Freud Flashcards Preview

Josh's AS Psychology Core Studies > Freud > Flashcards

Flashcards in Freud Deck (13)
Loading flashcards...

What are the two mental states that Freud distinguished?

Conscious and unconscious mind


Conscious mind

The state when individuals are aware of their motivation for behaviour that they can then explain verbally


Unconscious mind

The state when behavioural motivations are often complex and often related to sex in some way. These are largely hidden from an individual's conscious mind, but are actually the driving force behind visible behaviour.


What did Freud become convinced about the unconscious mind?

Freud became convinced that unconscious mental causes of behaviour were responsible for many psychological disorders. He developed psychoanalysis- a set of techniques for treating the unconscious causes of mental disorders- which has had a great impact on psychology and psychiatry.


Defence mechanisms

are used by the unconscious mind to protect us from anxiety. Repression is an example of a defence mechanism. This is when the memory of a traumatic event becomes buried and inaccessible. Another example of a defence mechanism would be displacement. This is when we unconsciously move impulses from the threatening to the less threatening.


Theory of psychosexual development

According to Freud's theory, sexuality isn't confined to physically mature adults, but is evident from birth. However, different parts of the body are particularly sensitive at different times during childhood. The sequence of psychosexual stages are determined by maturation (nature) and how the child is treated by others (nurture).


Theory of psychosexual development

What is libido?

An important concept in understanding the development of personality is libido. Libido is not simply sexual energy in Freudian theory but is life energy and is behind a whole range of activities from affection between parents and children to sexual relationships between adults. Freud suggests that children pass through several stages of psychosexual development in which libido is focussed upon different parts of the body.



Age 0-1 years: In this stage, the libido is focussed on the mouth. Infants experience pleasure from sucking and biting.



Age 1-3 years: The libido shifts to the anus. Children gain pleasure from achieving control over their own bodies and this will include retaining and eliminating faeces.



Age 3-5/6 years: The libido becomes focused on the genitals. Children begin to display an interest in the differences between boys and girls as well as developing a strong attachment to the parent of the opposite sex. This is the stage when boys experience the Oedipus complex and girls experience the Electra complex.



Age 5/6-puberty age: In this stage there is no organ pleasure. Children focus on things such as schooling, and boys and girls do not interact.



Puberty to maturity: The libido is focused on genitals. People develop relationships with the opposite sex


The Oedipus Complex

-Boy has unconscious wish for exclusive sexual (pleasure satisfaction) relationship with mother
-Jealous of father- wants him out of the way
-Castration anxiety- fear father will find out
-Identifies with father eventually and develops morals like father (conflict resolution)

This happens between age 3-5 years