective for human nature. It is very much important for the individual environment. “Psychology is very much a product of the Western tradition. Whereas a new psychology of the year 2000 contains both the eastern as well as the Western tradition”(Frey,04/06). Psychologists call a person’s self concepts it includes what a person perceives from the person’s self-concept attitudes. It’s related to Psyche means the integrate part of human mind motion connected to those with bodily concepts. “It however reflects true relationship with the mind-body concept. ATTITUDES AND SOCIAL COGNITION addresses those domains of social behavior in which cognition plays a major role, including the interface of cognition with overt behavior, affect, and motivation.”(Primis,119).
Major perspectives in psychology at this point includes psychoanalysis, humanism and sociobiology. Now, what’s the concept of psychoanalysis is also a very important perspective. “As a therapy, psychoanalysis is based on observation that individuals are often unaware of many of the factors that determine their emotions and behavior.”(Frey,04/06). “It is, in addition, a method for learning about the mind, and also a theory, a way of understanding the processes of normal everyday mental functioning and the stages of normal development from infancy to old age.”(psychology.com). “Furthermore, since psychoanalysis seeks to explain how the human mind works, it contributes insight into whatever the human mind produces.”(apa.org)
Sigmund Freud was the first psychoanalyst.”Many of his insights into the human mind, which seemed so revolutionary at the turn of the century, are now widely accepted by most schools of psychological thought. Although others before and during his time had begun to recognize the role of unconscious mental activity, “Freud was the preeminent pioneer in understanding its importance. Although his ideas met with antagonism and resistance, Freud believed deeply in the value of his discoveries and rarely simplified or exaggerated them for the sake of popular acceptance.”(apa.org) He saw that those who sought to change themselves or others must face realistic difficulties. But he also showed us that, while the dark and blind forces in human nature sometimes seem overwhelming, psychological understanding, by enlarging the realm of reason and responsibility, can make a substantial difference to troubled individuals and even to civilization as a whole. “Building on such ideas and ideals, psychoanalysis has continued to grow and develop as a general theory of human mental functioning, while always maintaining a profound respect for the uniqueness of each individual life.”(psych.nwu.edu).”Sigmund Freud interpreted the behaviour in human beings as the outcome of a drive that constantly seeks releases.”(Frey, 04/06). “However, upto this contexts it could be seen that Freud’s psychoanalytic theory explains the most about the human nature”(Freud, introduction). In fact it determines the various stages and phalices in human selfhood as well as natural ignorance for the beings which ultimately gives much broader concept of the human nature. “According to Freud, people are often compelled to do things without knowing the reasons for their actions; the motivation for their actions is unconscious”(Freud, Civilization and its discontents). Sigmund Freud has many theories on how people develop. His most influential theory to the development of the human mind was his five psychosexual stages.” Freud’s belief was that children were done developing after they finished going through puberty. The stages started with infants describing this as the oral stage, or the sucking stage. The anal stage deals with the one and two year olds. This age group is starting to potty train. After this stage the three through five-year-olds go through the phallic stage.”(Freud, Civilization). “The child focuses on the genitals, as they discover it is enjoyable. Freud’s fourth stage is the latency stage, including children six to twelve years.”(Freud, Civilization). This is when their sexual interests are put on the back burn. “The last stage is the genital stage. Children going through puberty have a time of sexual reawakening. Other theorists criticized him by saying that there was more to development than sex.”(Freud, Civilization) They also said a person does not stop developing after they turn eighteen. “Freud did develop another theory that many author’s have described in their literary works which included the Id, Ego, and Superego. The Id, Ego, and Superego dealt with how the mind worked conscientiously and unconsciously. It also described the behavior of the human body and why we do the things we do. Freud was a real pessimist when it came to human nature. He identifies man’s weaknesses in saying that man is a biological creature with biological drives. He reflected these ideas off of Darwin’s original ideas. “(Freud, Civilization)
Another big work is of Dr.Victor.E.Frankl regarding the Humanistic Psychology. Humanistic Psychology is a contemporary manifestation of that ongoing commitment. American psychology was dominated by two schools of thought: behaviorism and psychoanalysis. Neither fully acknowledged the possibility of studying values, intentions and meaning as elements in conscious existence.Their arised the concepts of the forces.”(runet.edu) “The “First Force” systematically excluded the subjective data of consciousness and much information bearing on the complexity of the human personality and its development. The “Second Force” emerged out of Freudian psychoanalysis and the depth psychologies of Alfred Adler, Erik Erikson, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, Carl Jung, Melanie Klein, Otto Rank, Harry Stack Sullivan and others. These theorists focused on the dynamic unconscious – the depths of the human psyche whose contents, they asserted, must be integrated with those of the conscious mind in order to produce a healthy human personality .The third blow came to be about through the psychoanalysis. “(psychology.ucdavis.edu)
