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motivation reduced
to sex and
People have a choice
in shaping their
Present behavior is
caused by past
Placed a very heavy
emphasis on
Three provinces
of mind:
1. Id -is the
part if
mind that
sexual and
drives and
2. Superegooperates
as a moral
3. Ego – the
part that
the desires
of the id
and the
1. In making the matrix, make sure to indicate all the important points as per reference.
2. Please follow proper citation for the references. Check the link: https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/apaquickguide/intext
to be guided.
3. Understand the theory and state a situation that the particular theory can be applied.
4. Ideas and thoughts will be part of personal criticism section, please state your comments.
5. Please provide a cover page (UM standard FORMAT).
4. Deadline will be on August 2, 2019 – 8:30PM to 9:30PM
In this assessment task, you are expected to make a matrix comparing and contrasting the different theories. This activity is graded
based on the following criteria:
Quality of Information - (Information clearly relates to the main topic. It includes several supporting details and/or examples. Outside
sources are peer-reviewed and reputable.)
20 pts.
Organization - (Has organized the material well: Summarizes the selected works appropriately and provides detailed comparisons in
discrete sections).
15 pts.
Content - (Writer uses evidence from the text to support claims, demonstrates attention to patterns or themes, and demonstrates close
and attentive reading of selected works. Critical approach is present and clear).
15 pts.
50 pts
He begins with an explanation of the three forces of the psychical apparatus--the id, the ego, and the superego. The id has the
quality of being unconscious and contains everything that is inherited, everything that is present at birth, and the instincts (Freud,
1949, p. 14). The ego has the quality of being conscious and is responsible for controlling the demands of the id and of the
instincts, becoming aware of stimuli, and serving as a link between the id and the external world. In addition, the ego responds to
stimulation by either adaptation or flight, regulates activity, and strives to achieve pleasure and avoid unpleasure (Freud, 1949, p.
14-15). Finally, the superego, whose demands are managed by the id, is responsible for the limitation of satisfactions and
represents the influence of others, such as parents, teachers, and role models, as well as the impact of racial, societal, and cultural
traditions (Freud, 1949, p. 15).
Freud states that the instincts are the ultimate cause of all behavior. The two basic instincts are Eros (love) and the destructive or
death instinct. The purpose of Eros is to establish and preserve unity through relationships. On the other hand, the purpose of the
death instinct is to undo connections and unity via destruction (Freud, 1949, p. 18). The two instincts can either operate against
each other through repulsion or combine with each other through attraction (Freud, 1949, p. 19).
Freud (1949) contends that sexual life begins with manifestations that present themselves soon after birth (p. 23). The four main
phases in sexual development are the oral phase, the sadistic-anal phase, the phallic phase, and the genital phase, and each phase
is characterized by specific occurrences. During the oral phase, the individual places emphasis on providing satisfaction for the
needs of the mouth, which emerges as the first erotogenic zone (Freud, 1949, p. 24). During the sadistic-anal phase, satisfaction
is sought through aggression and in the excretory function. During the phallic phase, the young boy enters the Oedipus phase
where he fears his father and castration while simultaneously fantasizing about sexual relations with his mother (Freud, 1949, p.
25). The young girl, in contrast, enters the Electra phase, where she experiences penis envy, which often culminates in her
turning away from sexual life altogether. Following the phallic phase is a period of latency, in which sexual development comes
to a halt (Freud, 1949, p. 23). Finally, in the genital phase, the sexual function is completely organized and the coordination of
sexual urge towards pleasure is completed. Errors occurring in the development of the sexual function result in homosexuality
and sexual perversions, according to Freud (1949, p. 27).
Freud (1949) defines the qualities of the psychical process as being either conscious, preconscious, or unconscious (p. 31). Ideas
considered to be conscious are those of which we are aware, yet they remain conscious only briefly. Preconscious ideas are
defined as those that are capable of becoming conscious. In contrast, unconscious ideas are defined as those that are not easily
accessible but can be inferred, recognized, and explained through analysis (Freud, 1949, p. 32).
Freud spent many years hypothesizing about the role of dreams and their interpretation. He defines the states of sleep to be a
period of uproar and chaos during which the unconscious thoughts of the id attempt to force their way into consciousness (Freud,
1949, p. 38). In order to interpret a dream, which develops from either the id or the ego, certain assumptions must be made,
including the acknowledgment that what is recalled from a dream is only a facade behind which the meaning must be inferred.
