The Psychology of the Person Chapter 4 PA Research Naomi Wagner, Ph.D Lecture Outlines Based on Burger, 8th edition Difficulty of Testing Freudian Concepts Freud was concerned with validating his theory. He used statements his patients made during therapy as evidence of support of the theory. Many of his concepts are untestable, presenting great difficulties to researchers. Studies of Dreams Studies of dreams addressed two questions: What do people dream about?—That is – the meaning of the content) and why do people dream (that is – the function of the dreams). Note studies regarding the connection between dream content and fears and problems during the day. Note studies regarding the frequency of male characters in men’s dream, and the psychoanalytic interpretation regarding the displacement of the Oedipus complex. Note other possible interpretations. In an attempt to answer the question why do people dream, remember the Freudian position that the major function of dream is to allow the symbolic expression of unconscious impulses. Note REM studies, It seems that REM sleep serves some important function. Freud’s Theory of Humor Freud’s theory of humor was quite extensively studied Freud saw jokes as the expressions of sexual and hostile urges in a socially acceptable manner Our laughter provides catharsis, said Freud, the reduction of sexual or aggressive tension, so we are less likely to behave aggressively etc Humor (cont-d) Several studies supported Freud’s ideas. Can hostile humor can diffuse anger. Yes, in some cases. But sometimes the exposure to hostile humor was found to increase the tendency to behave aggressively A good joke-teller should build tension in the listener, to be diffused by the punchline Humor and Incongruity Incongruity means the inconsistency between what is expected by the listener of the joke The punch-line is contrary to the expectations, and it is the incongruity that provides the reduction of tension, according to this view. Studies of Hypnosis Freud believed the hypnosis provides a means of interacting with the unconscious. Other psychoanalytic theories proposed that ego creates a kind of pocket in which the formerly unconscious material (that surfaces during hypnosis) is stored. The ego monitors this pocket during hypnosis but keeps it out of conscious awareness. Note Hilgard’s idea of neodissociation, suggesting a division of consciousness. Part of the conscious mind is entering a type of altered state, but part remains aware of what is going on during the hypnotic session, acting as a hidden observer. A New Theory of Hypnosis: Neo-Dissociation Hilgard introduced the Idea of neodissociation, suggesting a division of consciousness. Part of the conscious mind is entering a type of altered state, but part remains aware of what is going on during the hypnotic session, acting as a hidden observer. Socio-Cognitive Theory of Hypnosis Note the socio-cognitive theories of hypnosis, using the concepts of expectancy, motivation, and concentration to explain the hypnotic phenomena. Also, note studies of post-hypnotic amnesia. This amnesia does not seem to be as complete as has been suggested in the past. Hypnosis (cont-d) Individuals differ in their responsiveness to hypnotic suggestion. The most successful effort to predict hypnotic responsiveness from personality traits come from the work on a trait called absorption. This seems to be related to the ability to become highly involved in sensory and imaginative experiences, openness to new experiences and proneness to fantasies and day dreaming. Attitudes, motivation, and expectancy also affect responsiveness to hypnosis.