Psychodynamic Theory Rooted In Freud Essay

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Psychodynamic theory rooted in Freud’s theory of personality, he suggested that the ego acts as mediate to strike a balance between the primitive desires represented by the id and the moral and social constrains represented by the superego. (Siegel, 2005) The extreme guilt resulting from harsh superego is a source of crime, since the behaviour aiming at being caught to decrease the feeling of guilt. A weak superego reflected in inability to delay immediate gratification. The deviant superego, for example, will make a son raised by a criminal father feel acceptable and perform the criminal acts that father would engaging in, since the internalization of same sex parent as a moral regulator is a critical role of superego. (Newburn, 2007)And then Bowlby(1944) developed the idea about early separation of a child from its mother, suggested that the maternal separation will lead to difficulties in an inability to form functional social relationship, since the attachment bond as the is the prototype for all future relationship. When apply to crime, basing on the research showing that almost 39% of the group of juvenile delinquency has the disruption of maternal relationship, Bowlby suggests that impaired ability to relate to other could result in both affectionless psychopathy and psychologically immature characterised by inability to delay gratification which are related to later criminal behaviour, specifically the Oedipus complex can result in a number of unconscious criminal acts. (Bowlby, 1951) Moreover, Glueck and Glueck (1950)largely developed psychodynamic theory of delinquency and crime, which is he tentative causal formula reflecting Freudian ther and their empirical findings including the 500 delinquent research. They suggests that the poor parenting practices and parental modelling, and the pursuit of self-interest are the core factors leading to the weak internal controls regarded as a weak superego.
Psychodynamic theory has pointed out the importance of early life experiences, especially parenting. However, it fails to test empirically while it focuses on internal conflicts and unconscious processes. (Howitt, 2011) The major critic, Wotton (1959) argued that the quality of the relationship is important, and the possibility of the reverse of separation should be considered. While Rutter (1972) argued that the psychodynamic theory is not easily tested while it bases on the unconscious mind.
First of all, the psychodynamic theory is reductionist approach, since while psychodynamic theory simplifies complex human behaviour to the mechanics of the mind; for example, the ego strength is used to measure a person’s ability to control itself. Secondly, the psychodynamic theory is determinist while it suggests that people have no free will to decide how they behave. Thirdly, the Freud’s theory it is difficult to falsify, and a good theory can be tested to see if it is wrong (Popper, 1935), while Freud’s assumption focuses on unconscious mind.
Next, move to learning theory. ‘It is widely accepted that children and adult may learn effectively from the actions of another person through a process of imitation.’ (Howitt, 2011). Behaviour theory views that human behaviour is developed through learning experience. And this kind of imitation is first regarded as a form of vicarious learning as Miller and Dollard (1941) suggested. When apply learning theory to criminology, it can be seen that the family and socio-economic, peer, school and community are the core risk factors increasing the probability of offending, which are the objects being modelled after. (Kazdin et al. 1997)
Sutherland (1939) put forward the differential association learning theory, suggesting that the learning of the attitudes supporting crime and the specific behaviour for committing crimes are the two prerequisites within he family and peer group for a person to develop into an offender.(Akers, 1966) Albert Bandura developed the idea into the social