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2 contributions made by Freud to psychology

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Introduction

2 contributions made by Freud to psychology Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) is a key figure in the history of psychology. Freud was developing a theory called psychodynamics. The psychodynamic theory consists of the sequence of childhood development correlateing to adult behaviours and functions. The development of childhood is mostly done using unconscious material. One main contribution by Freud to psychology is the suggestion to gender development in childhood progression through a sequence of psychosexual stages being oral, anal. and phallic. The three stages relate to certain time periods in childhood. The Oral stage lasts from birth to approximately 1 year old. The child attains pleasurable sensations from the mouth. Their are two sub-stages in this. 'Incorporative' where the baby focuses on sucking and swallowing. The other sub-stage is 'Aggressive' where the focus becomes bitting and chewing. ...read more.

Middle

Later Freud devised the 'Electra complex' for girls but he was never content with this conclusion. Freud states that males gender is determined via the succession of the his progress within the Oedipus complex. During the Oedipus complex the male develops unconscious sexual feeling toward his mother. He finds rivalry with his father which leads to fantasies of exiling his father and taking his place with his mother. The boy then generates hostile feelings due to an anxiety of castration for his feeling toward his mother. Also during this stage the boy realises that girls have been castrated already. To cope with this castration anxiety the boy develops defence mechanisms of identification. The boy then identifies with his father and adopts his fathers attitudes and moral beliefs. Another main contribution by Freud is the suggestion that the personality is made up of the theoretical constructs of the mind. ...read more.

Conclusion

However the way in which Freud attained these theories are suspect. Freud used a method called case studies meaning that Freud had to interpret the information presented by the cases which introduces the problem of researcher bias so their is no empirical evidence. Freud was also too narrow in his description of gender development in that their is too much emphasis on family influence with the nuclear family in mind not considering peers or non-nuclear families. Their is evidence to show that gender development occurs at a much earlier age than the Oedipus and the Electra complex also the existence of the Oedipus and Electra complex has been questioned. Although Freud's work has been criticised he is still a key figure in psychology developing psychodynamics and this work has led to many applications such as psychoanalysis which enables psychologist to use therapy to solve people's problems or anxieties by regressing to the patients childhood resolving any mal-developed stages etc. ...read more.

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