The Future of Freudian Theory – Psychology Assignment

The Future of Freudian Theory – Psychology Assignment: Write a paper (1,500?1,750 words) in which you address how modern research and empirical study may validate Freudian theory and how Freudian theory continues to influence modern psychology…

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The Future of Freudian Theory – Psychology Assignment

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Freudian theory continued to evolve even as Neo? Freudian theories continued to emerge. Today, Freudian ideas still provide a foundation for modern psychology and research though some appear in a significantly different form. In this assignment, you will address how modern research and empirical study may validate Freudian theory and how Freudian theory continues to influence modern psychology. You will also explore how Freudian and Neo? Freudian theories address the general problems explored in the field of psychology.

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Directions:

Write a paper (1,500?1,750 words) in which you address how modern research and empirical study may validate Freudian theory and how Freudian theory continues to influence modern psychology. Include the following in your paper:

  1. A discussion of how medical monitoring and empirical research have supported Freud’s drive theory.
  2. A discussion of why psychoanalysis is still questioned in scientific circles.
  3. A discussion of the general problems explored in the field of psychology.
  4. A discussion of how Freudian and Neo Freudian theories attempt to address these problems.
  5. A discussion of what still needs to be explored in the field of psychology in order to more adequately address these problems.

Solution

The Future of Freud

Medical Monitoring and Empirical Research on Freud’s drive theory

Freudian psychology is founded on the concepts of the conscious (ego), the unconscious (id), and the superego. The id in individuals has impulses and functions on the pleasure principle; ego operates with reality concepts; thus, ego focuses on id satisfaction, and the superego deals with things and records to be avoided and strategies to undertake. Freud’s drive theory shows various similarities to human consciousness.

Modern researchers perceive unconsciousness as more relaxed information processing that takes place without the person’s awareness (Marcuse, 2015). Most recent research supports Freudian concepts of unconscious defense mechanisms, that is, individuals are inclined to view their attitudes in other people, what Sigmund termed as projection, and modern researchers call the false consensus effect; the inclination and tendency of overestimating the extent to which other people share our behaviors and beliefs.

According to most empirical studies, there is confirmation that unconscious mechanisms that guard self-esteem, such as defense mechanisms and reaction formation, have less motivation from impulses that, according to Freud’s presumption, are by individuals’ need to preserve and protect self-image (Yakeley, 2018). Studies also support Freud’s concept that individuals unconsciously defend themselves against anxiety.

The terror management theory, a principle of death-associated anxiety, explores individuals’ behavioral and emotional reactions to reminders of their future deaths; thus, individuals act towards the enhancement of their self-esteem as death projections encourage religious sentiments (Paris, 2017).

Most modern psychological ideas and concepts applied in psychology school of thought get credited to Freudian theory. The drive theory theorized a varied range of human lifestyles involving culture, women, sex, and religion. The perceptions model modern psychology, numerous empirical studies, and researches.

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Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939), upheld that there are only two drives that serve to motivate all thoughts, emotions and behavior. Freud referred to these drives as sex or aggression, also known as Eros and Thanatos. Thanatos explains the need to destroy life while Eros depicts libido’s prerequisite to procreating and preserving life.

As such, Freud upheld that Thanatos acts as aggression to self and others and towards self. Because of the antagonism of the two instincts, defense approaches develop to avert the precondition for life destruction both from oneself and to other individuals, leading to aggression (Wenzel, 2017). These mechanisms have, however, also been challenged through medical reappraisal and empirical data.

Why Psychoanalysis is still questioned in scientific circles.

The psychoanalysis theory was advanced by Sigmund Freud, who believed that all behavior is as a result of the parts of the mind: the id, ego, and superego. Freud conducted studies on hysteria, obsessional illnesses together with several other disorders whose etiology were unknown (Wenzel, 2017). This made him shift from neurology practice and into a new form of clinical intervention premised on the investigation of the victim’s mental health life.

With time, he was to discover that impulses were not just responses to unusual events in childhood. Instead, he found them to expressions of psychopathological problems (Yakeley, 2018). Freud then developed and conceived psychoanalysis to be, among other things, a therapeutic technique, a theory of human development, psychopathology, mental functioning as well as a research method.

The social, historical context of the psychoanalysis theory was heavily influenced by ideas on social work which dominated the 1920s. As Strean, a psychoanalysis scholar did observe in the early 1990s, social work professional climate then favored the introduction of psychoanalytical concepts. Practitioners recognized the limitations of giving advice, manipulation of the surroundings as well as moral suasion in the course of their work with clients.

Suffice it to that, the 1920s witnessed the advent of child guidance movement and work with populations having mental issues like shell shock due to the experience of World War I (1914-1918) (Yakeley, 2018). These are reflected in the theory as a psychiatric approach predominated social work and is to be found in the main concepts of the psychoanalysis theory.