Another very important work is the sociobiological theories by Dr. Edward.O.Wilson. The Sociobiological Perspective on Human Nature also explain human nature very deeply. Sociobiology is the systematic study of the biological(evolutionary) basis of the human social behavior. Sociobiology is defined as the systematic study of the biological basis of all forms of social behavior, including sexual and parental behavior, in all kinds of organisms including humans. “The sociobiologist is interested in the more general features of human nature and the limitations that exist in the environmentally induced variation. In the Sociobiology concept, Consciousness might well consist of large numbers of coded abstractions, some fed stepwise through a hierarchy of integrating centers whose lowest array consists of the primary sense cells, others originating internally to simulate these hierarchies . According to Wilson sex creates diversity and diversity (Wilson, 122). Wilson also focuses on the viewpoint that “The physical and temperamental differences between men and women have been amplified by culture into universal male dominance. “(Wilson, 128). From the viewpoint of religion, Wilson says “The biological significance of sex has been misinterpreted by the theoreticians of Judaism and Christianity.” (Wilson, 141). As such, it is a disciplinean inevitable discipline, since there must be a systematic study of social behavior.”(baldwin.apa.org). Pure sociobiological theory, being independent of human biology, does not imply by itself that human social behavior is determined by genes.” It allows for any one of three possibilities. One is that the human brain has evolved to the point that it has become an equipotential learning machine entirely determined by culture. “(Wilson, 141). “The approach is entirely complementary to that of the social sciences and in no way diminishes their importancequite the contrary. “The human mind,” this argument often goes, “is an emergent property of the brain that is no longer tied to genetic controls. All that the genes can prescribe is the construction of the liberated brain.” The mind, in other words, has been freed from the genes.”(psychology.net) A second possibility is that human social behavior is under genetic constraint but that all of the genetic variability within the human species has been exhausted. “Hence our behavior is to some extent influenced by genes, but we all have exactly the same potential.”(psychology.net). A third possibility, close to the second, is that the human species is prescribed to some extent but also displays some genetic differences among individuals. As a consequence, human populations retain the capacity to evolve still further in their biological capacity for social behavior.
Then, Each theory of personality or psychological perspective on human nature has a certain range of convenience. And they form similar aspects many of the times. As Freud expresses about the aggression, similarly Wilson in the sociobiological theory, expresses that ” The cultural evolution of aggression appears to be guided jointly by three forces, first being genetic predisposition, second necessities imposed by the environment in which society finds itself and third being the previous history of the group which biasses it towards the adoption of one cultural innnovation as opposed to another. There lied certain range of similarities between these two theories. “(Wilson, 112).
Now how were the theories of the psychologists differ in certain concepts is an important point over here. Biology has been employed as a science that accounts for the human body; it concerns itself with technological manifestations such as the conquest of disease, the green revolution, energy flow in ecosystems and the cost-benefit analysis of gene splicing. Psychoanalysis on one hand does not correctly determine dysfunction, while sociobiology broadly generalizes a correlation between man and animal. There are also many other range of differences between the two theories. To utilize these faulty assumptions of human behavior would do nothing to conribute to a sufficient theory of human nature. Sigmund Freud claimed that psychoanalysis was the “third blow to human self-esteem(frey, 6th april). He discovered psychoanalysis while treating white, middle class women that suffered from hysteria. He found that the only effective technique in treating these women seemed to be hypnosis; hence he came to be “thoroughly convinced of the power of the unconscious. In essence, through psychoanalysis, freud assserts that man is not the rational being he perceives himself to be, but rather a being “pushed around by irrationality, and memories.” The individual behaves as he does due to the concept between the id, ego and superego which makes up the mind. “The problem according to freud was that uch of the thoughts in the unconscious mind are constantly repressed. “(psych.nwu.edu) .. Whereas, On the Other Hand, “From studying insects to larger animals, Edward o wilson, found that biological principles which now apear to be working reasonably well for animals in general can be extended to human beings.”( Wilson, 8 )”These principles display the true relativeness of the “only members of a species that possess certain kinds of the physical traits adapt, survive and reproduce in the world.” (frey, 04/20).. According to sociobiology, all human social behaviour can be explained as the product of evolutionary processes acting through genes. Freud detailed the background of the occasion in which he first began to create psychoanalysis.” Consequently, through analyzing the manifest content of is patient’s dreams, freud sought ot lok into the unconscious mind. He found that in nearly all cases the. Psychoanalysis finds the cause of individual behavior in the unconscious mind, sociobiology attributes “genetics as the only factor of behavior”(www.psych.nwu.edu) He recounted a Dr. Joseph Breuer, who was treating a hysteric girl. Through his assistance, freud came to conclusions that led to psychoanalytic psychology. Because of the study of the neurotics he traced back the symptomps absurprising regularity.This he believed, wa rue for both sedes.. In terms of psychology human nature must be a product of millions of years of natural selection by nature. Through millions of years of interaction between genes and environment”(wilson 17).”It can be seen in such a way that When this wish, which is best achieved though sexual love because it is the most intense experience of an overwhelming sensation of pleasure furnished for our search for happiness” . (Freud, 33).
