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Psychodynamic Approach
Case studies ­ Study one unique individual or small group and gather in-depth, detailed and rich
data. They use many research methods such as observations, questionnaires and interviews. Case
studies are a research method. They gather qualitative data.

Freud's case studies ­ Gather in-depth, detailed data about an…

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No cause and effect relationship can be established.

Longitudinal studies ­ Follow a set of participants over time, using methods such as observations,
experiments or survey. E.g. study of children through to adulthood.

Strengths of longitudinal studies

Useful for looking at developmental trends
They use the same participants so participant…

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There are 3 aspects of personality ­ the id, the ego and the superego.

The id ­ Instinctive part of the personality present from birth. Operates on the pleasure principle.

The ego ­ Rational part of the personality. Its aware of the demands of the id and the outside world,…

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There are problems generalising from Freud's sample as they tended to be neurotic patients.
Freud's theory stops at adolescence and doesn't explain development in adulthood.
Unlike Erikson's theory which says we carry on developing into old age.
The unconscious can't be measured using scientific methods.
Dream analysis is subjective and…

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Hans feared horses as they represented his father. The fear of black on the horse's mouths
and things in front of their eyes represented his father with moustaches and glasses,
reinforcing the idea that Hans was afraid of his father.
Little Hans displaced his fear of his father on to…

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Evaluation

Strengths

Case study so gathered qualitative data that was thorough and valid.
Axline gathered data from a number of different sources, increasing the validity and
reliability.

Weaknesses

Case study so cannot be repeated and so reliability cannot be checked.
Hard to generalise because Dibs is a unique individual.

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