Complete notes on Psychodynamic Approach

Everything in the Edexcel AS Unit 2 psychodynamic approach (:

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Chapter 3: the Psychodynamic Approach
Case study research method
In-depth unique detailed study.
Focus- an individual/group of individuals with relationship
Made up of different research methods: interviews, observations,
o Main research tool= case history
Case study is a research method on itself, but other methods are used to
produce data: some quantitative, mainly qualitative.
Triangulation (using different research methods to find = data/results) is used
to find common themes + classify data.
Usually used as a therapy rather than a research method.
Info gathered is rich in detail as researcher finds out as much info about
individual as he can. Large amount of info for analysis.
E.g. In Milgram's expt, some Ps were + distressed than others. If case study had
been done, he would know why.
Case studies give + data and detail than expts.
Lots of detailed rich data is gathered from diff research methods. If diff research
methods produce = data, type of reliability (triangulation).
Valid data produced. Info includes data on setting + environment of P, and data
comes from real environment, real life. Ecological validity + task validity (no
unnatural task) + no restricted questions.
Lack generalisability- case study about specific P. In-depth unique case study,
looks at uniqueness of individual so it's difficult to apply findings to other
people + situations.
No reliability- case study is about specific individual at a specific time. Difficult to
replicate circumstances, therefore unique + unreliable.
Unscientific- case studies are subjective as they work with qualitative data which
needs interpretation. Meaning, therefore, not only depends on info but on the
researcher interpreting it. If results are relative + need interpretation they are
subjective- do not build an unquestionable body of knowledge.
Freud's case studies

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Freud used them to investigate each individual with detail.
Questionnaires etc. = qualitative data
Tests etc= quantitative
Mainly qualitative with some quantitative.
Unique, individual in-depth studies of a focus.
Help to cure people (therapy based) + to access unconscious.
Freud used case studies as a research method in order to create a body of
knowledge of a patient. Also as a therapy.
Freud wanted to access unconscious- not possible with standard means as it is
inaccessible.…read more

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Unscientific- unconscious is not tangeable, so it's impossible to test it/measure
Comparation of general case studies + Freud's case studies
Similarities Differences
Both use + than one Different research
research method. methods used.
Freud= dream analysis
General= questionnaires
Both involve Freud used them as
qualitative data. therapies. General have
general applications.
Both look at in-depth Freud only focuses on
detailed data which the unconscious. GCS
needs interpretation. on + things.…read more

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Also, strict guidelines for therapists about personal conduct, responsibilities + training.
Correlation designs
A correlation design= design which compares two measures of the same individual.
o When P is measured in 2 scales
o Once scores are obtained, relationship is tested.
Two types:
Positive correlation- when one measure increases, the other one too.
E.g. The older someone is, the longer the reaction time.
Both age + reaction time increase, so there's a positive
Negative correlation- when one measure increases, the other one decreases.
E.g.…read more

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Can discover unexpected relationships that might have not been realised previously.
As long as two scaled measures and same people produce 2 sets of data, a test can
be carried out. Flexible design= unexpected relationship can lead to new research
No P variables- same Ps provide both sets of data so info is unaffected by individual
unique characteristics. For a research method to be scientific, needs + controls.
Correlation don't need as there are not affected by P variables.…read more

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Ps (P is not expected to be
available for a long time period)
Do not gather so much rich data as longitudinal. Cross-sectional are a snapshot
of Ps at certain time.
Trends in data if a later study was to be carried out cannot be find out. Snapshot
of moment will not provide opportunity to follow up findings.
P variables can affect results as diff Ps are used. Could make results unvalid.…read more

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Longitudinal= expensive + time
Cross sectional= uncontrolled
Longitudinal= Ps variables are controlled
Longitudinal= + rich in-depth info
Cross sectional= don't
Cross sectional= info quickly analysed +
Longitudinal= analysis at end of study.
Analysing qualitative data
Generating themes
Data sorted out in arrays, tables + flowcharts
Frequencies calculated + repeating patterns identified
Quantitative data collected to give + reliability to qualitative.
E.g. Using stats to reinforce theme
Sometimes, + than one researcher analyses the data. If = themes found, more
reliability.…read more

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Come from real P + Data compared + Subjective
situation conclusions done
Influenced by researcher Not easily replicated Depends on researcher
Certain time + situation If repeated, diff. results
I must be able to describe + evaluate the 4 different sampling techniques
(random, stratified, volunteer, opportunity)
Key assumptions
Importance of unconscious mind
Behaviour + personality controlled by sexual energy, libido.
First 5 years the most important + will affect personality and behaviour as an
The three parts of the mind
1.…read more

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Preconscious mind
o Thoughts + ideas can be accessed
o We don't know about (memories)
3. Unconscious mind
o Cannot access it
o All thoughts originate from here.
Iceberg analogy:
Conscious mind above surface
Preconscious mind small part below surface
Unconscious mind everything below.
Why is the unconscious mind so important?
It is where all thoughts + desires originate from and, although unconscious, guide
our behaviour.…read more

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E.g. Baby cries for food. Wants it + cries to have it.
Rational part of personality
Develops from 18 months
Tries to obtain for id what i ants
Works out on how to satisfy the person
Works on the morality principle
Develops at phallic stage, around 4 years.
Made up of conscience (parents + society) and ego ideal (idea people have of
how they should be)
"You can't have" part of personality.…read more


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