Describe and Discuss at Least Two Features of the Psychodynamic Approach in Psychology.

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Describe and discuss at least two features of the psychodynamic approach.

One of the main assumptions of the psychodynamic approach to psychology is that the personality consists of three separate divisions; the id, the ego and the superego. The id represents all of your selfish needs and wishes, and your desire to have them satisfied immediately. The superego is your morality, the part of your brain which conflicts with the id, for example if your id tells you that you need a new X-Box game immediately, your superego stops you as it would reason that you don’t want to upset your mum by asking for it. The ego finds the ground between the two, a compromise as you couldn’t satisfy both the id and the superego at once.

Another of the main assumptions is that there are five psychosexual stages of development that you go through as a child; the oral stage is from 0-18 months, the anal from 18-36 months, phallic from 3-6 years, latent which is from 6 years of age until puberty, and then genital, which is puberty onwards. Getting ‘stuck’ at any of these stages, for example if you are weaned early as a baby and get stuck at the oral stage, could cause problems in your later life. For example, becoming fixated at the oral stage could lead to things like biting your nails or talking a lot, or the anal stage could mean you are very tidy and organised, or at the phallic stage you could end up with envy or vanity problems.

This approach takes into account the role of the unconscious mind and it’s influence on our behaviour, but it can’t exactly be measured, as, for example with the ink blots, the interpretation of what the patients saw depends on the psychologists view on the matter, say if a patient saw a dragonfly, one may say it means they are at peace hovering around, another may claim it means they have a desire to be free, so it can never really be concrete. This lays basis to Freud’s theory’s and practices as being unscientific. One example of this in Freud’s...
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