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Psychology coursework - Repression.

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Psychology coursework Repression Introduction Sigmund Freud developed many theories, which have formed the basis of the psychodynamic approach to psychology. Freud says that there are three main parts to personality and these are shown in the diagram below: ID (I want) Tension EGO (negotiates the tension) SUPEREGO (You can't) As we can see from the diagram Id is our basic desires. We are born with the id. The id works in harmony to the 'Pleasure Principle'. The Superego can be referred to as being our conscious and has a sense of right and wrong. The superego has to be learned because we are not born with it so we learn via our parents and laws they set upon us. Last but not least we have the Ego which is what we are seen to be, so our behaviour. The ID and SUPEREGO build up tension between them so the EGO comes into place to negotiate the tension between them. One way that Freud says this is done is through dreams. An example of this is that if you have just had an argument with one of your parents say your father, and you go to sleep annoyed and dream about strangling him to release this tension but when you wake up you feel a bit guilty. Freud says that we replace the father for any kind of object like a tree. In our dream we take an axe and chop down this tree and by doing this we release tension and when waking up we don't feel any guilt because we have not hurt our parents in any way. ...read more.


All the words were abstract nouns. Also, standardised instructions, pens, paper were used. Procedure Once the participants volunteered to take part in the experiment and then they were taken to a quiet room in order to reduce the level of distraction during the experiment. They were given a set of standardised instructions, which basically explained what they had to do. Also it thanked them for taking part and also stated that should they feel uncomfortable for a certain reason then they could feel free to withdraw from the experiment. Once they were happy with what they were doing they were told orally that they would be given a piece of paper with a list of numbers from 1-30. As we called out the words they had to make paired associations and write the word, which they associated with the given word. Once all 30 words had been called out we gave them another piece of paper consisting of the 30 words which we had called out. I asked them to write down as many of the associations they made with each word they could remember. Once they finished I would take it and that would be the end of the experiment. Even though this was written on the standardised instructions I explained it aloud in order to clarify. All students gathered their own data and then we pulled all the data together to form an overall result. Controls Standardised instructions were given so that the experiment is fair and to ensure that all the participants are given the same information. The counterbalancing of the word order reduced primacy and recency effects, and also order effects. ...read more.


However Eysenck and Wilson found that after a delay highly arousing words were actually remembered. This opposes Freud's repression theory because if a word is repressed it should continue to be repressed, these findings led to confusion. Parkin et al (1982) cleared it up by replicating Levinger and Clarke's (1961) study but also adding a delayed recall of seven days. The findings supported the current studies findings (and also Levinger and Clarke's findings) where higher levels of arousal inhibited immediate recall but longer term recall was better. Generalisation of findings The findings can be generalised to the population of young students. However the findings can not be said that they are representative of the whole population because with regards to children they may have difficulty understanding the words used in the experiment and with regards to senior citizens they may have difficulty remembering the associations made. Also since the study was based in Harrow it is difficult to generalise the findings in other counties or boroughs. Applications The study showed that in general negative things do tend to be forgotten because we may find that negative things tend to bring us emotionally down and we try to stay positive in most situations so we block them out. We can see this applied in everyday life, e.g on parents evening when the teacher is talking to the parents they tend to remember the good things said about their child rather than some of the bad things. This can also be applied to teaching and learning where positive words are used in order to influence a wanting attitude to learn. This suggests that Freud's theories of the ego defence mechanisms are still applicable today and it gives us meaningful insight into how people deal with everyday problems. Anthony Georgiou Psychology Coursework Page 1 ...read more.

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