Essay about The Use of Psychoanalysis to Make Sense of Human Behavior

Essay about The Use of Psychoanalysis to Make Sense of Human Behavior

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The Use of Psychoanalysis to Make Sense of Human Behavior

“Psychoanalysis offers a good story to make sense of behaviour, but it is
a story the truth of which can never be confirmed.” Discuss.

Psychoanalysis is an approach to the understanding of human behaviour by Freud and other famous psychologists. It is a method of treating mental and emotional disorders by discussion and analysis of one’s thoughts and feelings. It relies on the therapist’s ability to make the unconscious conscious and to help guide the patients to resolve their underlying conflicts. It is based on past experiences, but there is limited empirical evidence that supports this theory as it deals with the emotional side of psychology and lacks scientific rigour, partly because there are too many variables involved to enable it to be a controlled study. But that doesn’t mean to say that it is not true, it is just extremely difficult to confirm.

This essay discusses whether the story of psychoanalysis, used to make sense of human behaviour, can ever be confirmed as a story of truth.

Freud’s psychoanalytic theory showed how the mind can be seen as three parts, the ‘id’ (the primitive unconscious part of the personality that deals with pleasure), the ‘ego’ (dominates the conscious mind and carries out ‘secondary process thinking’) and the ‘superego’ (social conscience). He then went on to develop the theory of psychosexual development, in which the child goes through various stages, each characterised by different demands for sexual gratification and different ways of achieving that gratification. The first stage is called the ‘Oral stage’ (birth – 15 months old), in which the child governed by the id and gains gratification through the mouth...

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Cardwell, Mike. PSYCHOLOGY for A Level. Collins Educational. 1996.

Flanagan, Cara. Letts study guide: A Level Psychology. WM Print Limited. 1997.

Gross, Richard. PSYCHOLOGY: The science of the mind and behaviour. Hodder and Stoughton Educational. 1992.

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