Personality Theories Freud and Jung Theories

PersonalityTheories: Freud and Jung Theories


Differenttheories have been developed to advance the field of personalitypsychology. Sigmund Freud developed the theory of psychoanalysis,while Carl Jung developed the theory of analytical psychology. Thetwo perspectives are similar in that both Jung and Freud assumed thatthe psyche has both the unconscious and the conscious levels. The twotheorists also held that the content of dreams needs aninterpretation in order to facilitate effective treatment ofpsychological illnesses. They also believed that religion plays asignificant role in helping people express their underlyingpsychological experiences. Freud held that the unconscious is storageof hidden sexual aspirations, while Jung held that the unconsciousmind represent the knowledge that one is born with and theaccumulation of lifetime experiences. Freud viewed religion as anescape from the reality, while Jung viewed it as a necessary part ofthe human process. Freud remained skeptical about paranormal issues,while Jung had some interest in Para-psychology.

Keywords: Analytical psychology, psychoanalysis, personality psychology,the unconscious mind, the conscious mind.

PersonalityTheories: Freud and Jung Theories

Personalitypsychology is among the most significant fields of study thatattempts to explore the invisible part of the human being.Personality psychologists explore and explain the origin ofpersonality traits and how disorders associated with the personalityeffects can be addressed more effectively. To achieve this,psychologists adopt the idiographic view, which assumes that eachperson has a special psychological structure (McLeod, 2014). Theidiographic view assumes that there are some personality traits thatcan only be possessed by one person, and that there are possibilitiesfor the comparison of an individual’s personality with those ofothers. However, some psychologists use the nomothetic view, whichputs more emphasis on the comparability of psychological traits amongindividuals. Different theorists have varying perspectives aboutpersonality, which has resulted in the development of differentpersonality theories. This paper will address the Freud and Jungpersonality theories, with the main focus on their similarities anddifferences.


SigmundFreud and the theory of psychoanalysis

Theperspective of psychoanalysis was advanced by Sigmund Freud, anAustrian neurologist, which worked in a psychiatric clinic. Freuddeveloped a theory of psychoanalysis when he focused his attentiontowards the self-analysis. Psychoanalysis emerged from the analysisof dreams and unconscious processes (Jacobson, 2014). Fromexperiences, Freud asserted that human beings have at least threecategories of awareness. The first level, which is consciousness,contains all pieces of information that an individual pays attentionto at any moment (Jacobson, 2014). The second level of awareness isreferred to as pre-consciousness, which contains information that isoutside an individual’s attention, but it is available forretrieval whenever the need arises. Lastly, the unconscious level ofawareness contains feelings, thoughts, memories, and desires thatpeople are not aware of, but they can still influence various aspectsof their daily lives.

Analyticalpsychology by Carl Jung

Thetheory of psychoanalysis was developed by Carl Jung, who was a Swisspsychiatrist. This theory focuses on the soul, while striving toattend to an individual’s wholeness through an individuationprocess, integration of unconscious contents, and the differentiatingthe unconscious contents (Furlotti, 2014). In other words, Jung’stheory of analytical psychology focuses on the treatment process,which seeks to strengthen an individual’s connection tounconsciousness, the creation of elements of healing, and destructivepotential in a person’s psyche. Jung intended to strengthen theconsciousness of human life situations, as well as human conditions.This is accomplished by increasing the human understanding ofsymbolism associated with dreams, artistic creation, collectivemythologies, body’s symptoms, psychic pains, synchronistic events,and the nature of human relations (Furlotti, 2014). Analyticalpsychology considers human suffering as possessing the potential toinitiate a search into the anonymity as the possible meanings of thelife of an individual.

Similaritiesbetween Freud and Jung’s theories

Theunconscious aspect of humanity

BothJung and Freud believe that the unconscious mind affects humanbehavior. Jung based the theory of analytical psychology on the ideaof the collective unconscious. Collective unconscious is an archetypethat is based on the notion that the unconscious mind is usuallyexpressed in all life forms through the nervous system (Brealey,2014). The archetype holds that the human psyche has the capacity toorganize life experiences in an automatic way. Jung held that theunconscious mind has two layers, namely the personal and thecollective unconscious. Jung selected the collective unconsciousbecause the personal unconscious comes to end early memories that onehad during infancy.

