freuds impact on psychology


Freud’s views on the origins of abnormal behaviour and ways of treating it had a great impact on psychology. Outline and evaluate the psychodynamic approach to abnormality.

The psychodynamic approach believes that abnormal behaviour in adult life can be caused by un-resolved unconscious desires and traumatic childhood experiences. Freud proposed that all children go through the psychostages of development; becoming fixated at these stages can result in abnormalities in adult personalities. For example, in the anal stage the child gains pleasure from control of the anal muscles and expulsion and retention of faeces. If a young boy in this stage receives a baby brother, the child may feel neglected and left out as attention is put on the newer child. This trauma to the young boy may result in him beginning to defecate in his pants rather than using the toilet to become helpless and gain the attention of his parents. The anal personality has been shown to exist through research gathered by Fisher and Greenberg (1977) however, it does not support Freud’s initial claim than anal personality results from difficulties during toilet training but the later observations Freud made of orderliness and meanness. The research des not empirically support a link between a fixation in the anal stage and an anal personality.

Freud suggested that the ego, superego and id are in a balancing act. These 3 dynamics of personality control behaviour of


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