1.1.1 Carried out by the boy’s father
(Max Graf) a friend and
supporter of Freud. He reported
to Freud via correspondence
and Freud gave him directions
based on his interpretations of
1.1.2 The first reports of
Hans are when he
was 3 years old.
1.2 Aim: to report the
findings of the
treatment of a
for his phobia of
1.2.1 Little Hans
[Herbert Graf]- a 5
year old boy with a
love for his
because of this,
he sees his father
as a rival and
wants to get rid of
3.1 The first reports of Hans are when he was 3 years old when he
developed an active interest in his 'widdler' (penis), and all those of
other people. He associated widdlers with living beings. For example he
asked "Mummy, have you got a widdler too?" When he was three
years and six months old his mother told him not to touch his widdler or
else she would call the doctor to come and cut it off.
3.2 When Hans was almost 5, his father
wrote to Freud explaining that Hans was
afraid that a horse would bite him in the
street, and how this fear seemed somehow
connected with his being frightened by a
large penis. When he was young, Little
Hans apparently saw a horse collapse and
die in the street, this may have been the
actual reason for his phobia.
3.3 Hans' phobia continued until he was afraid to leave the house.
Hans told his father of a dream/fantasy: "In the night there was
a big giraffe in the room and a crumpled one: and the big one
called out because I took the crumpled one away from it. Then it
stopped calling out and I sat down on top of the crumpled one".
3.4 Freud believed that the horse was a symbol for
his father: the black marks around the eyes and
mouth as his glasses and moustache. Graf
recorded an exchange with Hans where he said
"Daddy don't trot away from me!".
3.5 Hans had described a fantasy where he was married
to his mother and was playing with his own children.
In this fantasy his father was the grandfather.
3.6 In another fantasy, he described how a plumber came
and first removed his bottom and widdler and then gave
him another one of each, but larger. Freud interpreted
this as Hans identifying with his father.
4.1.1 Case study- rich in-depth qual data
4.2.1 Researcher Bias- all data was sent to Freud via Little Hans' dad.
4.2.2 Can't be generalised- only one boy,
phobias are rare and unique.
4.2.3 Lack of objective or scientific data- qual data
open to interpretation and subjective.
4.2.4 Ethnocentric- doesnt apply to all families and cultures.
5.1 The case study provided support for his theory
of Oedipus Complex. Freud believed that Hans’
problem came from the conflict caused by this.
The fantasy of being married to his mother
supported this idea.
5.2 Freud thought the cause of Little Hans’ phobia was related to his Oedipus complex.
Little Hans’ was afraid of horses because the horse was a symbol for his father, e.g.
the black bits around the horses face were his father's moustache, and the blinkers his
father's glasses. Freud believed that Little Hans feared his father’s retaliation for
having sexual fantasies about his mother and so placed his fear of him onto horses.
5.3 Hans' fear of the horses started to decline and Freud believed that two final fantasies marked a
change in Hans and lead to a resolution of his conflicts and anxieties.