Assumption 1: Behaviour is influenced by the
unconscious mind
• We have an unconscious mind which
influences our behaviour
• We are unaware of our unconscious
• The unconscious mind contains socially
unacceptable ideas, wishes or desires,
traumatic memories, and painful emotions –
which we have repressed
The Psychoanalytic Approach
• Sigmund Freud – 19th Century/early 20th
Assumption 1: Behaviour is influenced by the
unconscious mind
• Freudian slip
– You say something which accidentally reveals
your unconscious desire. Can often be sexual or
– “Let’s get some eggs from the shop” becomes
“Lets get some sex from the shop”
– “When I see him I will thank him” becomes
“When I see him I will hit him”
• Can you think of an example of when this has
happened to you?
Assumption 1: Behaviour is influenced by the
unconscious mind
• Other ways of accessing the unconscious
– Dream analysis
– Rorschach inkblot test
– Word association
• Have a go at word association
• Rorschach inkblot test
Assumption 2: Different levels of consciousness
• The mind is like an iceberg
• Conscious: what we are
aware of
• Preconscious: what we
could be conscious of if we
turned our attention
• Unconscious: inaccessible
Assumption 3: The Tripartite Model of Personality
• We do not have one unified
personality, but 3 different
• They pull us in different
– “I really need to study, but I
want to go to a party with my
• ID
Assumption 4: Ego defence mechanisms
• How the ego protects itself from
unconscious thoughts and feelings
• Can push a desire out of consciousness, or
transfer it to something else.
– Repression
– Displacement
– Projection
Assumption 5: Early childhood experiences and
• Events in childhood shape our adult
• Traumatic events can be repressed and
cause stress later in life
Relationships with parents set
template for adult relationships
 Describe some ways that adult
personality may be shaped by
your childhood.
Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory
Barriers to Development
 Extreme neglect and abuse
 Extreme permissiveness or unconditional
 No warmth or affection
Psychoanalytic types of Offenders
Weak superego type
Weak ego type
Normal antisocial offender
Neurotic offender
Developmentally delayed
Situational offender
Substance abuse, intoxication
Accidental offender
Weak Superego type
• Reckless disregard for conventional rules
• Antisocial Cognitions
• Weak conventional ambitions
– Lack of ego-ideal
• Conduct problems
• Conflict with authority figures
• Separateness from others
Weak Ego Type
Poorly developed social skills
Poor reality testing
Excessive dependence
Following the leader
Stumbling into criminal activities
“Normal” Antisocial Offender
• Identification with criminal parent
• Superego is procriminal
Neurotic Offender
• Unconscious desire to be punished
• Overactive superego

freudandcrime - Criminal Psychology