Limitations of behavioral therapy

Behavioral therapy is a natural extension and application of many of Skinner's views focusing on observable behavior. The first criticism pertains to the lack of attention that behavior therapy gives to emotion. Behavioral practitioners hold that empirical evidence has not shown that feelings must be changed first in order to achieve measurable progress. In general, behavioral practitioners do not encourage their clients to experience their emotion, although some will work with aspects of...

Other criticisms of Freud and psychoanalysis

As more has been learned about child development since Freud's theories were first launched, there has been an increasing lack of support for some of his assumptions about the human personality. Perhaps none of his ideas have met with as much criticism as his psychosexual stages of development. While many modern-day clinicians still find aspects of his stages helpful, most do not adhere to the presupposition of sexual conflict being the central task of developmental maturity. Thus, concepts...

Psychosexual development

Main points Freud's theory of psychosexual development had its origins in, and was a generalization of, Josef Breuer's earlier discovery that traumatic childhood events could have devastating negative effects upon the adult. This view assumed that early childhood sexual experiences were the crucial factors in the determination of the adult personality. Freud's believed that from the moment of birth, the infant is driven in his actions by the desire for bodily sexual pleasure. Initially, infants...

The unscientific nature of Jungs psychology

One of the earliest criticisms of Jung's work is that it is anti-scientific in its intentions as well as its content. This accusation surfaced as early as Jung's break with Freud in 1913. Jung's view of the functions of symbolism in dreams led to his isolation from the mainstream psychiatric community. As he put it, all my friends and acquaintances dropped away. My book was declared to be rubbish I was a mystic, and that settled the matter. The insecure position of the social sciences in the...

Binet compared to Galton and Cattell

The failure of Galton's and Cattell's intelligence tests opened the door for Binet to develop a more practical alternative. He succeeded where they had failed at devising a test that was related to intelligent behavior in real life. Today, most useful intelligence tests for people of all ages are still based on Binet's model. Such tests require people to use several mental abilities to perform a broad range of complex tasks. One factor that may have helped Binet succeed was his choice of study...

Horneys disagreement with Freuds penis envy theory

When Freud disciple Karl Abraham in 1920 posited that women, because of penis envy, actually wanted to be men, he went on to state that he believed that this desire to be men led to lesbianism, women with masculine ambition, and feminists. Horney, who was from all reports not a lesbian, and did not consider herself a feminist (but may have possessed what Abraham called masculine ambition), was offended. Horney, who had already witnessed decades of male sexism, was put off by this theory not...

Critiques of Kohlbergs stage theory

Many of Kohlberg's critics have pointed to what they regard as weaknesses in his stage theory of moral development. Some of these concern the number of stages. As was noted earlier, the existence of Kohlberg's sixth stage was questioned by researchers who could not find subjects who seemed to have attained it. In addition, Kohlberg's eventual hypothesis of a seventh stage of moral development, which he called a soft stage, represented a later modification of his original position. Other critics...

Horneys coping strategies

In the course of Horney's experience in analysis with her patients, she began to see that these neurotic needs correlated with the psychic personality development she had observed and documented earlier. She called meshing of these neurotic personality types, and the needs addressed by each behavior, coping strategies. Her coping strategies are broken down into three types compliance, aggression, and withdrawal. Compliance According to Horney, compliance, or the basic anxiety that overcomes...

Structure of the mind id ego superego

Main points Freud further divided the conscious and unconscious mind into three structures or systems that performed different roles. These systems he named the id, ego, and superego. Freud viewed human beings as energy systems, where only one system can be in control at any given time, while the other two systems give themselves over to the psychic energy of the one in control. The id is the original system of personality and the dominant one at birth. In German, the word was literally...

Spearman and general intelligence

Around the same time that Binet introduced his intelligence test, English psychologist Charles Spearman published his own theory of intelligence. It, too, was at odds with Binet's concepts. Yet in later years, Spearman's ideas, like those of Galton and Cattell, were often promoted using Binet's test. Spearman's early work was actually inspired by Galton and Cattell. In one experiment, he studied two dozen schoolchildren in three ways. First, he had their teacher rank them on cleverness in...

Yerkes Brigham and group intelligence tests

Terman and Goddard had introduced intelligence testing to America. Soon, world events would turn it into a national priority. In 1917, the year after Terman first published the Stanford-Binet, the United States entered World War I. Like many other Americans, psychologist Robert Yerkes was eager to serve his country. As president of the American Psychological Association, he also wanted show the value of the young science he represented. Yerkes set up committees to explore the military uses of...

Galton and hereditary intelligence

The first person to try to develop a scientific intelligence test was Francis Galton. This British scientist, a half-cousin of English naturalist Charles Darwin, was a polymath, a person who is knowledgeable in many scientific areas. His interests included studying weather, fingerprints, and the peoples of Africa. Galton argued that plants and animals varied in systematic ways, and he devised new statistical methods for studying heredity. When it came to people, Galton proposed a controversial...

Analysis and interpretation of resistance

Resistance in a psychoanalytic context is anything that works against the progress of therapy and prevents the patient from accessing unconscious material. Resistance then is any idea, attitude, feeling, or action that gets in the way of potential change. During free association, a patient may show an unwillingness to relate to certain thoughts or experiences. Freud views resistance as an unconscious process that people use to protect themselves against intolerable anxiety and pain that might...

Principles of Gestalt psychology

Explanation Wertheimer did not immediately comprehend all the implications of his initial study. After the publication of his 1912 paper, Wertheimer became actively involved in the German war effort during World War 1. This meant that much of the time from 1914 to 1920 was devoted to research and development on subjects other than Gestalt theory. It was not until 1923 that Wertheimer published a tract further enlarging upon his ideas about perception and perceptual grouping. In reality, what he...

Hypnosis sleep and cortical inhibition

Main points Pavlov devoted considerable time to the study of sleep and hypnosis he considered both states as forms of progressive cortical inhibition of the nervous system. Representing them as two points along a continuum, Pavlov portrayed sleep as complete, diffuse internal inhibition of the cortex and hypnosis as a partial sleep state. According to Pavlov, certain conditioned reflexes, such as the salivation response, remained in his animal subjects during hypnosis, while other reflexes...

Stern and the intelligence quotient

Today, the terms intelligence test and IQ test are often used interchangeably. Therefore, many people assume incorrectly that Binet came up with the idea of an intelligence quotient (IQ), a single number for expressing the overall result on an intelligence test. This distinction actually goes to German psychologist William Stern. In fact, Binet resisted the idea of reducing a person's intelligence to a single number. When Stern introduced the concept of IQ in 1912, Binet was no longer alive to...