evaluation of the psychodynamic explanation

the evaluation of the psychodynamic approach to explaining abnormality

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weak evidence

whilst the theory has some evidence to support the general idea that anxiety can cause mental illnesses, the evidence is quite weak. it was based on neurotic, repressed viennese victorian women. this means the theory may only apply to:

  • women
  • women from vienna
  • the theory may also be out of date
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this explanation is reductionist because it ignores other factors such as the environment or genes, and at it's best gives a limited understanding of the mental illness in question.

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Id, superego and ego are abstract

the psychodymanic concepts of the id, superego and ego are abstract and therefore untestible. this means that we cannot be sure that anxiety is caused by conflicts between the id, superego as they may not even exist.

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