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

Describe and discuss how Sigmund Freud has contributed to Psychology

Extracts from this document...


Describe and discuss how Sigmund Freud has contributed to Psychology Sigmund Freud was and still is one of the most influential psychologists and is commonly referred to as 'the father of psychoanalysis' after developing a theory of the human mind and human behaviour as well as clinical techniques in attempting to help neurotics. Born in Frieberg, Montavia in 1856. From the years of 1873-1881 he studied biology, later specialising in neurology at the University of Vienna. Freud developed a theory of mental life called psychoanalysis, which emphasises the importance of the unconscious, sexual instinct and psychosexual development in childhood. When Freud died of cancer in 1939 he left behind six children. His youngest daughter, Anna Freud, went on to study child and development psychology. I will now describe how Freud's development of the unconsious influenced and contributed to psychology. ...read more.


Freud and a close friend and fellow psychologist Joseph Breuer tried out a form of therapy on a patient known as 'Anna O' or Bertha Pappenheim. Anna O suffered from epilepsy and one of her arms was paralysed as a result of complex seizures, it was later discovered this was the arm she had cradled her dying father with. It was thought that she was unconciously stopping the use of her arm as punishment as she blamed herself for her fathers death. This new form of therapy was called catharsis and that by talking about what had happened when the symptoms started, she would recover a repressed fact and then recover a bit. Although Breuer was the person who found this out, it would later be heavily developed by Freud. What Bertha Pappenheim thought about "Anna O." cannot be known as she is alleged to have destroyed any documents related to her childhood or youthful illness. ...read more.


Below is a diagram of the tripartite theory. So far we have looked at Freud's assumptions that a large part of our life happens at an unconscious level and how case studies such as Anna O have helped to prove these assumptions correct and to add to them. We have also studied the tripartite theory that explains that sexual instinct is the driving force in a person's mental life, which also affects behaviour. However Freud had many more assumptions, for example he thought that dreams are very important and should be interpreted as it may include some thoughts or emotions brought forward by a person's unconscious. Freud also thought that early childhood is very important for the development of the adult personality, this assumption was accepted. A few criticisms of Freud's work is that it is very unscientific, this is because it is difficult to study the unconscious as it can never be seen or experienced. However his influence on psychology has been profound and widespread. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Psychology essays

  1. A Critical Examination of the Sexual Life of Man In Sigmund Freud.

    We shall also glean from the personality theory of Harry Stack Sullivan, Mcdougall, instinct and drive theorists, the physicist and socialist views of human sexuality. 2.2 HUMAN SEXUALITY IN SCRIPTURE In Genesis 1, the creation of mankind witnessed the acme of all the other creative work.

  2. A study of the psychology of belief with reference to the influence of Freud. ...

    Freud's second theory for religion is that we use religion as a way of protecting ourselves or overcoming fears from the natural world. The problem of evil and suffering and religion has long being a conflict for many philosophers and psychologists.

  1. Anti-social Behaviour Coursework

    > Studies have claimed to find a link between hot summer months and increases in violent crime. People are out more in the summer - extra contact may be responsible. American homicide rates peak in late summer and Christmas both times when there is increased social contact.

  2. Personality Psychology

    The Study of Personality There are a number of different techniques that are used in the study of personality. Each technique has its own strengths and weaknesses. Experimental methods are those in which the researcher controls and manipulates the variables of interests and takes measures of the results.

  1. Linking Freudian and Jungian psychology to elements of cultural studies, conceive a useful model ...

    It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.4 The archetypes should be viewed as the unconscious images of universal instincts. Jung's idea has been criticized for being too much a mystical one.

  2. Explore the work of Sigmund Freud

    It is classically indicated in the treatment of unresolved conflicts in early life, as might be found in non-psychotic and personality disorders, but to date there is a lack of convincing evidence concerning its superiority over other forms of treatment.

  1. Theories of Freud Sigmund.

    This stage is linked to weaning or breastfeeding, the stage is for babies from birth to a year old. Freud therefore believed that the early years of development are very important, as the experiences of childhood shape the structure

  2. Freud Sigmund - s.

    international recognition??. During the following decade????, Freud's reputation?? continued to grow. But two of his early followers, Alfred Adler??? and Karl Jung??, split?? with Freud and developed their own theories of psychology???. Freud was constantly??? modifying?? his own ideas, and in 1923 he published a revised version????

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