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Introduction to Psychology: Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis Theory

Free «Introduction to Psychology: Sigmund Freud's Psychoanalysis Theory» Essay Sample

1) Sigmund Freud is widely known as a father of psychoanalysis. His ideas and views have often been criticised; however, they have also been widely applied in psychology of a human being. The main reason for Freud’s long-lasting popularity is revealed through the application of “the twin cornerstones of psychoanalysis, sex and aggression” (Feist & Feist, 2009). Moreover, factors that made many people perceive him as a real hero were introduction of the theory to the audience outside Vienne by followers and the way Freud was presented information as his words and language seemed to be exciting and very specific (Feist & Feist, 2009). His ideas concerning the two levels of a personality – conscious and unconscious – have helped to analyse a personality from the point of view of drives that people can hardly comprehend, but know they are present in one’s mind (Feist & Feist, 2009). Another points have been developed in relation to the existence of the Id, the Ego, and the Superego, through which it is explained that the ego-driven person is a psychologically healthy person with no deviations to advanced pleasure-seeking (the Id domination) or “guilt-ridden or inferior-feeling person” (the Superego domination) (Feist & Feist, 2009). His theory reveals understanding of a person through the experience he obtained working with his patients. The more patients he had, the more his theory evolved. He was a supporter of deductive methodology rather than “rigorous research methods” (Feist & Feist, 2009). Freud also described individuals at different stages of growth and development, which allowed to comprehend changes in the personality at different ages and with different social belonging (Feist & Feist, 2009). Despite being controversial, Freud’s theory still remains one of the deepest in the psychoanalysis, revealing different sides of a person from different perspectives.


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2) Two concepts are related to both physical and mental responses of a human to various factors, which are also called stimulus. These responds are viewed as signs of the change in behaviour, certain knowledge, or attitude by means of some injuries, pleasant experience, etc. The concept of classical conditioning reveals reaction of an individual, usually mental to a person or event. It implies learning through which an organism manages to connect in mind two different stimuli (Wood, Wood, & Boyd, 2005). For instance, this may be a smile occurring after a person hears a phrase or word, which is associated with a certain memory, event, or individual. Moreover, considering Jewish people and recollecting Holocaust as an example, one can see that people’s reaction would be easy to predict – sadness, anger, frustration, even tears. People’s perception of the world is revealed through objects, events, people, and situations surrounding them. Hence, associations occurring as the result of establishment of certain stimuli are called classical or respondent conditioning (Wood et al., 2005). One of the most famous examples of the conditioned reflex in dogs is experimental training aimed at researching salivary response, which was more intense when the dogs knew they were going to be fed, namely, by hearing footsteps and smell of food even before they saw it or tasted it (Wood et al., 2005). The data resulted in showing that reflex causes certain reaction in individuals to certain stimulus, which is uncontrollable for individuals. Operant conditioning is viewed and explained as the mere reflexes issue and it is rather considered as “trial-and-error learning”, the aim of which is to find the way out of the situation after several failures, thus learning to find a match among numerous variants (Wood et al., 2005). Thorndike established certain laws related to the concept of operant conditioning like “the law of effect”, according to which “responses closely followed by satisfying consequences are more likely to be repeated” (Wood et al., 2005). Hence, the more positive memory is obtained from a situation or event, the higher are the chances for performing it once again.

