Edexcel AS Psychology - Psychodynamic - Key Assumptions & Terms

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  • Created by: Ally
  • Created on: 14-03-12 13:39

Psychodynamic Approach


Key Assumptions

-          Freud emphasises the importance of the unconscious mind and motivation. 90% of our mind is unconscious, therefore we cannot access the unconscious wishes and desires, and however, they still do motivate and influence our behaviour.

-          Freud also emphasises the importance of early experience. He believed our early childhood experiences defined our personality; which is made up of the id, ego and superego. A lot of anxiety is due to conflict with our parents. He thought that we all pass through stages of psychosexual development. If we do so successful then there will be no problems, if a child gets stuck in any one of the psychosexual stages then it can lead to fixation and this uses energy

The split personality; the id, ego and superego


The id is the first part of the personality that begins to develop. The id is very demanding; it acts upon primal instincts to gain as much pleasure as possible.


The ego is the second part of the personality that begins to develop. The ego’s job is to balance the id and the superego. If the energy within the id and superego is unbalanced then one will take over your personality.


The superego is the third and last to develop. The superego rationalises your thoughts and puts them against your moral code.


Psychosexual development stages

-          Freud believed that children pass through five stages of development, known as the psychosexual stages because of Freud’s emphasis on sexuality as the basic drive in development. These stages are: the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, the latency period and finally the genital stage.






This is really helpful for revision. Thank you!

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