Essay on Psychology: Sigmund Freud and Psychodynamic Approach

Submitted By sharpylad
Words: 1044
Pages: 5

Discuss the psychodynamic approach in psychology (10 marks). The psychodynamic approach states that behaviour is determined through unconscious processes in the human brain. We cannot explain what happens inside the unconscious, we can only predict what the outcome will be. We are unaware of actions of thoughts and mental processes and have no control over our behaviour. This suggests that as humans we have no free will, in that certain behaviour is ‘spontaneous’ such as ‘Freundin slips’, where an action or speech is ‘accidently’ performed because we have no control over it. Evidence for this is Freud’s case study for a man receiving psychotherapy, in this case, the man producing behaviour such as asking for 1 ticket instead of two when a relationship he was holding was breaking down. This suggests that even though this is classed as a Freundin slip, it was unconsciously produced as the man did not want to be with his current girlfriend, providing evidence that our unconscious mental processes are linked to the production of uncontrolled behaviour. The psychodynamic approach also states that mental processes can be explained due to our innate, tripartite personality. Of which we have inside our unconscious, preconscious and conscious. Inside our unconscious, the ID is represented by the ‘pleasure principle’ and how we desire instant gratification. On the opposite side of the scale of extremities in personalities, we have the Superego, which is known to be the ‘morality principle’ to result in behaviour which is classed as morally right and is to be within the unconscious, preconscious and conscious together. Between the ID and superego, we are said to contain the Ego, which is known to be the ‘reality principle’ and results in it being the mediator between the desires of the ID and morals of the super ego. Evidence to explain this is the study of mentally ill patients where there ID has increased control over the ego and superego, resulting in immediate demands of gratification such as violence. On the other hand a patient with an anxiety disorder will have increased affect fro the superego, in which it is too concerned over behaviour which is morally right and therefore resulting in behaviour which is scared incase of ‘wrong’ behaviour. Another assumption of the psychodynamic approach is that all behaviour is motivated by our instincts and drives. For example the instinct to reproduce and the sex drive (libido) which is within every human being results in behaviour to have sex. This is linked to the tripartite personality theory, as the ID impulses to have sex conflicts with the superego which believes it is morally unacceptable to perform this with a stranger. Evidence for this is the effect that everyday behaviour results in sex as an outcome, for example, psychodynamic psychologists would say that the reason for education to begin to earn a living and therefore become more attractive to women as they are able to buy things for her, resulting in the outcome of sex. The psychodynamic theory states that behaviour is developed through psychosexual stages throughout our childhood. 5 stages that begin from birth to beyond puberty influence our adult behaviour through experiences such as being over-indulged or neglected whilst undertaking one of the stages. These 5 stages are: Oral which happens between 0-18 months where an infant’s pleasure centres around the mouth; Anal, happens 18-36 months and is where the child gains pleasure from the retention and expulsion of faeces; Phallic, between 3-6 years and is when the sexual instinct is focused on the genital area; Latent, between 6 years – Puberty and is where the sexual drive becomes present but dormant; and the Genital stage, taking part in puberty and beyond resulting in sexual interests become mature. Evidence for this is when an individual may become anal-expulsive, for example between the anal stage of 18-36 months the child was overindulged and praised…