Dreams are undoubtedly caused by conflict and are characterized by their power to bring up memories that the dreamer has
forgotten, their strong use of symbolism, and their ability to reproduce repressed impressions of the dreamer's childhood (Freud,
1949, p. 40). In addition, dreams, which are fulfillments of wishes, according to Freud (1949), are capable of bringing up
impressions that cannot have originated from the dreamer's life (Freud, 1949, p. 45).
The basic objective of psychoanalysis is to remove neuroses and thereby cure patients by returning the damaged ego to its
normal state (Freud, 1949, p. 51). During analysis, a process that often takes many years, patients tell analysts both what they
feel is important and what they consider to be unimportant. An aspect of analysis that has both positive and negative
repercussions is transference, which occurs when patients view their analysts as parents, role models, or other figures from their
past. Transference causes patients to become concerned with pleasing their analysts and, as a result, patients lose their rational
aim of getting well (Freud, 1949, p. 52).
The method of psychoanalysis involves several significant steps. First, analysts gather material with which to work from
patients' free associations, results of transference, dream interpretation, and the patients' slips and parapraxes (Freud, 1949, p.
56). Second, analysts begin to form hypotheses about what happened to the patients in the past and what is currently happening
to them in their daily life. It is important that analysts relay the conclusions at which they arrive based on their observations only
after the patients have reached the same conclusions on their own accord. Should analysts reveal their conclusions to patients too
soon, resistance due to repression occurs. Overcoming this resistance requires additional time and effort by both the analysts and
the patients. Once patients accept the conclusions, they are cured (Freud, 1949, p. 57).
In the final chapters of An Outline of Psychoanalysis, Freud (1949) insists that it is neither practical nor fair to scientifically
define what is normal and abnormal, and despite his theory's accuracy, "reality will always remain unknowable" (p. 83). He
claims that although his theory is correct to the best of his knowledge, "it is unlikely that such generalizations can be universally
correct" (Freud, 1949, p. 96).
Criticisms of Freud's Evidence
Grünbaum (1986) believes that the reasoning on which Freud based his entire psychoanalytic theory was "fundamentally flawed,
even if the validity of his clinical evidence were not in question" but that "the clinical data are themselves suspect; more often
than not, they may be the patient's responses to the suggestions and expectations of the analyst" (p. 220). Grünbaum (1986)
concludes that in order for psychoanalytic hypotheses to be validated in the future, data must be obtained from extraclinical
studies rather than from data obtained in a clinical setting (p. 228). In other words, Grünbaum and other critics assert that
psychoanalysis lacks in empirical data (Colby, 1960, p. 54).
Other critics disagree with Grünbaum and insist that although extraclinical studies must and should be performed, clinical data
are a reliable and necessary source of evidence because the theory of psychoanalysis would be impossible to test otherwise
(Edelson, 1986, p. 232). Shevrin (1986) insists that "Freud's admirable heuristic hypotheses did not come out of the thin air or
simply out of his imagination" (p.258) as other critics might have the reader believe. Instead, Shevrin (1986) continues,
"extraclinical methods must be drawn upon in addition to the clinical method because the clinical method is the only way we can
be in touch with certain phenomena" (p. 259). Only with quantification, many critics assert, can supposedly scientific theories
even begin to be evaluated based on their empirical merits.
Additional critics contend that Freud's clinical data are flawed or invalid. Greenberg (1986) believes that Freud's case studies do
not place enough stress on revealing the outcome of the treatment and that Freud's aim was more to illustrate his theoretical
points (p. 240). In addition, Freud fully presented only twelve cases, but he mentioned over one hundred minor cases. Greenberg
asserts that many of the presented cases would not even be considered acceptable examples of psychoanalysis and, in short, that
virtually all of the case studies had basic shortcomings (p. 240). Finally, Greenberg finds it "both striking and curious" (p. 240)
that Freud chose to illustrate the usefulness of psychoanalysis through the display of unsuccessful cases. "We were forced to
conclude," maintains Greenberg, "that Freud never presented any data, in statistical or case study form, that demonstrated that
his treatment was of benefit to a significant number of the patients he himself saw" (p. 241). Many other powerful criticisms
about Freud's inaccurate and subsequently flawed evidence have been published. These critics contend that Freud's evidence is
flawed due to the lack of an experiment, the lack of a control group, and the lack of observations that went unrecorded (Colby,
1960, p. 54). In addition, critics find fault with the demographically restricted sample of individuals on which Freud based the
majority of his data and theory (Holt, 1986, p. 242).
