by Robert DePaolo Abstract
This article discusses two core aspects of personality that have broad impact on multiple behavior patterns; including creativity, politics, sexuality and antisocial behavior. The model is derived from human/primate evolutionary origins which include the quest for social hierarchical status and the drive to reproduce. The two factors are presented as inextricably linked as an integrated, bimodal motive to a wide range of emotions and behaviors.
Freud's tripartite theory of the psyche emphasized the relationship between reason, impulse, the conscience and their interactive relevance to normalcy and pathology. If one were to include all the other components of his theory, for example the unconscious, dreams, complexes and stages of development, gaining a concise understanding of what makes Homo sapiens tick would be very difficult indeed.
Over time the sheer complexity of psychoanalytic theory put it somewhat on the sidelines as a conceptual and therapeutic methodology. In addition its long term parameters created a bottleneck for insurance carriers who began to gravitate toward more economical methods such as cognitive-behavior therapy and behavior modification.
Whether the newer, briefer methods are more effective than psychoanalysis is open to question, particularly since the ways in which therapeutic improvement is determined can be subjective and ultimately existential. Still the elegance of Freud's theory remain appealing, in part because it dovetails with some irrefutable facts about human nature.
For example his unification of the libido and the principle of energy conservation (borrowed from Maxwell and Einstein) was elegant. Much of what we do has some sort of relationship to the drive to seek pleasure (sexual and otherwise); particularly in an evolutionary context. Archaic Homo was only modestly encephalized, could neither run very fast nor climb as well as his quadrupedal cousins. Over time our forebears were evolving into a more slender, gracile creature. Despite potential advantages emanating from that, including enhanced fine motor dexterity and greater heat tolerance for long distance traveling, having less muscle mass was also a physical liability.
In addition, archaic females, in typical primate fashion gave birth to one child at a time in most instances and the infant's development extended beyond the usual primate norms. Faced with such long odds and predatory vulnerability nature had to bestow on the creature a fervent, compensatory sex drive.
Ladies to the Rescue...
Fortunately, females in at least one of the Archaic Homo groups changed in their morphology (by a quirk of nature or something more neo-Lemarckian?) Protruding breasts and pelvises, which in other primates only emerge during estrus, became more permanent. It looked to males as though these females were in permanent estrus. Good fortune prompted a physically weak, not yet brainy species to develop an intense interest in mating, which helped to ensure species continuity.
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