Chapter 2
Freud: Psychoanalytic Theory

Learning Objectives

After reading Chapter 2, you should be able to:

1. Describe how Freud's childhood experiences may have influenced his theory of personality.

2. Argue pro or con whether Freud was scientific in his writings.

3. Identify and explain the three levels of mental life.

4. Describe the three provinces of the mind and their characteristics.

5. Explain Freud's concept of the sexual and aggressive instincts.

6. Discuss the importance of anxiety in psychoanalytic theory.

7. List the Freudian defense mechanisms and give examples of each.

8. Summarize the psychosexual stages of development and their possible effects on personality.

9. Trace the development of the Oedipus complex for both boys and girls.

10. Debate the accuracy of Freud's concept of women.

11. Compare Freud's early therapeutic technique with his later approach and explain how his shift in techniques may have permanently altered the history of psychoanalysis.

12. Explain Freud's concept of dreams.

13. Discuss recent research related to Freud's concept of dreams.

Summary Outline

I. Overview of Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory
Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis has endured because it (1) postulated the primacy of sex and aggression—two universally popular themes, (2) attracted a group of followers who were dedicated to spreading psychoanalytic doctrine, and (3) advanced the notion of unconscious motives, which permit varying explanations for the same observations.
II. Biography of Sigmund Freud
Born in the Czech Republic in 1856, Sigmund Freud spent most of his life in Vienna. Early in his professional career, Freud believed that hysteria was a result of being seduced during childhood by a sexually mature person, often a parent or other relative. In 1897, however, Freud abandoned his seduction theory and replaced it with his notion of the Oedipus complex, a concept that remained the center of his...

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