The psychoanalysis theory has three major concepts, the first of which stress the psychic determinism, where a child’s experiences play a crucial role in shaping an individual’s adult personality and behavior. The second concept focuses on the role of unconsciousness in influencing behavior, thus informing the psychoanalytical method of investigating the activities of the unconscious mind.

The third and last primary concept addresses the therapeutic techniques for investigating and relating mental disorders with a bias on neurotics (Yakelev, 2018). For this reason, the psychoanalysis theory is categorized as a High-Level theory with sub-theories like levels of consciousness, psychosexual development, and defense mechanisms. The psychic structure of personality and the theory of instincts are also regarded as its sub-theories.

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Despite of the high significance in the past on teaching and practice of psychiatry, psychoanalysis is still under immense critique due to lack of empirical support. While opponents of the theory provide extensive evidence, proponents lack solid and persuasive evidence to support the foundations of the theory. The contemporary medicine continuum necessitates that all therapy is supported by evidence obtained through valid and reliable scientific methods.

The inability of science to support the mechanism gave rise to alternative mechanisms such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that have since replaced psychoanalysis in treatment (Yakeley, 2018). Supporters of the theory have failed to operationalize its hypotheses, test through empirical methods or alienate constructs within the theory that failed to gain scientific support. These limitations hinders the application of the theory in any scientific or clinical setting.

Bias

This is a process where one gets inclined to someone or something. These biases in psychology can either be positive or negative, driving one to make uninformed decisions that result in discriminatory actions. Stereotypes form the basis for prejudice and not on an individual’s natural thinking or daily activities.

Most people are kept in the dark of their own biases either by self-distraction or denial (Baker & Carlson, 2017). The most common type of bias is the cognitive biases which describe constant thinking of an issue resulting in irrational decisions that can prove unproductive. As is the case with confirmation bias, one is inclined to show something they know based on the facts present, ignoring facts against their beliefs.

Misuse of Statistics

This is whereby data is used to create a deceiving picture for people targeted in the event. Misuse of statistics provides misleading information that drives someone to believe otherwise, even when presented with data facts. The use of this tactic can either be accidental in some cases or intentional, especially where people intend to benefit at the expense of the other. Such falsehoods are replicated in psychology where their impacts affect persons susceptible to the tricks.

Low Reproducibility

Commonly referred to as replicability, this trend in psychology creates a methodological crisis. Experimental results are an essential part of reproducibility as they have benefits to related fields in cases where success is achieved. Low reproducibility results represent dire consequences for the psychology fields hence the need to find ways to replicate other related studies.

Solutions by Freudian and Neo-Freudian Theories

According to Sigmund Freud’s theory, there are three distinct brain components that shape human behavior and personality: ego, id, and superego. The further states that the processes involved as the components interact are dynamic since they progress through psychosexual stages. These sentiments have been met with huge criticism from many quarters.

This is attributed to the fact that Freud focused this theory solely on sexuality as the primary factor in personality development. The theory goes ahead to state that as the three components of the brain conflict, one is equipped with skills to behave and approach situations and the world in general (Saad et al., 2018). Depending on the balance achieved by conflicting structures, situational approaches are developed in facing challenges presented.

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Freud influenced the field of social and cultural diversities greatly with his philosophical approach to psychology. The so-called Neo-Freudian psychologists were aligned with Freud’s goals but later drifted away to create a new perspective of Freudian ideas (Özçelik, 2017). They incorporated new views, beliefs, and opinions into their theory, which was much similar to the parent theory, only that it focused more on important issues related to human nature. This perspective of human nature seeks to influence people’s personalities and behaviors as they connect with each other.

Conclusion

The Freudian and the Neo-Freudian theories have had a massive impact on medicine and psychology field for a long time. They have helped shape our views on how we relate with ourselves and perceive the world in general. The Neo-Freudian theory puts a lot of emphasis on social and cultural impacts on behaviors and personalities. This gives a better understanding of ourselves and accepting shortcomings in those around us. Everyone expects to be the best version of themselves, which can make one be the denial of their imperfections.

References

  • Marcuse, H. (2015). Eros and civilization: A philosophical inquiry into Freud. Beacon Press.
  • Paris J. (2017). Is Psychoanalysis Still Relevant to Psychiatry?. Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie, 62(5), 308–312. https://doi.org/10.1177/0706743717692306
  • Saad, M., de Medeiros, R., & Mosini, A. (2017). Are we ready for a true biopsychosocial–spiritual model? The many meanings of “spiritual”. Medicines, 4(4), 79.
  • Wenzel, A. (Ed.). (2017). The sage encyclopedia of abnormal and clinical psychology (Vol. 1). SAGE Publications.
  • Yakeley, J. (2018). Psychoanalysis in modern mental health practice. The Lancet Psychiatry, 5(5), 443-450.

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