Similarto Carl Jung, Freud was strongly convinced that the unconscious mindhas a significant influence on human behavior as well as the thinkingpatterns. Freud asserted that the unconscious mind contains all typesof significant as well as disturbing materials that people shouldkeep out of their awareness since they are quite threatening,especially when they are acknowledged fully (Jacobson, 2014). Inother words, Freud defined the unconscious mind as the mentalprocesses that people tried to make them unaware about. This meansthat the unconscious mind includes all that one is not consciousabout and what has been actively suppressed and driven away from theconscious thoughts.

Thesignificance of religion

BothJung and Freud believed that the religion is a positive item at agiven point in time. Freud, who was born in a Jewish family, assertedthat religion helped people in expressing their underlyingpsychological distress and neurosis (Nielsen, 2001). Freud had aperception that religion begins with the relationship between thechild and the biological father. To this end, many cultures view theGod as the supernatural or the heavenly father an equivalent of thebiological father. In this view religion is a reflection of the humanattempts to fulfill wishes.

Similarly,Jung used theological concepts to explain psychological ideas inthree tenets. First, Jung held that certain religious words (such asGod) can be taken as referring to different structures in the psyche(Nielsen, 2001). Secondly, Jung believed that psychologists can usereligious constructs against both the dynamics of the human psycheand normative constructs. Lastly, most of the words used in thepsyche and the same words used to explain religious concepts,especially about God, which results from the correspondence betweenobjective and subjective constructs. In essence, Jung and Freudemphasized on the significance of religion in enhancing the humanunderstanding of different psychological concepts.


Differentperspectives with regard to the unconscious mind

AlthoughJung and Freud believe in the existence as well as the significanceof the unconscious mind, their views with respect to this significantaspect of psychology is different. Freud held that the unconsciousmind acts as the epicenter of human repressed thoughts fundamentaldrives of aggression as well as sex, and traumatic memories(Jacobson, 2014). Freud viewed the unconscious mind as storage forthe hidden sexual aspiration, which results in neuroses or mentalillness. Freud declared that the mind is made of three structures,namely the ego, id, and the superego. According the Freud, the idforms the unconscious part of the human mind, including the sexualdrive that cannot be bound by morality.

Jungbelieved that the mind can be divided into the personal unconscious,ego, and the collective unconscious (Feist &amp Feist, 2009). Thepersonal unconscious represents memories, both the suppressed andrecalled, while the collective unconscious represents the memories ofwhat one is born with or people’s experiences as a species. Thisindicates how Jung’s and Freud’s ideas of unconscious. To thisend, Jung believed that the work of the therapists is to assist theclient understand the role of the unconscious mind.

Differentviews about dreams

AlthoughJung and Freud use dreams to explain their respective views about theunconsciousness, they apply different approaches. Freud held thatpsychologists can learn more about an individual through the dreams’interpretation Furlotti, N. (2014). According the Freud, the deepesthuman desires are not acted upon when one is awake, which means thatthe mind focuses more on the reality or the ego part of the mind.During the sleep, on the other hand, the restraining forces areremoved, which allows people to experience their desires throughdreams. Freud meant that dreams are able to access the anxiety aswell as the repressed thoughts that cannot otherwise be entertainedin a direct way through the fear of embarrassment or anxiety (Feist &ampFeist, 2009).

Jung’sview that dream`s interpretation gives a window into humanunconscious mind was similar to Freud’s perspective. However, Jungopposed the view that the entire content of dreams was sexual(Jacobson, 2014). Jung believed that dreams were symbolic in nature,and they may have varied meanings depending on the associations ofthe dreamer. Jung held that dreams come in distinctive images,language, metaphors, and symbols that explore both the internal andexternal world of the dreamer. However, Jung asserted that there is agroup of shared archetypes and images that are believed to be commonto all people. In addition, Jung’s interpretation of dreams focuseson both the subjective and objective contents, as opposed to Freud’sinterpretation that focuses on objective and external aspects (Feist&amp Feist, 2009). In addition, Jung held that a betterinterpretation of dreams is done following an understanding ofsymbols that are shared among individuals.

