OCR AS Psychology: Core Studies - Psychodynamic Perspective (3)

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  • Created on: 22-03-13 09:30

Psychodynamic Perspective (3)


Strengths: A main strength of the psychodynamic perspective is the way it can be used to explain a wide variety of phenomenon. In fact some followers of the psychodynamic perspective believe that all human life can be explained from a psychodynamic approach. However, you will find even more psychologists who argue that the psychodynamic theory cannot explain anything. Perhaps Freud’s greatest legacy is the invention of therapies for treating mental disorders. Freud believed that once unconscious conflicts and emotions were made conscious that they could be discussed and resolved. Freud himself briefly used hypnosis to gain access to patients’ unconscious thoughts but then developed a technique of free association. However there is considerable controversy relating to these psychoanalytic treatments regarding both their usefulness and abuse by unscrupulous therapists.

Weakness: One of the many criticisms of the psychodynamic perspective is that is highly subjective and its ideas are hard to test scientifically. For example, most of the ideas are based on case studies of individuals and are not easily tested experimentally. Furthermore the psychodynamic approach does make many generalisations based on these case studies of individuals.

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