Psychodynamic strengths/limitations

Mind Map by Greenbird, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by Greenbird almost 6 years ago


A Levels Psychology Mind Map on Psychodynamic strengths/limitations, created by Greenbird on 04/02/2014.

Resource summary

Psychodynamic strengths/limitations
1 Strengths
1.1 Freud recognised childhood as a critical period of development and identified sexual and unconscious influences
1.1.1 There is evidence that childhood experiences do impact adult personality, e.g. many sex offenders were abused
1.2 Enormously influential in psychology and beyond
1.2.1 Daily life: Freudian slips, concepts must contain some truth
1.2.2 Psychoanalytical methods still used
1.2.3 Freud began talking therapies
1.3 Idiographic approach that gives a rich picture of personality dynamics
1.3.1 Recognises the complexity of thought and behaviour, and the potential importance of dreams and accidental behaviour
1.4 Unconscious does impact behaviour and 'iceberg' may be right
1.5 Freud's theories offer causal explanations for underlying psychological conditions
1.6 Shows the value of individual and detailed case studies for highlighting psychological ideas
2 Limitations
2.1 Lacks rigorous research support, especially about normal development
2.1.1 Evidence mainly from case studies of middle-class, white, adult, female Europeans even though theory of child development Case studies can't be generalised Freud's use of case studies poorly controlled: retrospective notes and data collection, subjective interpretations, potential investigator bias
2.1.2 Difficult to falsify, e.g. someone may be diagnosed as regressing to the oral stage but this can be retentive or expulsive, covering all symptoms
2.1.3 Most of the process cannot be directly observed or tested so hard to construct testable hypotheses
2.1.4 Hard to evaluate effectiveness because of problems defining an illness, knowing when there has a been a cure and spontaneous remission rates
2.2 Reduces human activity to a basic set of structures which are reifications and can't be directly studied
2.3 Deterministic: infant behaviour determined by innate forces and adult behaviour by childhood experiences
2.4 Original theory over-emphasises innate biological forces and especially sex
2.5 Stage theory too neat
2.6 Fundamental disagreements re the nature and/or existence of the unconscious
2.6.1 Karl Popper: theory of unconscious mind not falsifiable and therefore unscientific, objected to non-falsifiable investigations of the mind
2.7 Feminists: too male-oriented, sees female as inferior because of weak ego compared to male
2.8 No research evidence for Oedipus complex or penis envy
2.9 Pessimistic and backwards looking as person always having to overcome child conflicts and repressed memories
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