Fundamental Assumptions of Psychoanalytic Theory

Freud's model of human nature relied on the notion of psychic energy to motivate all human activity . What were the forces that motivated people to do one thing and not another or that motivated people to do anything at all? Freud proposed a source of energy that is within each person and used the term psychic energy to refer to this wellspring of motivation. Freud believed that psychic ener gy operated according to the law of conservation of ener gy: The amount of psychic ener gy an individual possessed remained constant throughout his or her lifetime. Personality change was viewed as a redirection of a person' s psychic ener gy.

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