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| Words: 457 | Submitted: 05-Jul-2011
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DescriptionSigmund Freud, a brief introduction.
The psychodynamic perspective was originally developed by Sigmund Freud, but includes ideas from many other people who have developed on Freud’s initial arguments. Three main theories of Freud – the first that mind is unconscious and contains our instincts, drives and repressed memories, Second, that the mind is made up of three parts, the ID, the ego and the superego, and third, the stages of psychosexual development.
Drawbacks of the psychodynamic approach include the heavy emphasis on the unconscious mind in motivating behaviour, though in actual fact it cannot be measured in any precise way and is unfalsifiable. Also, many assumptions are regarded as unscientific and lacking of scientific evidence for example the Oedipus complex. The psychodynamic approach is an idiographic approach – a limitation of the idiographic approach is that due to the heavy focus on the individual, it is difficult to generalise results.
Add benefits + complete explaining psychosexual &therapies, defence mechanisms & more of conscious expl.
One of the many criticisms of the psychodynamic perspective is that is highly subjective and its ideas are hard to test scientifically. For example, most of the ideas are based on case studies of individuals and are not easily tested experimentally. Furthermore the psychodynamic approach does make many generalisations based on these case studies of individuals.
One of the key beliefs of the psychodynamic approach is that adult personality and behaviour are determined by our childhood experiences. A key assumption of the psychodynamic perspective is that all behaviour can be explained by the inner conflicts of the mind which have a powerful effect on us, for example, in the case study of Little Hans, Freud argued that Little Hans’ phobia of horses was caused by a displaced fear of his father. He argued that many of these conflicts will show up in our fantasies and dreams, but the conflicts are so threatening that they appear in disguised forms, in the shape of symbols.
The ID works on the pleasure principle. It contains the mental energy of all our drives, instincts and repressed memories; it requires immediate satisfaction without any regard for reality. It was referred to by Freud as, 'a cauldron of seething excitations'.
AO1 Up to four marks for description of features of the psychodynamic approach. Features
could include – unconscious motivation, tripartite division of personality – id, ego and
superego, stages of development, therapeutic approaches, defence mechanisms,
emotional drives of sex and aggression. Credit description of relevant evidence (one
AO2 Up to six marks for discussion, eg
. Candidates may refer to the benefits/limitations of an idiographic approach.
Candidates may contrast the approach with other approaches in psychology, eg the free
will approach of humanistic psychology, which the psychodynamic approach does not
recognise. Credit ...
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