Psychoanalytic theory, developed bySigmund Freud, is essentially a theory of personality developed as a part of aform of psychotherapy. Despite its strictly clinical and individual origins,this approach has been one of the most comprehensive and encompassing incontemporary thinking, extending its influence beyond psychology to othersocial sciences and various areas of culture and the arts. Not always theindividual conforms to the social tradition, but can rebel against it. This canbe due to many factors, but two are of particular importance: the severity ofthe prohibitions imposed by society on the individual, and the weakness of theego and superego.
The tendency to rebel increases if social prohibitions areexcessive, if the person does not have the ability to find satisfactions withinthe approved social framework (ego weakness), or if the social tradition hasnot been sufficiently internalized due to a failure of identification (weaknessof the superego). In the case of Michael Jackson, he had an extremely difficultrelationship with his father, Joe; his father, recognized in 2003 that heperiodically beat up Michael Jackson as a child. Even Michael Jackson confessedthat he was abused physically and emotionally during the incessant rehearsalsto which he was subjected by his father “Joe.” His abuse hadconsequences. Michael had various episodes in his life were he would cry fromloneliness and even sometimes vomit after seeing his father. From the abuse hereceived as a child from his father, the only scape he had from his reality wasto look for comfort.
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This consisted in inviting kids to his theme park-likehouse Neverland Ranch, that would always lower his stress and also he wasfinally creating and living the childhood he never had. Confirming that the idoperates in “according to the demands of the pleasure principle in orderto satisfy pleasure and reduce inner tension.” Moreover, this”innocent” act brought a lot of problems into Michael’s life more thanonce, and those times he was accused of sexual abuse of a child he invited tohis house. The trial ended with Michael not being guilty and not a pedophile,but was declared a “regressed 10-year-old”.
Michael felt the pressureand internalized societal rules of the superego, it had an impact on hissexually deviant actions. Freud may argue that Michael had a strong ego becausehis personal victimization allowed him to solve problems logically as definedin the reality principle. As a result, he committed in behaviors that increasedinner tension relating with the abuse he had as a child.
The media had thoughtful influence on Michael’s mental andemotional state and every action of his would turn into front page news leadinghim to become more detached and isolated than before. In his everyday life,Michael Jackson was a very introverted person; however, on stage, he was thetotal opposite. The Big Five theory had a great impact in Michael’s life and canbe reflected in his personality, not forgetting that he was a naturally shyperson. Which can lead to him having more than two sides to his personality. TheBig Five theory lists common personality traits for Neuroticism,Extroversion/Introversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness. “Jacksondisplayed most if not all the traits for each personality type depending on hisenvironment and comfort level” (Hunter,2009).Another theory that can also beinterpreted to characterize Michael Jackson’s personality is Object Relations theory,psychological progress is also used to determined his way of being.
“This theoryfocuses on the interpersonal disturbances and the mental processes thatunderlie the capacity for relatedness to others” (Hunter,2009). Thistheory perfectly interprets his personality and psychological progress. I chosethis theory because of Michael’s inefficiency to compare to others off thestage and his arguable behaviors during his life. He would always get awkwardin front of cameras while doing interviews and had a hard time keeping eyecontact with people he didn’t know well. He would go from beingchildish and energetic to silent and introverted in a period of seconds whiletalking to people.Behavior is the function of acontinuous process of bidirectional interaction between the individual and thesituation in which anyone would find themselves.
On the part of the person,cognitive factors are the most important determinants of behavior. On the partof the situation, the main determinant is given by the psychological meaningthat the individual assigns to the situation. In the case of Michael Jackson,this can be related in his behavior on stage vs. being interviewed. He wouldalways be very extrovert, fun and loving on stage, this behavior can be theresult of the situation of being on stage and being his comfort zone.
But whenhe is in a total different situation like being interviewed it’s when his behavior can change very drastically, like being shy, reserve, and sometimes make him seem like a not caringperson. He once said “All of us are product of ourchildhood” by this his is expressing the trauma that he had to deal with hispersonal and public life starting a very young age, everything that he had to confront hadan impact in his life. Michael Jackson’s biggest controversy would be thechange of color of his skin, and the reason to that would always change whichto this day hasn’t been a real answer. He would always try to be perfect in everything, and beingperfect physically contributed as well.
Race was a big topic in his life andthe abuse and domination of his father did not help with how he felt withhimself and the pain he would go thru every day. Regardless of the reason hisskin changed drastically; there was a meaning behind it, having his fatherfigure as something violent and abusive contributed as he not wanting to bepart of that “race” because to him that wasn’t perfection, that was onlysadness and disappointment to his own blood. According to previous research people are not asconsistent as we expect them to be.
People are affected by situations; weexpect a high consistency in behavior in a person in different situations.