Ok, so not many of us sit around thinking about this kind of thing, but when you’re in grad school, you think about a lot of things you never thought you’d think about! In my consumer behavior class, we’re studying motivation, i.e. understanding people’s cognitive processes, and psychology is a huge part of it.
I’m going to simplify it, but basically it goes like this: Freud believed that everyone had an ID (party animal, devil) and a Superego (conscience, angel) and the ego, which basically tries to balance out the ID and the Superego, which naturally, are always in conflict.
While I don’t completely disagree with Freud (far be it for me to out-think him!), I am more of a Neo-Freudian, specifically the work of Dr. Karen H(we’ll leave it at that because she had an unfortunate sir name that would take us down a completely divergent path), who believed that there were three different types of people: 1) Those that move toward other people (compliant) 2) Those that move away from people (detached) and 3) those that move against people(aggressive). Although I don’t agree with the word ‘compliant’ to describe the first group, I do believe that most people fit into one of the above category. I’m definitely in the first group, and don’t want to be in the other two, although I have met enough of both!
Then there’s Carl Jung, Freud’s brilliant student, who went off in a completely different direction. He believed in a collective unconscious that is inherited from our ancestors, and we are all affected, positively and/or negatively, by various archetypes, i.e. wizards, earth mother, etc (bare with me, I’m really simplifying!).
Honestly, I disagree with Jung (my apologies). A hundred years ago, that might have been true, but it seems that every new generation creates its own ‘new’ archetypes and moves farther away from the ‘old’ ones, even though the new is based on the old (Harry Potter, anyone?) but different and unique.