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

"Describe and evaluate Freud's psychoanalytical theory of development"

Extracts from this document...


"Describe and evaluate Freud's psychoanalytical theory of development" (24 marks) There are three aspects to Freud's theory of personality development. Firstly the structure of personality (id, ego, superego), defence mechanisms and the stages of psychosocial development. According to Freud personality develops as an outcome of these three aspects. The id is located in the unconscious mind and is the source of innate sexual and aggressive instincts. The emphasis is on immediate gratification, for example, a young child wanting a toy NOW. The ego is the conscious, governing part of personality and develops in the first two years of life as a consequence of the infants experience. ...read more.


These include intellectualism (thinking about threats in ways that allow emotion to be eliminated), denial (refusing to accept the existence of a threat), projection (attributing undesirable impulses or characteristics to others), repression (keeping troublesome emotions out of conscious awareness) and displacement (unconsciously transferring impulses from a threatening object to a less threatening one). Freud described early personality development in terms of five psychosexual stages. In each stage the child's energy or libido is focused on a different body region. The first being the oral stage (0-18months) where satisfaction is from eating, sucking etc. In the anal stage (18-36months) the child is interested in and gains satisfaction from the anal region. ...read more.


It is also enduring and has sparked much further research into the area of personality development and feminists have used his ideas about gender development. However, Freud has come into criticism as he based a theory of normal development around the study of abnormal individuals. The sample used was also unrepresentative as it was small and those included were middle class women. There may be a confirmatory bias as Freud may have disregarded information that did not fit his theory. Freud may have also been selective about the data he used. The notes Freud made were not during therapy sessions but afterwards, so they were retrospective. Another retrospective issue is that Freud was asking adults about their childhood. Critics also argue the theory is unreliable, as it is not scientific. ...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. Peer reviewed

    Freud's theory of psycho-sexual development

    5 star(s)

    The little girl feels wronged and becomes envious of boys who have something that they do not have - a penis. According to Freud, such an envy would "leave eradicable traces on their development and the formation of their character and which will not be surmounted in even the most

  2. Anti-social Behaviour Coursework

    - Altruistic reasons. * On the other hand we may feel only distress when there is no close attachment - in these conditions we may reduce the stress by helping or leaving - Egoistic reasons EXPLANATION OF BYSTANDER BEHAVIOUR - Darley and Latane (1968)

  1. Critically evaluate Nancy Chodorow's theory of the origins of gender identity in childhood. In ...

    For the female, Chodorow believes the identification process is relational dependant on the quality and closeness relationship with her mother. The girl then becomes a separate individual through 'secondary identification' (Chodorow 1978). Chodorow is in agreement with Freud's belief that a girl will feel hostility at some stage towards her

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

    He claims that psychoanalysis' predictions are not of overt behaviour but of hidden psychological states and therefore are un-testable. Popper claims that it is only possible to empirically determine whether prospective patients are currently neurotic when individuals are not neurotic.

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

    the sexuality of the early childhood reaches its height and approaches its decline. 3.2: SOCIALIZATION OF THE LIBIDO Generally the aforementioned phases are auto-erotic, that is to say, that the only object of love is discovered by the baby within himself - a stage of narcissism so that the selfish personality needs to be socialized, choosing object outside himself.

  2. freud personality

    Freud suggests that the formation of the superego is very closely linked to the child's identification with his parents. It is what helps us judge our actions as being right or wrong and make us feel guilty of pride. Our internal standards are set in accordance with the development of our superego.

  1. Uncovering the Defense Mechanisms in the Maya Epigraphy

    the product of the art, the latent content is the window into the psychological disposition of the artist. Due to the fact that the epigraphy tells a story of the Maya exploits, survival, warfare, and in general, their history, it also gives the viewer insight into the unconscious mind of their religious and spiritual practices.

  2. Psychoanalytical Theory.

    At this time, parents are concerned of toilet training. In the third year and approximately until the fifth year, the infants focus shifts again from elimination or retention to the phallic or Oedipal stage: the child's sexual curiosity is aroused with attention drawn to the genitals. Pleasure from stimulation of genitals is discovered.

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