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Flashcards in Psychodynamic Approach Deck (12)
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This approach states that behaviour is influenced/motivated by

Early childhood experiences
Influenced by things in the unconscious mind
Assumes behaviour is motivated by instinctive drives and aggression


Freud believed our psyche is composed of three parts

Conscious-thoughts and perceptions
Preconscious- memory and stored knowledge
Unconscious- storehouse of drives and instincts
Id-primitive pleasure principle, present at birth selfish and demands gratification
Ego- reality principle and mediator, develops at the age of two years, reduces conflict of demands by employing a number of defence mechanisms
Super ego, end of phallic stage age 5, morality principle, punishes ego through guilt


Psychosexual stages,
Freud claimed child development occurred in five stages. Each staged marked by conflict that child has to resolve to progress successfully to next stage, unresolved leads to fixations

Oral 0-1 pleasure of mouth, mothers breast object of desire, oral fixation
Anal 1-3 pleasure of anus, pleasure of withholding and expelling fences, retentive or expulsive
Phallic 3-5 pleasure on genital area, Oedipus or Electra complex, phallic personality
Latency- earlier conflicts repressed
Genital- sexual desires become conscious alongside the onset of puberty, difficult forming heterosexual relationship


Defence mechanisms used by the ego

Repression- forcing distressing memory out of the conscious mind
Denial- refusing to acknowledge some aspect of reality
Displacement- transferring feelings from true source of distressing emotion onto substitute target.


Practical applications
Assumption that mental illnesses are caused by repressed childhood trauma has led to the develop,ent of

Psychoanalysis uses techniques like hypnosis and dream interpretation to access repressed memories in the unconscious


The idea of defence mechanism is valuable and can be used to

Treat mental illness


Supporting evidence for some of the key assumptions

Little Hans, evidence of the Oedipus complex, phobia intercepted as fear of his dad displaced onto horses.


Can be accepted as

A valid explanation of human behaviour by showing evidence for castration anxiety


Much of the evidence is unscientific

Many of the concepts cannot be directly observed such as the unconscious mind or the id/ego/superego. Can’t be tested, can’t be proved to exist or not exist, not falsifiable


This means that the approach may not be

Valid or scientific


Some of the assumptions are deterministic

Freud believed all behaviour is determined by our unconscious mind which we have no control over
Freudian slips, not mistakes but determined by our unconscious
Psychic determinism, fee will is an illusion


This approach should be regarded with caution

Since it is controversial and extreme to take the position that humans have no free will