Sigmund Freud: The Main Theories Behind The Psychodynamic Approach

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The main theorist behind the psychodynamic approach is Sigmund Freud. ‘Psychodynamic theorists look for the causes of behaviour in a dynamic interplay of motivational forces that often conflict with one another. They also suggest that many of these motivational determinants of behaviour are unconscious’ (Holt N., Bremner A., Sutherland E. et al. 2015 p.628). Psychodynamics and psychoanalysis looks at the ways in which the unconscious mind influences our behaviour. When it comes to Freud’s psychanalytical theory, he considered our personalities and behaviours to stem from three different structures: the id, the ego and the superego. The id is totally unconscious. It operates in a totally irrational way, seeking only pleasure. The ego is driven…show more content…
The main research methods in behaviourism were based on observation, from which a hypothesis can be drawn and tested, with the results recorded. Behaviours can be measured thus allowing us to be able to quantify results. Psychodynamics on the other hand, although aimed to be scientific in its methods, would be perceived as being qualitative. The concepts and research methods that psychodynamics focused on and used were not very measureable. However, Psychodynamics did still build theories such as that of defence mechanisms. Although not provable through the use of statistics, can’t be denied as not being applicable to everyday…show more content…
Some of the main principles when it comes to ethics is to always consider the wellbeing of the participant, consider the risk of the research, consider the confidentiality of any information gathered and debriefing of the subject. When it comes to the experimentation carried out in Behaviourism, one of the main experiments that raised serious questions about ethics, was that of ‘Little Albert’. The premise behind this experiment was to observe how fears can be conditioned using that of classical conditioning. Albert was conditioned into fearing small white fluffy animals. He was only 11 months old at the time of experimentation. Once he had been conditioned to fearing such, his mother pulled him from the experiment and moved away. Meaning that Albert was never unconditioned of his fears. Experiments like this, put the participant in a position of distress and should never be allowed. By doing so, the researcher is potentially putting the participant’s mental health at risk in order to record results. When it comes to psychodynamics, issues could be raised regarding the confidentiality of the information collected. Consent was also another issue when it came to
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