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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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. Marked by a teacher

    In this essay I will evaluate and explain the Social Learning Theory (SLT), which ...

    5 star(s)

    * It is important that a debriefing is held afterwards, so the researcher can discuss what the actual purpose of the study was and to help the participant if they feel uncomfortable because of the deception used. Field experiment * This is an experiment carried out in the natural environment of the participants e.g.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Freud and Behaviourist's Theories

    4 star(s)

    He claimed that babies who were normally expulsive would become generous although untidy and less organised adults as opposed to retentive babies who would become very tidy and far more organised.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Research Methodology

    The individual participants may or may not react in typical cultural ways so that the researcher or the study views them in a better light. Observational methodologies have been the most promising techniques for the analysis of human behavior, capable of dealing with its complexity and variability (Anguera, 2003).

  2. Peer reviewed

    Freud claimed to have discovered 'scientific method by which the unconscious can be studied.' ...

    5 star(s)

    The methods by which Freud tried to prove his claims hold little validity, lacking a source of objective fact and often being vague and metaphorical, unclear in how they can be tested. Freud also seemed vulnerable to conformation bias looking for evidence that would support his theory and shying away from disconfirming data.

  1. Different Theories and theorists in Human behaviour

    Humans have a tendency towards love and growth. However there is a continuous cycle of human wars, murder and deceit, but Maslow believed that this is not what human nature is meant to be like. Violence and other despicable occurrence are when humans are deprived of lower needs, such as safety may defend themselves by violent means.

  2. Critically evaluate the psychodynamic approach.

    The ego uses defense mechanisms to protect the individual from feeling anxious about id impulses. Defense mechanisms distort or deny reality and protect the ego from distress and allow the person to cope with life.

  1. Describe and evaluate any one approach to the study of Human Behaviour. Sigmund Freud's ...

    The Oral phase shows an emphasis, by an individual, on providing satisfaction for the mouth, the first erotogenic zone. In the Anal phase satisfaction is achieved via aggression and the excretory function. The Phallic phase, a young girl enters the Electra phase, where penis envy is experienced resulting in the girl shying away from sexual life all together.

  2. A Study of Freud and Jung on the Values of Religious Belief.

    The Formation of Religion Freud drew most of his conclusion from various anthropological theories. Freud used these explain the origin of God's creation. The major events are as follows- ''Men originally lived in hordes, each under the domination of one single powerful, violent, jealous male'' (Freud 1925 p67 in Rizzuto p16).

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