Key Assumptions and One Theory of the Psychodynamic Approach to Psychology

933 WordsDec 2, 20074 Pages
1) Outline the main assumptions of the psychodynamic approach The psychodynamic approach to psychology is the study of human behaviour from the point of view of motivation and drives. The original beliefs of this approach were created by Sigmund Freud in the 1800s. Although it is now generally seen negatively in the common view, sometimes comically, it has provided the inspiration for a few of the current leading approaches to psychology. The first assumption of this approach is of the importance of the unconscious mind and motivation. Freud believed that much of what determines our behaviour is on a mental level that is hidden to us, and that there are three levels of consciousness: 1) The conscious mind – Thoughts we are aware of…show more content…
I have already mentioned the iceberg analogy. Freud believes that all behaviour is caused by the unconscious mind, which has a personality of three parts: Id – We are born with this. It seeks instant gratification for drives, such as sex and aggression. When a need is realised, the id wants satisfaction immediately. Ego – Develops around age 3. We begin to understand that not all needs can be satisfied as we want, and we have to satisfy them realistically. Superego – Develops around age 6. There are two parts; the ego ideal and the conscience. The ego ideal tells us what we want to be and makes us feel satisfaction when we achieve it. The conscience makes sure we don't do badly and makes us takes actions that benefit society. It makes us feel guilty when it is not followed. The ego must make a balance between the id and the superego; trying to satisfy our needs whilst not offending the superego. The ego sometimes uses defence mechanisms to remove problems. Some examples are: Repression – Pulling into the unconscious E.g. Forgetting a traumatic event Displacement – Taking out impulses on a less threatening target E.g. Taking out anger from work upon your family Sublimation – Acting out unacceptable impulses in a socially acceptable way E.g. A sadist becomes a surgeon to fulfil needs to hurt people This view is very broad when covering the human personality, and had huge followings at times. Many psychologists agree that we are influenced by instinct and
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