Assumption : Psychic Causality
The third core assumption of psychodynamic theory is that nothing in mental life happens by chancethat there is no such thing as a random thought, feeling, motive, or behavior. This has come to be known as the principle of psychic causality, and though few psychologists accept the principle of psychic causality precisely as psychoanalysts conceive it, most theorists and researchers agree that thoughts, motives, emotional responses, and expressed behaviors do not arise randomly, but always stem from some combination of identifiable biological and psychological processes .
Object Relations Theory And The Growth Of The Psychodynamic Perspective
In recent years a number of new psychodynamic frameworks have emerged to explain personality development and dynamics. The most important of these is object relations theory.
Object relations theory contends that personality can be understood as reflecting the mental images of significant figures that we form early in life in response to interactions taking place within the family . These mental images serve as templates for later interpersonal relationshipsalmost like relationship blueprints or scripts. So if you internalized positive introjects early in life , thats what you expect to occur in later relationships as well. If you internalized a mental image of mom or dad as harsh and judgmental, you might instead become a self-critical person, and feel that you can never live up to other peoples standards . . . or your own .
Object relations theory has increased many psychologists interest in studying psychodynamic ideas and concepts, in part because it represents a natural bridge between the psychodynamic perspective and research in other areas of psychology. For example, developmental and social psychologists also believe that mental representations of significant people play an important role in shaping our behavior. In developmental psychology you might read about this in the context of attachment theory . In social psychology, mental representations of significant figures play an important role in social cognition .
Stages Of Psychosexual Development
Freud believed that personality develops during early childhood: Childhood experiences shape our personalities as well as our behavior as adults. He asserted that we develop via a series of stages during childhood. Each of us must pass through these childhood stages, and if we do not have the proper nurturing and parenting during a stage, we will be stuck, or fixated, in that stage, even as adults.
In each psychosexual stage of development, the childs pleasure-seeking urges, coming from the id, are focused on a different area of the body, called an erogenous zone. The stages are oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital .
Freuds psychosexual development theory is quite controversial. To understand the origins of the theory, it is helpful to be familiar with the political, social, and cultural influences of Freuds day in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century. During this era, a climate of sexual repression, combined with limited understanding and education surrounding human sexuality, heavily influenced Freuds perspective. Given that sex was a taboo topic, Freud assumed that negative emotional states stemmed from suppression of unconscious sexual and aggressive urges. For Freud, his own recollections and interpretations of patients experiences and dreams were sufficient proof that psychosexual stages were universal events in early childhood.
anal stage: conscious: defense mechanism: displacement: ego: id:
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Backdrop To His Thought
Although a highly original thinker, Freud was also deeply influenced by a number of diverse factors which overlapped and interconnected with each other to shape the development of his thought. As indicated above, both Charcot and Breuer had a direct and immediate impact upon him, but some of the other factors, though no less important than these, were of a rather different nature. First of all, Freud himself was very much a Freudianhis father had two sons by a previous marriage, Emmanuel and Philip, and the young Freud often played with Philips son John, who was his own age. Freuds self-analysis, which forms the core of his masterpiece The Interpretation of Dreams, originated in the emotional crisis which he suffered on the death of his father and the series of dreams to which this gave rise. This analysis revealed to him that the love and admiration which he had felt for his father were mixed with very contrasting feelings of shame and hate . Particularly revealing was his discovery that he had often fantasized as a youth that his half-brother Philip was really his father, and certain other signs convinced him of the deep underlying meaning of this fantasythat he had wished his real father dead because he was his rival for his mothers affections. This was to become the personal basis for his theory of the Oedipus complex.
Nancy Chodorows Psychoanalytic Feminism And The Role Of Mothering
The person best known today for attempting to combine elements of Freuds theory with an objective perspective on a psychology of women is Nancy Chodorow , a sociologist and psychoanalyst who has focused on the special relationship between mothers and daughters.
In 1978, Chodorow published The Reproduction of Mothering. Twenty years later, she wrote a new preface for the second edition, in which she had the advantage of looking back at both the success of her book and the criticism that it drew from some. Chodorow acknowledged that many feminists felt obliged to choose between a biologically-based psychology of women and mothering versus a view in which the psychology of women and their feelings about mothering were determined by social structure and cultural mandate. Chodorow believed that social structure and culture were important, but she insisted nonetheless that the biological differences between males and females could not be dismissed. Indeed, they lead to an essential difference in the mother-daughter relationship as compared to the mother-son relationship .
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The Psychosexual Stage Model
Freud remained devoted to the topographic model, but by 1905 he had outlined the key elements of his psychosexual stage model, which argued that early in life we progress through a sequence of developmental stages, each with its own unique challenge and its own mode of sexual gratification. Freuds psychosexual stagesoral, anal, Oedipal, latency, and genitalare well-known even to non-analytic psychologists. Frustration or overgratification during a particular stage was hypothesized to result in fixation at that stage, and to the development of an oral, anal, or Oedipal personality style .