Criticisms of Freud's Technique
"Free association" is a method employed in psychoanalysis where the patients speak about any subject matter whatsoever and
the analyst draws conclusions based on what is said. According to Storr (1986), "Grünbaum forcefully argues that free
association is neither free nor validating evidence for psychoanalytic theory" (p. 260). "For my own part, however," Grünbaum
(1986) concludes, "I find it unwarranted to use free association to validate causal inferences" (p. 224). Grünbaum (1986)
contends that free association is not a valid method of accessing the patients' repressed memories because there is no way of
ensuring that the analyst is capable of distinguishing between the patients' actual memories and imagined memories constructed
due to the influence of the analyst's leading questions (p. 226).
Spence (1986) is critical of Grünbaum's argument, although he acknowledges that
we simply do not know the amount of contamination, the spread of infection within the session, and the extent to which
suggested responses are balanced by unexpected confirmations which support the theory and take the analyst by surprise. (p.
Spence contends that free associations are not necessarily contaminated and also makes note of the fact that psychoanalysts "are
particularly sensitized (in the course of their training) to the dangers of suggestion, and schooled in a tradition which places an
emphasis on minimal comment and redundant examples" (p. 259). Spence concludes that the answer to the important question
concerning the validity of free association will only be realized through close inspection of the transcripts of meetings between
the patient and analyst.
In addition to his criticism of free association, Grünbaum (1986) finds fault with Freud's theory of dreams. In spite of Freud's
view that this theory represented his greatest insight and success, it has very much failed in the eyes of most of today's critics.
Finally, many people feel that a major flaw of psychoanalysis is that, according to Farrell (1981), "it appears to encourage
analytic and psychodynamic practitioners to overlook the place and great importance of ordinary common sense" (p. 216).
Because psychoanalysis deals chiefly with unconscious motives and repressed emotions, common sense no longer seems to be
applicable. Farrell (1981) and other critics believe that it is increasingly important for analysts to be aware of common sense and
the role that it can, should, and does play in psychoanalysis (p. 216).
Criticisms of the Principles of Psychoanalysis
Storr (1981) insists, "Only a few fundamentalist psychoanalysts of an old-fashioned kind think that Freud was a scientist or that
psychoanalysis was or could be a scientific enterprise," and that, "...to understand persons cannot be a scientific enterprise" (p.
260). Although many psychoanalysts themselves would undoubtedly consider psychoanalysis to be a science, many critics
would disagree.
Popper, by far one of psychoanalysis' most well-known critics and a strong critic of Grünbaum, insists that psychoanalysis
cannot be considered a science because it is not falsifiable. He claims that psychoanalysis' "so-called predictions are not
predictions of overt behavior but of hidden psychological states. This is why they are so untestable" (Popper, 1986, p. 254).
Popper (1986) claims that only when individuals are not neurotic is it possible to empirically determine if prospective patients
are currently neurotic (p. 254). Popper (1986) asserts that psychoanalysis has often maintained that every individual is neurotic
to some degree due to the fact that everyone has suffered and repressed a trauma at one point or another in his or her life (p.
255). However, this concept of ubiquitous repression is impossible to test because there is no overt behavioral method of doing
so (p. 254).
Other critics claim that psychoanalysis cannot be considered a science due to its lack of predictions. Psychoanalysts, critics
maintain, state that certain childhood experiences, such as abuse or molestation, produce certain outcomes or states of neurosis.
To take this idea one step further, one should be able to predict that if children experience abuse, for instance, they will become
characterized by certain personality traits. In addition, this concept would theoretically work in reverse. For instance, if
individuals are observed in a particular neurotic state, one should be able to predict that they had this or that childhood
experience. However, neither of these predictions can be made with any accuracy (Colby, 1960, p. 55).
Additional critics insist that psychoanalysis is not a science because of the lack of interpretive rules or regulations. Colby (1960)
contends that critics of psychoanalysis have difficulties with the idea that "there are no clear, intersubjectively shared lines of
reasoning between theories and observations" (p. 54). For instance, one psychoanalyst will observe one phenomenon and
interpret it one way, whereas another psychoanalyst will observe the same phenomenon and interpret it in a completely different
way that is contradictory to the first psychoanalyst's interpretation (Colby, 1960, p. 54). Colby (1960) concludes that if analysts
themselves cannot concur that a certain observation is an example of a certain theory, then the regulations that govern
psychoanalytic interpretation are undependable (p. 55).
