Freud Little Hans Study

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Freud Little Hans Study

Freud: Little Hans

Aim = Investigate causes of phobia in a 5 Year old boy and to test Freud's theory of infantile sexuality, Oedipus complex and Psychoanalytical theory 

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Participant

Participant 

  • Little Hans
  • Start of study = 3yo
  • 5yo when phobia of horses reported 
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Results

Results 


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Method

Method 

  • Case study
  • Hans' parents = great admirers of Freuds work; They were bringing Hans up in a liberal mannor
  • Letters from Hans' father to Freud
  • Freud replies with interpretation of behaviour 
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Conclusions

Conclusions 

  • Hans was experiencing the Oedpius complex
  • Frued used this case to support his theories of infantile sexuality, psychosexual development and phobias 
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Evaluation

Evaluation 

Strength

  • In-depth study + lots of qualitative data
  • Longlitudinal study = development can be measured

Weaknesses 

  • One person = hard to generalize findings
  • How typical was Hans?
  • Reduction in objectvity as father was a supporter of freud = bias
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Evaluation Of Explanation

Evaluation Of Explanation

  • Phobia's can be explained by attacthment theory
  • Classical conditioning also explains fear of horses = one bad experience generalized 
  • Oedipus complex = ethnocentric and androcentric 
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