Psychodynamic Notes

Notes on the Psychodynamic Approach

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  • Created by: Caitlin R
  • Created on: 26-04-12 18:40

Psychodynamic Assumptions

Unconscious process – many important influences on behaviour come from a part of the mind we have no direct awareness of the unconscious.

Psychodynamic conflict – different parts of the mind are in constant dynamic struggle with each other and the consequence of this struggle is important in understanding human behaviour

Emotional drives – Freud believed behaviour is motivated by sexual and aggressive drives. The drives create psychic energy that will build up and create tension and anxiety if it cannot be replaced

Development – Personality is shaped by relationship experience and conflict over time, particularly during childhood.

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Freud used free association, this is where the patient allows a stream of consciousness out, and the analyst listens to find connections with the aim of uncovering unconscious wishes. He also used dream and symbol analysis, this is when the patient describes a dream and the analyst looks for meaning in the dream.

There are two types of content within dreams, manifest content of the dream is the description of the dream itself and latent content of the dream is the underlying unconscious thoughts that are revealed through the manifest content by analysis of symbols. The analyst interprets the symbols to find the latent content. Freud also analysed of slips of the tongue, which is where the patient uses the wrong word for something. Freud thought these mistakes revealed unconscious desires. Much of Freud’s analysis of symbols consists of sexual analysis. This is commonly known as the Freudian Slip.

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Correlational Metod

Correlational designs involve the same participant providing data for two measures, but they are not really repeated measures because correlations are a different sort of test. Positive correlations – one variable rises and the other rises as well Negative correlations – one variable rises and the other falls Scattergraph is the easiest method to show different correlations. A correlation coeficient is a number once you’ve done the statistical test. It’s a number calculated to show the strength of a correlation. This is a number between -1 and 1. If it’s a negative correlation it’s closer to -1, if it’s a positive correlation it’s closer to 1. In the psychodynamic approach Spearman’s Rank is used. A strength of the correlational method is that there is little manipulation of the variables, it can also show relationships that might not be expected and so can be used to point towards new areas of research. There is also no participant variables so yield more secure data. The findings are also easy to analyse by the eye. Although there are many weaknesses to the correlational method, one of which being it only suggests relationship; it doesn’t actually mean that two variables are casually related. May be a relationship of chance. It also lacks validity, one variable is operationalisedwhich could be seen as unnatural and artificial. It also doesn’t show a cause and effect conclusion and it’s self-report data.

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