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Little Hans study 1909
Aim Is to understand Little Hans (5 yrs old) phobia of horses and to treat it.
Method and It was a case study of little Hans. The information used by Freud was from Hans's
description At the age of 3 Little Hans had an interest in his widdler (penis). He dreamt about
his widdler and wiping children's bottom. When he was small he played with his
widdler and his mother told him off for it.
Hans always wanted his father to go away on business and when they moved
house his father was home more often and then he wanted his father dead
because he was so attached to his mother. He was also jealous of his sister and
always afraid to go under the water while having his bath and when his mother
bathed his sister he wished that his sister's head would go under the water. Hans
agreed this was true.
Hans said he was afraid of white horses because he thought they would bite him.
He was also afraid of the harness around the horse's mouth and the thing in their
eyes. He had a girl's father tell her not to put her hand in the horse or it would bite
her. He also saw a horse fall while drawing a cart.
Sometimes, Little Hans would play at 'having children' with his mother, where she
was the children's mother and he was the father, and that Little Hans' father was
He dreamt that a plumber removed his widdler and put in a bigger one. He also
dreamt about two giraffes a big one that represented his father and a small one
that represented his mother. He took away the small one, making the big one cry
and then sat on the small one.
Results and Hans fear of horses was the fear of his father
case analysis The black harness around the mouth of the horse was his father's
Freud interpreted Hans dream about wiping his bottom as a fixation to the
Hans's dream of drowning was the wish for his sister to die.
Freud interpreted his wanting is father to go way and die was a result of
Hans sexual feeling towards his mother (Oedipus complex).
Freud interpreted his dream of a plumber removing his widdler and
replacing them with a new one was Hans's identification with his father.
Freud interpreted his giraffe dream as Oedipus complex, removing his
mother away from his father.
Conclusion Freud concluded that Hans was going through a resolved Oedipus complex.
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The study has high ecological validity as the study was carried out in Hans's
The study is ethical as consent as given to Freud by Hans's parents because
he was not up to 16.
The data used for the study was a qualitative data making the results rich
and in depth.
Supports Freud's theory of psychosexual development.
The study lacked reliability as there was few control to the study.…read more