• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and evaluate one psychodynamic explanation of personality development

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Outline and evaluate one psychodynamic explanation of personality development Freud's psychodynamic model of personality development focuses on what drives us to behave in particular ways. It is primarily concerned with the role of past experiences, particularly those from childhood, and internal processes such as innate drives. Freud believed that the mind was split into three conflicting parts: the id, the ego and the superego. He described the id as being innate, unconscious and concerned with immediate gratification of needs or desires (the pleasure principle). The ego is conscious and operates on the reality principle, which balances the desires of the id with social restrictions by turning such desires into socially acceptable desires, or blocks them out completely. The superego does not develop until about the age of five, and is described as the internalised voice of the child's parents. It consists of two parts: the conscience and the ego ideal. The conscience reflects the image of what the person would like to be, and rewards matching behaviours, and the ego ideal is what the person feels like they ought to be, punishing the person by making them feel guilty should they deviate from their moral path. Freud outlined three different personality types which derived from one of the three components of the psyche being more dominant than the other two. ...read more.

Middle

According to Freud, the �dipus Complex develops as the boy develops a desire for his mother. He sees his father as a rival, and as a result becomes scared that his father will castrate him, but resolves the conflict by identifying with him and adopting many of his traits and morals. The Electra Complex is developed when a girl realises she has no penis, and believes she has already been castrated. This leads to penis envy and subsequent blame of the mother, and affection is drawn towards the father, who has a penis. The penis envy is then resolved by a desire for a child. Resolution of conflict is a significant part of Freud's theory. He identified several 'defence mechanisms' which are used to resolve conflict. For example, if a traumatic event occurs, the victim's ego may push the memory into the unconscious: this is called repression. Another example of a defence mechanism is intellectualisation, whereby the ego acknowledges what it is doing by stripping it of any emotional content and justifying it by other means. For example, a doctor performing surgery justifies cutting open a body by noting that it is in his/her profession and he/she has been trained to do such procedures in order to save lives. Freud's theory has received much criticism. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, Myers (2000) described a 'repressive coping style', whereby people who feel the need to bee social accepted and show low levels of anxiety are slow to report negative memories, and were good at forgetting when asked to do so. Myers and Brewin (1994) found that female repressors are likely to have had experience hostility from their fathers at a young age. Also in support for this is a study by Williams (1994), who found that 17 years after sexual abuse, 38% of the victims had no recollection of the incident(s), and even more reported that there had been a time when they could not remember. Freud also had an ideographic approach to understanding the way people think and feel: he developed his theories by using in-depth case studies. It is also undeniable that Freud's theories have contributed a lot to psychology: it showed that the mind is complex and that some mental processes are unconscious, for example, which also takes the factor of guilt away from mentally ill patients (though it arguably shifts guilt to the parents). It also showed that childhood experiences can have a lasting effect on a person's personality, and that children mature through a series of stages, which both can be supported by research into attachments, for example by Bowlby, Ainsworth, and Schaffer and Emerson (1964). Indeed, Freud's theories have lasted for a long time, and continue to offer suggestions as to why people develop in the ways that they do. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Outline and evaluate one Social Learning Theory explanation of personality development

    5 star(s)

    According to Bandura, this happens in three stages: self-observation, monitoring our behaviour and the reactions of others; judgement, comparing our actions to our own standards or the prescribed standards of the given situation; and self-response, rewarding or punishing ourselves depending on whether the behaviour is favourable or unfavourable.

  2. counselling stages of attachement

    and the dependent variable (The ability to form attachments) were not manipulated by the experimenters. * This suggests that the study has ecological validity as Tizard and Hodges did not artificially create the 3 groups, the findings probably relate to real life. Weaknesses - * A significant number of participants dropped out during the 16 years of the experiment.

  1. Describe and evaluate social learning as an explanation of personality development

    If self-efficacy is low, the child may not imitate the behaviour, and as a result will have poor social skills as an adult. Feltz provides support for the importance of self-efficacy, finding that Russian athletes' performance was improved when they saw videotapes of themselves that had been edited to make them seem better than they were.

  2. Psychology Cae Studies

    It is a way of saying to us don't worry criminals are different than we are. Think about this carefully as you go on. In todays increasingly modern society imaging techniques are on the rise as a means of differentiating between the brains of ordinary persons and criminals.

  1. DISTINGUISH BETWEEN PSYCHODYNAMIC AND SOCIAL LEARNING APPROACHES TO THE EXPLANATION OF PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT

    Issues such as these are considered to be primary unconscious and are kept from consciousness by nature through a complex defence system. "There is a tendency to be over critical about Freud's theories, but it is worth remembering the theory was constructed during a different epoch from ours and his concepts were quite revolutionary for there time.

  2. Nicholas: victor or victim?

    He relishes this because he gives her a dose of her own medicine and exposes her as a liar. He does it in such a clever way that she cannot punish him. When she orders him to fetch a ladder, Nicholas pointedly reminds her that he is barred from the gooseberry garden, so obliging his aunt to make a concession.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work