Ib Psychology Option Psd Theory: Historical And Cultural Influences On Psychodynamic Perspective

1353 words - 5 pages

Freud created his theory in the Victorian era, which was greatly influenced by Western culture. Freud's theory was primarily introspective but he used clinical data to support his theory making it mostly inductive. The assumptions he used as a foundation for his theory were influenced by various intellectuals of his time and past historical figures both philosophical and literary. He used Greek mythological characters and words to name different aspects of his theory. The wars at the time also had an impact on what Freud believed drove behavior. At the time, western culture was predominantly patriarchal and puritan in regards to sex, Freud felt society was suppressing their sexual urges. He was a trained physiologist and was adamant about his scientific approach to studying and explaining human behavior. He had many followers but due to his strong emphasis on sex as a primary motive of human behavior, many of his followers devised their own theories deemphasizing sexuality and are called Neo-Freudians.The idea of the unconscious is one of Freud's most important assumptions. He borrowed the concept from the ancient Greeks and transformed it from a German philosopher and novelist Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). Nietzsche believed that behind all human activity a "will to power" could be found, he also stated that this will was an unconscious process. Friedrich stressed that the "will to power" preceded the "will to live" posed by Schopenhauer. Many of Nietzsche's writings were about the irrationality of man and this convinced Freud that man was indeed irrational. However, Freud chose a more scientific approach to uncovering the irrationality of man. He claimed that most of our mental activity is unconscious and beyond our control and it made sense to him that the irrational man's behavior was driven by thing beyond his control. In his psyche model he called the id the source of unconsciousness. Many have criticized the idea of the unconscious claiming that the idea of the unconscious and what lies inside of it is only what is conscious in the theorist's mind.In the unconscious Freud believed that there were two innate drives: sex and aggression. When he first devised his theory sex was the only drive, but after witnessing the war he added aggression as the second innate drive. The idea of these innate drives was influenced by Charles Darwin (1809-1882) who discovered evolution. Animals are known to behave in such a way that ensures their survival usually through reproductive and aggressive means. To Freud it made sense that if there was biological continuity between species then we must share certain instincts with them. He gave these two drives Greek names Thanathos and Eros, aggression and sex respectively. These principles are one of the key ideas in Freud's psychoanalytical theory. They are the motivators of behavior and are used to describe all aspects of human behavior. The idea that all humans' actions are rooted in sex and aggression was...

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