Sexand sexuality

Sexand sexuality is one of the main areas where Freud’s and Jung’sviews of human motivation differ. A study of Freud’s theoryindicates that the expressed, as well as repressed sexuality waseverything (Jacobson, 2014). Freud felt that sex and sexuality werethe sole was the only significant force behind one’s motivationtowards a given behavior. According to Freud, lack of sexualsatisfaction was the only factors that resulted in pathologicalconditions. Freud explains a situation in which male children havesexual desires towards their biological mothers and resentmenttowards their biological fathers. Similarly, Freud holds that femalechildren have sexual desires towards their biological fathers andresentment towards their mothers. In essence, Freud tries to showthat human behavior is motivated by sexual desires.

Jung,on the other hand, opposed Freud’s over-emphasis on the impact ofsexual desires on behavior and asserted that the behavior ismotivated by the life force or the psychic energy (Clark, 2014).Therefore, Jung considers sexuality as one of, and not the onlypotential manifestation. In addition, Jung opposes Freud’s idea ofoedipal impulse, which holds that children are attracted to theirparents of opposite sexes by sexual desires. Instead, Jung holds thata strong relationship existing between the child and the motherresults from the protection and love the mother accords to children.


Jungand Freud held that the religion is a significant item that affectsthe expression of neurosis and distress, but their views differ inseveral ways. Freud felt that the religion, means of escape from thereality for the majority of the people of different faiths (Jacobson,2014). In addition, Freud, who was born in a Jewish background, usedhis long-term experiences with religious practices to conclude thatreligion was the opiate of the masses. According to Freud, religionis a representation of the disguise of the psychological truth, whichlies at the heart of mental distress.

Jung,on the other hand, did critique human affiliation with religiousgroups. Jung held that the religion is a necessary part of the humanprocess that offers a means of communication among people. This isbased on the notion that symbols and archetypes present in differentreligions, which translate into similar meanings (Clark, 2014).Although Jung did not affiliate himself with any religion, he wasable to explore it from the archetypal perspective. This implies thatboth Jung and Feud acknowledge the impact of religion on humanthoughts, but they describe this view in different directions.


Freudremained skeptic about all things that are paranormal. Jung, on theother hand, demonstrated some interest in the field ofPara-psychology, especially the psychic phenomenon. For example, Jungfocused on synchronic and telepathy, both of which became part of theanalytical psychology theory (Jacobson, 2014). This helped Jung todevelop the concept of synchronicity, which describes the linkbetween more than one psycho-physic phenomena. A believe that thepsychological and physical worlds are connected convinced Jung thatthere exists a significant relationship between the internal andexternal environments of an individual.


Jungand Freud are some of the most significant psychologists who definedthe field of psychology. Most importantly, they enhanced the humanunderstanding of the importance of the unconscious and the consciousminds, both of which influence human behavior. Their respectiveexploration of the field of psychology resulted in the development ofimportant theories, namely the analytical psychology and thepsychoanalytic theories. The theories developed by the two theoristshave two major similarities. First, Jung and Freud assumed that thepsyche or the human mind has both the unconscious and the consciouslevels. Secondly, Jung and Freud held that the content of all dreamsshould be interpreted in order to enhance the treatment of patientssuffering from mental illnesses. However, the two theories differ inseveral ways. For example, Freud viewed the unconscious mind as anepicenter of concealed sexual desires while Jung viewed unconsciousas part of the mind holding the knowledge that one is born with aswell as the experiences that one encounters as a species. In essence,Jung’s theory was presented as a critique of Freud’s theory.However, both of them made significant contributions towards theadvancement of the field of psychology.


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