Eysenck (1986) maintains:
I have always taken it for granted that the obvious failure of Freudian therapy to significantly improve on spontaneous remission
or placebo treatment is the clearest proof we have of the inadequacy of Freudian theory, closely followed by the success of
alternative methods of treatment, such as behavior therapy. (p. 236)
Whereas critics, such as Popper (1986), insist that Freud's theories cannot be falsified and therefore are not scientific, Eysenck
claims that because Freud's theories can be falsified, they are scientific. Grünbaum (1986) concurs with Eysenck that Freud's
theory is falsifiable and therefore scientific, but he goes one step further and claims that Freud's theory of psychoanalysis has
been proven wrong and is simply bad science.
I concur with the many critics who insist upon the invalidity of Freud's evidence due to the lack of empirical data and the
demographically restricted sample of individuals on which Freud based the majority of his ideas. Like Farrell (1981), I agree that
sometimes it appears as if common sense does not have a place in psychoanalytic theory and, as a result, I believe irrelevant and
false assumptions are made all too frequently. In addition, parts of Freudian theory are too generalized and fail to leave adequate
room for exceptions to the general rule. Finally, I find it hard to accept that all mental problems stem from issues concerning
aspects of sex, such as unresolved Oedipal and Electra complexes. I believe that this is a gross exaggeration and
Despite the weaknesses of psychoanalysis, I believe that the many strengths of the theory are extremely significant. Therefore, I
maintain that psychoanalysis is a theory that should not be disregarded. Because psychoanalysis was developed a century ago
and is still considered to be a credible and effective method of treating mental illnesses, I contend that at least significant parts of
the theory are accurate. Second, I believe that psychoanalysis is a scientific theory due to the fact that it is falsifiable and has, in
fact, been proven false because other methods of treatment have been proven effective. Third, I believe that psychoanalysis is
comprehensive, can be applied in practical ways, and contains valid arguments. Finally, I believe that psychoanalysis is a
substantial theory of personality because it is directly responsible for the development of additional psychological theories and
hypotheses that otherwise may have been missed.
Psychoanalysis is widely disputed, but perhaps it is necessary to return to the founder of psychoanalysis himself. Freud (1949)
wrote in his Outline of Psychoanalysis
the teachings of psychoanalysis are based on an incalculable number of observations and experiences, and only someone who
has repeated those observations on himself and on others is in a position to arrive at a judgment of his own upon it. (p. 11)
Although I am hardly an expert on psychoanalysis, I believe that to dismiss the theory completely would be a tremendous
oversight because without it many other valuable psychological techniques and theories most likely would have remained
Beystehner's article, "Psychoanalysis: Freud's Revolutionary Approach to Human Personality," examines Freud and his field of
psychoanalysis in order to determine if the recognition it has received since its inception at the turn of the century has been
deserved. In this article, Beystehner reviews various aspects of psychoanalysis, history of Freud, main ideas, and criticisms of
psychoanalysis. The article concludes by acknowledging flaws in psychoanalysis, but asserts the value that Freud and his
theories have added to the field of psychology.
Sigmund Freud was the psychologist responsible for forming and forwarding the first ideas in psychoanalysis. His theories were
highly controversial and remain so to this day. The foundation of psychoanalysis is rooted in the idea that humans have
unconscious longings that must be analyzed in order to understand behavior. Such unconscious desires are usually sexual and
aggressive tendencies. Psychoanalysis is a method to uncover the source and elements of these impulses. Various methods,
including free association, dream interpretation, and analysis of slips in conversation are used to identify latent longings.
Beystehner classifies critics into three categories. The first group is critical of Freud because of his method of data collection or
his lack of data. A second group of critics dislikes techniques that psychoanalysts use to assist their patients. Free association,
according to Grünbaum (1986), is "not a valid method of accessing the patients' repressed actual memories because there is no
way of ensuring that the analyst is capable of distinguishing between the patients' actual memories and imagined memories
constructed due to the influence of the analyst's leading questions" (p. 226). Finally, Beystehner refers to critics who condemn
psychoanalysis as not being scientific. Because it is impossible to test, lacks predictions, and has no "interpretive rules," it
contradicts many of the fundamental tenets of science.
Beystehner does an excellent job of reviewing the history of psychoanalysis and summarizing main ideas. Although she
identifies some important critics, many others are left out. Freud has a significant number feminist critics because many of his
theories viewed women's sexuality in a negative light. In addition, Beystehner discusses Freud's view that homosexuality is an
"error occurring in the development of the sexual function." Such an idea has been criticized with relatively recent emerging
research on homosexuality. Therefore, critiques of Freud stretch farther than examined in this article. Nonetheless, Beystehner's
conclusion about psychoanalysis is valuable.
First, the aspects that make a theory "great" are underscored. Beystehner shows how Freud's theories satisfy such aspects,
thereby making it one of the greatest theories about hum