Psychodynamic Approach to Abnormality

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  • Created by: Aletia
  • Created on: 10-04-13 19:12
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  • Psychodynamic approach to abnormality
    • Assumes that abnormal behavior in adulthood is caused by unresolved childhood conflict
      • Freud came up with this concept
    • Unresolved conflict
      • In a normal person the ego is strong and allows the id and superego expression where each is appropriate
      • In an abnormal person the ego cannot balance the id and superego
        • Example: Eating disorders are caused by the ego being overwhelmed by the superego causing excessive guilt
      • In order to satifsy the demands of the id and superego the ego uses self-defence mechanisms such as sublimation, repression, denial and regression
    • Id = desires
    • Superego = moral conscience
    • Childhood development stages
      • Children need to develop successfully through the 5 psychosexual stages to lead a normal adult life
        • If they fail to fully develop or conflict arises during one of these stages then problems may occur later in life related to this
          • This is because the immature ego is not able to cope with traumatic events and suppresses them in the unconscious until later in life
    • Support: Freud was an influential psychologist, most psychologists now accept the importance of childhood development in adult development
      • A few case studies like Little Hans
        • Case studies are difficult to generalise
    • Difficult to objectively and scientifically test this theory, some critics claim that people who undergo therapy based on this approach are no better off than those who don't
      • Hans Eysenck argues that people who have therapy based on this approach actually end up worse than before the treatment
      • Most of the data is retrospective so may be unreliable due to memory inaccuracies
  • Difficult to objectively and scientifically test this theory, some critics claim that people who undergo therapy based on this approach are no better off than those who don't
    • Hans Eysenck argues that people who have therapy based on this approach actually end up worse than before the treatment
    • Most of the data is retrospective so may be unreliable due to memory inaccuracies

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