3) Nowadays, video games are extremely popular among children around the world. Unfortunately, violent games that show racial and gender stereotypes are also popular among children and lead to the increased level of aggression. They can even ruin pro-social attitude of adolescents and children and have consequences in adulthood. This idea is supported by many scientists who prove that violent video games impact children in terms of aggressive behaviour and problems in future (Barlett, Anderson, & Swing, 2009). It means that young people with such troubles should expect a negative life experience in friendship, family, and romantic relationships, as well as career prospects because of the aggressive reaction to outside factors. Therefore, children may have problems with behavioural conduct, academic performance, and social troubles. According to Barlett et al. (2009), violent games force aggressive ideas, attitude, and believes, as well as aggressive expectations and desensitisation. It is said that people with a well-controlled temperament after long participation in violent video games have troubles with fighting an aggressive reaction (Barlett et al., 2009). They start experiencing high blood pressure and higher heart rate, while having no exertion and physical activities. However, a short-time interest in violent games is quite weak, while a long-term involvement definitely will have negative consequences for children. Moreover, such games provide racial and gender stereotypes. Therefore, it has been proved that video games make males perceive women as sexual objects (Barlett et al., 2009). Usually, these males are more tolerant to sexual abuse than people who do not play or have never played violent video games. In other games, some ethnical groups, racial minorities, or even individuals can be victims of violence. Children at the young age have unformed social position and worldview and such games do not give them any chances to develop a right attitude toward the society. Instead, they make them more violent and aggressive and leave lesser alternatives in choosing a behaviour script.

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4) Brain injuries influence normal work processes of a brain, which means that because of the damage of nerve cells they cannot normally send to each other information anymore. Depending on what parts of the brain have been traumatised more, the consequences of such traumas can provide negative changes in person’s abilities and behaviour. Problems can be quite different for thinking than for emotional or behaviour processes. In case of thinking changes, the person can start speaking slowly and in the same way take decisions and solve problems, but there can also be troubles with remembering new information, performing attention tasks, as well as with concentration and language abilities. Moreover, people in such state can start taking decisions very quickly. Troubles with emotions and behaviour can include fast emotional or mood changes, lethargy, inappropriate actions, restlessness, strong irritation, aggression, lack of motivation, and self-awareness. From researches, one can see that the most complicated consequence of brain injuries is violent and aggressive attitude (Handratta et al., 2010). Such traumas can lead to criminal and abusive behaviour. A vivid example is Mike Tyson. During his boxing career, Mike Tyson received a lot of brain injuries right from his childhood. The boxer often reported such symptoms of the brain traumas as speech problems, depression, irritability, continued abuse attitude, troubles with memory, anger, personality disorder, and difficulties with control issues. Therefore, in 1992 Tyson was accused of the rape of a woman and aggressive, violent, and abusive behaviour. Moreover, in five years he was disqualified because of biting the part of an ear of his rival during the box match (Handratta et al., 2010). From his behaviour and violent attitude, one can see that continued damages of the brain and frequent cases of losing consciousness during the childhood and then in the adulthood have caused a serious problem with emotions and behaviour for Mike Tyson.

5) Thanks to cognitive psychology, it is possible to discover human mind internal processes and to realise principles of mental processes with their impact on behaviour, feelings, and thinking. This field puts emphasis on learning, attention, language, perception, and memory. Cognitive psychology has several approaches. One of them is a reductionist approach, which shows that it is possible to reduce all behaviour to such simple cognitive processes as perception or memory. Another approach is a nomothetic one, the main goal of which is to research cognitive processes of a human, considering idiographic techniques in the use of case studies. A huge role has been played by an experiment aimed at discovering human behaviour. This is called a scientific approach. A bright example of such experiment is the Asch conformity test. This test has been very effective and has helped to understand specific behaviour of people in groups. During the test, experimenters used a room where group of people had to watch series of some cards. Then, they had to answer questions as to which line had been the longest. The most interesting was that most people in the group gave wrong answers on purpose, not accidentally. After the test, these people confirmed that they knew that their answers were wrong and they did it to avoid separation from the group as they did not want to be outside of it by giving answers that were different from other respondents’ variants. From this case, one can conclude that the cognitive psychology approach has its strengths and weaknesses. The strength is that such science is based on experiments and it means that conclusions are reliable. Besides, such experiments can have a very useful application in the world in different spheres. However, it has such weaknesses as being reductionist because of ignorance of different outside aspects relating to human behaviour. Moreover, participants can find themselves in artificial and unusual conditions, which is why they can behave differently from their usual behaviour, and the cognitive psychology approach does not consider individual differences (Sternberg & Sternberg, 2012).

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