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Describe and evaluate any one approach to the study of Human behaviour.

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Introduction

Describe and evaluate any one approach to the study of Human behaviour. The Psychodynamic Approach to Psychology Barry Hollinshead H.E.F.C. Psychology. It was in the early 1900s when, Sigmund Freud, a neurologist living in Vienna, first published his psychoanalytic theory of personality, in which the unconscious mind played a crucial role. Combining the then current cognitive notions of consciousness, perception and memory with the ideas of biologically based instincts. He came up with a bold new theory now known as psychodynamics. This new theory, which forms the basis of the psychodynamic approach, represented a challenge and a major alternative to behaviourism. Freud's assumptions centred in and around the unconscious processes, which were important influences in our behaviour. He spoke of an INTERNAL id, ego and superego controlling our behaviour. In contrast, Watson had suggested that, since our mind was like a black box and we can't see inside it, we can only speculate about what is inside the mind. He preferred therefore the assumption that majority of behaviour is learned from the environment as a response to specific stimuli. In this essay we will look at Freud's theory of the mind, the stages we go through and evaluate his processes of treatment. ...read more.

Middle

Projection is unknowingly displacing your own bad feelings onto someone else. You might suspect others of dodging the metro fare because you did. Similar to projection is displacement. This time we unconsciously redirect an emotion from the person who has caused it onto a third person. You might shout at a friend because someone else has told you off. Then there is reaction formation and intellectualisation. Freud was instrumental in changing the way we looked at mental health. He suggested that physical symptoms may have psychological problems. He developed a new type of therapy called "psychoanalysis" which is often called the talking cure. From this many other forms of therapy have come about. All of these therapies try to uncover the unconscious psychodynamic processes in order to get an insight into the conflicts and anxieties that are the cause of abnormal behaviour. (Where behaviourists believe it is determined by our environment, psychodynamics suggest it comes from our unconscious mind.) The belief is if someone can understand there past experiences inside their psyche, they can then deal with it in their conscious mind. Freud had considerable success with the talking cure with a girl known as Anna O. this girl spent most of her life caring for her sick father. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Freud's defence his theories have made such an impact towards psychology and psychiatry his methods are still used after 100 years from when he first developed them. The psychodynamic treatments have uncovered a lot of the psychological causes of mental disorders. In this essay we have described and evaluated Freud's theory of personality development and how he stresses the importance to the forces that drive us, and his idea of defence mechanisms, and the benefits of his therapy. There are a lot of weaknesses in his theories the main one being his use of soft 'unverifiable' data; you can't measure what you can't see, but the strengths are still plain to see. The treatment towards mental health would not be as sufficient today without Freud. We have also compared some of his theories against some of the other approaches in particular Watson's behaviourist approach. Unlike the theory of John Watson, who sided on the nurture side of the nature nurture debate or the biological approach which stresses nativism, Freudian theory suggests that it is BOTH nature AND nurture that drives our behaviour. He talks of BOTH predetermined stages & basic instincts AND experience of the family and social training, such as 'potty training'. Barry Hollinshead. H.E.F.C. Psychology. Word count 2184. Reference: M. Cardwell, L. Clark, C. Meldrum. Psychology for A Level, Second Edition, HarperCollins Publishers Limited 2002 ...read more.

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