Table 1 illustrates the basic organization of Freuds psychosexual stage model, and the three personality styles that result. Note thatconsistent with the developmental challenges that the child confronts during each stageoral fixation is hypothesized to result in a dependent personality, whereas anal fixation results in a lifelong preoccupation with control. Oedipal fixation leads to an aggressive, competitive personality orientation.
Susan Krauss Whitbourne Phd
Psychologists today talk about the psychodynamic, not the psychoanalytic perspective. As such, this perspective refers to the dynamic forces within our personalities whose shifting movements underlie much of the basis for our observable behavior. Psychoanalysis is a much narrower term referring to the Freudian-based notion that to understand, and treat, abnormal behavior, our unconscious conflicts must be worked through.
Psychoanalysis as Freud conceived it might be on the decline, but that does not mean that the psychodynamic perspective has disappeared or that it will be going anywhere soon.
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Focusing On The Self: Humanism And Self
Psychoanalytic models of personality were complemented during the 1950s and 1960s by the theories of humanistic psychologists, an approach to psychology that embraces the notions of self-esteem, self-actualization, and free will. In contrast to the proponents of psychoanalysis, humanists embraced the notion of free will. Arguing that people are free to choose their own lives and make their own decisions, humanistic psychologists focused on the underlying motivations that they believed drove personality, focusing on the nature of the self-concept, the set of beliefs about who we are, and self-esteem, our positive feelings about the self.
One of the most important humanists, Abraham Maslow , conceptualized personality in terms of a pyramid-shapedhierarchy of motives, also called the hierarchy of needs, . At the base of the pyramid are the lowest-level motivations, including hunger and thirst, and safety and belongingness. Maslow argued that only when people are able to meet the lower-level needs are they able to move on to achieve the higher-level needs of self-esteem, and eventually self-actualization, which is the motivation to develop our innate potential to the fullest possible extent.
Psychodynamic Theories: Where Are We Now
The topographic model, psychosexual stage model, and structural model continue to influence contemporary psychology, but it is important to keep in mind that psychodynamic theory is never static, ever changing and evolving in response to new ideas and findings. In the following sections we discussion four current trends in the psychodynamic perspective: object relations theory, the empirical testing of psychodynamic concepts, psychoanalysis and culture, and the opportunities and challenges of neuroscience.
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While The First Half Of The 20th Century Was Dominated By Psychoanalysis And Behaviorism A New School Of Thought Known As Humanistic Psychology Emerged During The Second Half Of The Century
. Maternal affection was sufficient for successful child-rearing. Watson emphasized the study of genetic influences. Beginning in the 1920s American psychologists such as John B.
In the 1920s behavioral psychologists argued A. Beginning in the 1920s American psychologists such as John B. Mental life has a lot to do with how psychologists focus more on the physiological research in the 1920s and 1960s but as times goes by they emphasize more on observable behavior.
Which major force in psychology emphasized unconscious thought processes. Beginning in the 1920s American psychologists such as Johnb. Beginning in the 1920s American psychologists such as John B.
Movies were extremely popular. In 1903 the pioneering African-American sociologist W. 2 points QUESTION 23 1.
From the 1920s into the 1960s american psychologists such as john watson and bf. Watson emphasized the study of. Mothers should rely on trained experts for advice in raising children.
Watson emphasized the study of Learning and adaptation By suggesting that nurture works on what nature provides psychologists highlight the fact that we are biologically graced with a capacity of. Because both mental life and observable behavior work together for a good psychological result. This new mental hygiene movement focused on the psychopathic hospital child psychology and outpatient clinics and was thus a.
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Which Is Major Force In Psychology Emphasized Unconscious Thought Processes
Which major force in psychology emphasized unconscious thought processes? a.childhood memories. b.genetic predispositions. c.unconscious thought processes. d.potential for healthy growth. a.mental processes. b.hereditary influences. c.unconscious motives. d.learned behaviors. a.conscious and unconscious mental activity.
What did humanistic psychologists study in the 1960s?
Humanistic psychologists focused attention on the importance of peoples a.childhood memories. b.genetic predispositions. c.unconscious thought processes. d.potential for healthy growth. d In the 1960s, the cognitive revolution in psychology involved a renewal of interest in the scientific study of
Who was the American philosopher-psychologist who authored a textbook in 1890?
Who was the American philosopher-psychologist who authored a textbook in 1890 for the emerging discipline of psychology? a.behaviorism. b.cognitive neuroscience. c.humanistic psychology. d.positive psychology.
The Theory Of The Unconscious
Freuds theory of the unconscious, then, is highly deterministica fact which, given the nature of nineteenth century science, should not be surprising. Freud was arguably the first thinker to apply deterministic principles systematically to the sphere of the mental, and to hold that the broad spectrum of human behavior is explicable only in terms of the mental processes or states which determine it. Thus, instead of treating the behavior of the neurotic as being causally inexplicablewhich had been the prevailing approach for centuriesFreud insisted, on the contrary, on treating it as behavior for which it is meaningful to seek an explanation by searching for causes in terms of the mental states of the individual concerned. Hence the significance which he attributed to slips of the tongue or pen, obsessive behavior and dreamsall these, he held, are determined by hidden causes in the persons mind, and so they reveal in covert form what would otherwise not be known at all. This suggests the view that freedom of the will is, if not completely an illusion, certainly more tightly circumscribed than is commonly believed, for it follows from this that whenever we make a choice we are governed by hidden mental processes of which we are unaware and over which we have no control.
