Psychodynamic & Behavioural approach for website

Psychodynamic model
Imbalance between the id and superego.
A well-adjusted person develops a strong ego that is capable of coping with the demands of the id
and superego, allowing expression at appropriate times. If the ego is weakened, then either the id
or superego (whichever is stronger) may dominate the personality.
A too strong id will result in destructiveness and immorality, which may result in conduct disorders
in childhood and psychopathic behaviour (dangerously abnormal) in adulthood.
A too powerful superego rigidly restricts the id so that the person is deprived of even socially
acceptable pleasures. According to Freud, this creates neurosis and therefore anxiety disorders such
as phobias and obsessions.
Ego Defence Mechanisms
The conflict between the id ego and superego causes anxiety. The ego uses defence mechanisms to
protect itself against this. One example is repression, which is when threatening impulses are
repressed into the unconscious which may instead emerge as symptoms of anxiety or emotional
(Don’t worry about a second one, as your booklet requests, one will be enough)
Abstract concepts such as the id, ego and superego are difficult to define and research. Since their
motivations for behaviour are at an unconscious level, there is no way to know for certain that they
are occurring. As a result, there is little empirical support for this approach.
Case studies – the approach was based on case studies which means that there is limited
generalizability as each case (e.g. Anna O or Little Hans) has unique characteristics.
Current experiences - This approach underestimates the importance of current difficulties the
individual may be facing which could also account for psychological problems. These need to be
taken into consideration in addition to childhood experiences.
1. All behaviour is learned.
2. The learning is explained via conditioning and modelling.
Operant conditioning
This suggests that an abnormal behaviour has been rewarded and therefore reinforced via
operant conditioning and so is repeated. For example, people with conduct disorders (e.g.
aggression) may have been rewarded for aggression as children. E.g. Anorexia may begin when
the person loses weight, they get attention, praise, feel good and so repeat losing weight.
Classical conditioning
This is when an abnormality is learnt through association. E.g. phobias
In the study of Little Albert, Watson and Rayner conditioned an infant to have a phobia of
rabbits. They presented a rabbit to Albert (the neutral stimulus) but at the same time banged a
steel bar loudly (the unconditioned stimulus) which lead to an unconditioned response of fear.
These (NS and UCS) were paired together several times so that eventually, the neutral stimulus
became a conditioned stimulus to a conditioned response of fear. Albert then had a fear of
Modelling / Social Learning Theory
This is when abnormal behaviour has been learnt by imitating others, especially if they see the
other being rewarded for that behaviour (called vicarious reinforcement). E.g research shows
monkeys developing a snake phobia by watching another monkey experience fear in the
presence of a snake – presumably this is the same for humans.
3. What is learned can be unlearned
4. The same laws apply to humans and non-humans
5. Only focuses on observable behaviour