The Freudian Approach: Relevant Research

Ch 4: The Freudian Approach: Relevant Research
Four topics are covered, - questions about how to interpret these findings remain.
Some empirical support has been obtained for Freud's theory, in no case is this support
clear and unequivocal.
content of dreams ---that men tend to dream about male characters twice as often as they
dream about female characters. Some researchers interpret this finding as evidence of
men's preoccupation with other men, a holdover from unresolved Oedipal impulses.
discovery of REM sleep allowed investigators to better examine the function of dreams. it
is not clear that deprivation of REM sleep is related to psychological disorders, some
research indicates that dreaming may help the sleeper work through ongoing problems.
Dream Analysis: Freud believed nearly all dreams are wish fulfillment—some wishes
obvious, dream theme is the wish. Most wishes expressed in latent content so
interpretation needed to uncover the wish.
Manifest content---the surface meaning of dream, the conscious description given
by dreamer.
Latent content---refers to unconscious material
Dreams formed in the unconscious and originate as attempts by unconscious wishes to
become conscious. Wishes must slip past primary and final censors---guardians of
unconscious psychic material. Wishes disguised---the latent content
Two methods used to interpret dreams—tell dream and all their associations with dream.
Dream symbols—discover unconscious elements underlying manifest content
Projective tests and other procedures are used to determine which defense mechanisms
people use. Studies find young children tend to rely on unsophisticated defense
mechanisms, such as denial, whereas adults more often use defense mechanisms like
Researchers find individual differences in preferred defense mechanisms. People who rely
heavily on immature defense mechanisms may have more difficulties with personal
adjustment and well-being than those who use more efficient and productive defense
Freud outlined a theory of humor, arguing that sexual and aggressive themes underlie
much of what we find funny. In support of his theory, researchers find that people think
hostile humor is funnier when it is aimed at someone they dislike.
some research indicates that hostile humor reduces the likelihood of aggression, as Freud
predicted—while other studies find the opposite.
the more tension people experience before receiving a punch line, the funnier they find a
joke. Although many research findings are consistent with Freud's theory, many also are
open to alternative interpretations.
hypnotic participants often behave as if they are in an altered state of consciousness,
skeptical researchers explain these phenomena in terms of expectancies, motivations, and
Hypnotic responsiveness is largely a participant variable. People who are generally able to
become absorbed in a situation tend to be responsive to hypnotic suggestions. Attitudes,
expectancies, and motivations play a role.
Some evidence that people can increase their responsiveness with training exists, but how
much this helps is probably limited.