Freuds Followers: The Neo
Freudian theory was so popular that it led to a number of followers, including many of Freuds own students, who developed, modified, and expanded his theories. Taken together, these approaches are known as neo-Freudian theories. The neo-Freudian theories are theories based on Freudian principles that emphasize the role of the unconscious and early experience in shaping personality but place less evidence on sexuality as the primary motivating force in personality and are more optimistic concerning the prospects for personality growth and change in personality in adults.
Alfred Adler was a follower of Freuds who developed his own interpretation of Freudian theory. Adler proposed that the primary motivation in human personality was not sex or aggression, but rather the striving for superiority. According to Adler, we desire to be better than others and we accomplish this goal by creating a unique and valuable life. We may attempt to satisfy our need for superiority through our school or professional accomplishments, or by our enjoyment of music, athletics, or other activities that seem important to us.
Another important neo-Freudian was Erich Fromm . Fromms focus was on the negative impact of technology, arguing that the increases in its use have led people to feel increasingly isolated from others. Fromm believed that the independence that technology brings us also creates the need to escape from freedom, that is, to become closer to others.
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Wertheimer Koffka Khler And Gestalt Psychology
Max Wertheimer , Kurt Koffka , and Wolfgang Köhler were three German psychologists who immigrated to the United States in the early 20th century to escape Nazi Germany. These men are credited with introducing psychologists in the United States to various Gestalt principles. The word Gestalt roughly translates to whole a major emphasis of Gestalt psychology deals with the fact that although a sensory experience can be broken down into individual parts, how those parts relate to each other as a whole is often what the individual responds to in perception. For example, a song may be made up of individual notes played by different instruments, but the real nature of the song is perceived in the combinations of these notes as they form the melody, rhythm, and harmony. In many ways, this particular perspective would have directly contradicted Wundts ideas of structuralism .
Structuralism, Freud, and the Gestalt psychologists were all concerned in one way or another with describing and understanding inner experience. But other researchers had concerns that inner experience could be a legitimate subject of scientific inquiry and chose instead to exclusively study behavior, the objectively observable outcome of mental processes.
Assumption : Primacy Of The Unconscious
Psychodynamic theorists contend that the majority of psychological processes take place outside conscious awareness. In psychoanalytic terms, the activities of the mind are presumed to be largely unconscious. Research confirms this basic premise of psychoanalysis: Many of our mental activitiesmemories, motives, feelings, and the likeare largely inaccessible to consciousness .
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Research Focus: How The Fear Of Death Causes Aggressive Behaviour
Then the participants read the essay that had supposedly just been written by another person. The essay that they read had been prepared by the experimenters to be very negative toward politically liberal views or to be very negative toward politically conservative views. Thus one-half of the participants were provoked by the other person by reading a statement that strongly conflicted with their own political beliefs, whereas the other half read an essay in which the other persons views supported their own beliefs.
At this point the participants moved on to what they thought was a completely separate study in which they were to be tasting and giving their impression of some foods. Furthermore, they were told that it was necessary for the participants in the research to administer the food samples to each other. At this point, the participants found out that the food they were going to be sampling was spicy hot sauce and that they were going to be administering the sauce to the very person whose essay they had just read. In addition, the participants read some information about the other person that indicated that he very much disliked eating spicy food. Participants were given a taste of the hot sauce and then instructed to place a quantity of it into a cup for the other person to sample. Furthermore, they were told that the other person would have to eat all the sauce.
The Evolution Of Psychodynamic Theory
Given Freuds background in neurology, it is not surprising that the first incarnation of psychoanalytic theory was primarily biological: Freud set out to explain psychological phenomena in terms that could be linked to neurological functioning as it was understood in his day. Because Freuds work in this area evolved over more than 50 years , there were numerous revisions along the way. Thus, it is most accurate to think of psychodynamic theory as a set of interrelated models that complement and build upon each other. Three are particularly important: the topographic model, the psychosexual stage model, and the structural model.
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The Future Of Psychoanalysis
There are a few things that psychoanalysis as a field can do to ensure its continued relevance in the world of psychology. Some things that can help improve the legitimacy and relevance of psychoanalytic methods include:
- Place a greater emphasis on scientific research and empirical evidence.
- Explore evidence-based treatments in greater depth.
- Improve data-gathering methods.
- Give greater consideration of other possible explanations for behavior.
- Collaborate actively with other mental health professionals.
Some current efforts to revitalize psychoanalysis focus on psychoanalytic concepts that are more evidence-based or on connecting Freud’s idea of the unconscious to modern neuroscience.