Little Hans- Freud

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  • Little Hans
    • Hans himself
      • 3 years old when he first became a patient of Freud
        • Just beginning the phallic stage of development
        • Started to develop an active interest in widdlers, other people's widdlers and widdling
          • Asked "mummy, have you got a widdler too?"
            • Wanted other girls in his class to sleep with him
              • Wanted to widdle with them and other boys
          • At around three and a half his mother told Hans to stop playing with his widdler otherwise she threatened to call the doctor and get him to cut it off
            • Possibly causing castration fear
              • This could have forced Hans to have castration fear so can't be used as evidence for Freud's theory
                • Lacks validity
            • Caused a build up of frustration of wanting to touch his penis but not being able to, leading to suppressed desires
            • Hans did start to improve after his father assured him that he wasn't going to cut off his penis
              • On the advice of Freud
            • When his mother was powdering his body he wanted her to touch his widdler
      • Hans' father contacted Freud as he thought that Freud may take interest in his sons case
      • At the age of five Hans developed a phobia that a white horse would bite him in the street
        • Hans' father wrote to Freud and explained that he thought that it was linked to a phobia of large penis'.
          • An example of Hans' fathers interpretations possibly tampering with the results and affecting objectivity and validity
        • The phobia of the horse is actually a manifestation of Hans' fear of his father
          • The blinkers represented his fathers glasses, the mouthpiece his fathers moustache and the white colour is due to the fact his dad was a pale man
          • He was sacred that his father would find out about his love for his mother
            • And cut off his penis as a consequence
        • The fear of being bitten is a manifestation of his fear of his father castrating him
          • For his  desire of his mother
          • Oedipus complex
      • Hans' family lived outside a coaching inn which meant he had to encounter many horses- this meant he didn't want to leave the house
        • When first questioned about this- Hans said that he was frightened of the horses falling over and making a noise with their feet.
        • He was especially frightened of Horses carrying heavily laden carts
        • Hans had once seen a horse die in the street when he was out with his nurse
          • When it had collapsed Hans had been afraid of the sound it made when it fell with its hooves clattering against the cobbles
            • The phobia could have just been caused by this event
      • Hans suffered from anxiety attacks
      • Hans disliked the mouthpieces of the horses
        • Freud believed that this resembled his fathers moustache
          • He noted that when he observed them Hans said to his father- "daddy don't trot away from me"
      • Hans was forbidden from sleeping in the same bed as his parents
        • Caused frustration
      • Hans began to identify with his father in order to help him cope with this castration fear
      • He and his father used to play "horses" where his father would take the role of the horse and Hans would ride him
      • Hans was jealous of his sister Hanna
        • He saw himself as more important and that she had a smaller widdler
          • Wanted to drop her in   the toilet like a poo
            • Jealousy over his mothers diverted attention
    • Aims
      • To treat Hans' phobias
        • Hans improved over time and came to Freud's office aged nineteen saying that he couldn't remember the study and that he was now completely healed
      • To prove Freud's psychosexual stages theory
        • Does provide evidence for this theory
        • Doesn't show how common the Oedipus complex is amongst boys of this age
          • Freud believed it to be universal
      • To explore what had leas to the phobia in the first place
    • Procedure
      • Freud only ever met Hans once
        • He was asked about his phobia of horses and about his father
        • After this Hans' condition began to improve
      • Freud studied Hans through correspondence with his father using letters
        • Hans' father was familiar with Freud's theories
          • Possible subjectivity and bias which could lead to a lack of validity
          • Could have provided clues or encouraged Hans to act in a certain way
        • Hans' father and Freud worked together to analyse Hans
      • Freud suggested questions that Hans' father could ask him
        • Hans' father would ask these and then report back to Freud
      • Hans' father provided Freud with detailed accounts of their conversations
        • If he wrote the letter a while after the conversation he may have missed out certain important elements and tampered with details
      • Only studied Hans
        • Lack of generalizability
          • Can't be generalised to the target population
        • The study could have caused Hans psychological harm
    • Dreams
      • At around three years old the main basis of his dreams was widdlers and widdling.
      • Giraffe dream: Hans dreamt that there was a large giraffe in the room along with a small crumpled one. He said that the large one called out as Hans took the crumpled one away from it and called out again when Hans sat on it
        • Hans had been to the zoo recently before this dream
          • It could have just been a result of this
        • Representing what goes on in the morning of their house- Hans liked to get in the bed with his parents but his father objected
          • The large giraffe could represent his father objecting when his mother (the crumpled giraffe) was taken away by Hans
        • Freud and Hans' father believed the long neck of the giraffe represented a large adult penis
          • Hans rejected this idea
    • Fantasies
      • Hans had several imaginary children
        • When asked, Hans said that his mother was the mother of these children and his father was the grandfather of the children. Hans was the father of these children.
          • This helped him resolve the Oedipus complex
          • Demonstrated his love for his mother and his wanting to be with her
      • He told his father of these fantasies
      • The second fantasy occurred the next day and Hans fantasised that a plumber had come and removed his bottom and widdler and then replaced them both with larger ones
      • Hans fantasised about having a big penis like his fathers
  • Freudian analysis
  • Evaluation

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