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Core studies - psychodynamic perspective

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Abby Lowe

on 29 November 2012

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Transcript of Core studies - psychodynamic perspective

Psychodynamic perspective Core Studies Assumptions How the psychodynamic approach explains Freud's study on development of phobia in a 5 year old boy How the psychodynamic approach explains Thigpen & Cleckley's study of multiple personality disorder Differences between studies Similarities between studies Strengths of the psychodynamic perspective Strengths of the psychodynamic perspective The unconscious mind has an important influence over our behaviour and feelings. The meaning behind an event can unconsciously motivate behaviour. These unconscious motivations can them manifest themselves as physical symptoms.
Early experiences are important in shaping our future behaviour. All our adult behaviour and feelings arise from conflicts that occured in childhood. The first relationships we develop have a lasting influence on our behaviour. A phobia is an irrational fear of an object, people or event.
The phobia develops by being attached to an item that is symbolic of the real desire which is buried in the unconscious mind.
Freud suggests that these phobias are a representation of the Oedipus complex which male children need to overcome.
Once the Oedipus complex is successfully completed the phobia should go away. MPD is a dissociative disorder in which two or more distinct personalities co-exist within the same individual.
New personalities develop as a reaction to abuse or trauma a person has suffered.
The new personalities are used to protect the individual and to deal with different social situations.
T+C found that Eve had developed MPD as a result of traumatic events that she witnessed early in childhood T+C and Freud are both in-depth case studies investigating one individual.
Freud is an in-depth analysis of one boy who has a phobia of horses.
T+C is an in-depth analysis of one woman with MPD called Eve. One difference is that Freud ionly qualitative data whereas T+C use a mix of qualitative data and quantitative data.
Freud uses only observations that had been sent to him from Hans' father on his dreams/phobias.
T+C use a mix of qualitative data (interviews and projective tests) and quantitative data (psychometric tests/EEGs). This perspective relies largely on the use of case studies and qualitative data as means of finding out about the causes of people's behaviour and experiences.
Freud used a case study to investigate Hans as an individual, gaining extensive qualitative data , e.g. written accounts of Hans' dreams which were interpreted to find the causes of his phobias.
This is useful because it allows us to understand not only how people behave in certain situations but also the reasons why they behave in particular ways. It highlights the importance of early childhood interactions on the development of adult personality.
In T+C's study of Eve, it was later revealed that she had witnessed the death of a man when she was young, which may have triggered her MPD as a defense mechanism.
This is useful because it helps inform people working with children ways in which childhood interactions could be assisted to ensure healthy development of an adult (parenting classes, organisation of child care facilities Weaknesses of the psychodynamic perspective It relies on the use of case studies as means of studying people's behaviour and lacks controls that would help determine factors that affect that behaviour.
Freud had limited contact with Hans, largely relying on subjective accounts from Hans' father.
Findings may be invalid and unreliable as they are open to subjective interpretation by the research. There is also low representativeness of the samples. Weaknesses of the psychodynamic approach The sample is a problem as the research is often carried out using a very small number of participants.
T+C represent the behaviour of one woman, Eve, who's disorder may have been specific to her individual upbringing.
This means the findings are low in generalisability as they can't be applied to a wider range of people.
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