” The fully functional human being of Carl Rogers or the healthy specimen of Abraham maslow has no place in Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis. In terms of range of convenience, the Psychoanalytic Perspective on human nature provides the greatest explanatory leverage. Freud covers most factions of human nature.”(runet.edu) For instance, “Freud discusses everything from human impulses, to the interpretation of dreams. Freud drives more among the aggressive instinct instinct of the human behavior,”(Freud, Civilization) “Frankl tries to manipulate data searching by representing it in human nature concept as the human’s search for the true meaning of life.”(Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning) “Whereas Wilson includes a lot about sociobiological features and perspectives of the human bodily and mental behavior as well as implications of such fraternities in human body”(Wilson, On Human Nature). The Freud’s theory as well as the sociobiological can be represented as the Macrothesis. Freud’s psychoanlaytic psychology is not effective in explaining all human behavior simply because it focuses very specifically on those individuals that suffer from abnormal repressive tendencies. “To psychoanalyze a mentally healthy individual with such a technique is analogous to studying a microscopic specimen with dirty lens. Similarly if wilson’s sobiological psychology is looked at, then the basis is found in biology of the population and zoology in terms of comparision”(Wilson, chapter8) He utilized these methods to explain the social behavior of the insects. Personality can best be described as “personal qualities of an individual”. No two people have the same personality, but yet all the different personalities in the world can be characterized into four main theories. Sigmund Freud has many theories on how people develop. His most influential theory to the development of the human mind was his five psychosexual stage in the various kinds of the insects. With the succes of such a method, he moved on to apply it to vertebrate animals. In the final chapter of the resultant book delineating his theory, the social behavior of man is demonstrated as being penetrated by the natural sciences. Critics have. In that. Neither man or society is bad just at times it seems like one of the two influences a little more of behavior. Man is both biological and social. The part that simulates biological is the part of Freud’s theory where he states there is an ID, Superego and an Ego. Another thing is agree with is Freud’s theory of the Defense Mechanisms. The mankind uses each one of them in everyday life. Another thing that is a great example of man being biological is that at sometimes man can have animal drives and desires. The man is also driven by the idea of free will which to. The mankind has free will but maybe takes it for granted. Thus, mankind should be much more grateful and appreciative for the environment that is created and for what they have become due to their environment. Man’s behavior just can not be either biological or social because , mankind also passes on behavior through genetic inheritance. Man has to be both according to my own theory . “The clear perception of the human aggressive behavior as a structure, predictable pattern of the interation between genes and environment is consistent with the evolutionary theory.”(Frey,Lecture). ” The cultural traditions of warfare in primitive societies evolved independently of the ability of human beings to survive and reproduce. “(Wilson, On Human Nature)
Thus, the ultimate theme of the psychologists reflects the symptoms of reaching the conciled utmost goals towards the human nature. Freud explains gender differences more whereas Wilson stresses on homosexuality and sociobiological aspect of the human nature on the human nature than what Freud gave. On the other hand, Frankl totally contributed towards concept of deep self in human beings search for the destination(meaning) in their lives. The psychoanalysis perspective could be very useful for the mind- body concept of the human nature as well as dealing with the cultural and social issues(basically the gender issues). The sociobiological concept circulates all the technological aspects by which the human genetic materials have developed, the evolutionary concepts and the disciplinary stages of various constraint related to human nature.
Thus, from all given reason from the above paragraphs, it can be clearly determined that neither of the psychologists said complete in all the fields. There were even similarities but only upto a certain extent.
Taking the Contrast of Freud and Wilson, it can be determined that Freud directed towards the gender issues especially the psychological concepts of the gender differences whereas Wilson in his sociobiological theory explains biological interpretation and simulates mind-body conception with his theories.
However all the theories by both of them identified in its deep core the true meaning of human nature. One focusing gender issues whether other happiness or so. One going towards description of the human mind whereas other going towards the bodily interpretation and its consequence over human nature. Neither claim to completely elucidate all facets of the human nature. But Both Freud and Wilson said a lot about the core of the personality , no matter in what instincts they explained it. It was their ultimate goal towards the concept of interpreting the human beings focusing towards the aspects and moralities of the core effecting the human nature. Their theories helped a lot for the human society in finding the relative core of the human nature. And these theories of Psychology is still much worth regarding the personality as well as the human instinct of true self , true nature as well as their behavior.
1. Freud Sigmund, “Civilization and Its Discontents”, Tr:- James Stretcher,
New York, W.W. Norton ; Company, 1985.
2. Wilson, Edward O., “On Human Nature”,
Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1998.
3. Frankl, Victor E., Man’s Search For Meaning,
New York, Washington Square Press, 1985.
4. Social Sciencee, “Primis”,
New York, Mc Graw Hill, 1998.