Freud and Psychology

Studies of mental functions, behaviors and the nervous system.

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

Freud and Psychology

#1  Postby Mayak » Mar 27, 2010 3:38 am

I have a friend who tells me that Freud is the guy to know, if you are ever to understand psychology. According to my friend, Freud's theory of personality is the main theory that is used in the field of psychology. Also, psychoanalysis, another theory by Freud, is practically the only way to understand people. And so on and so on.

The whole time he is saying this I am like :what:, because I remember a thread on the old forum that pretty much summed up Freud as an exaggerating liar. And when I tell my friend this I get :o :o followed by :snooty: :snooty: . I try to tell him that a lot of Freud's case studies were made up, and that there is no way the field of psychology uses Freud's dated ideas. But I just come up against a wall every time. Or as my friend puts it: an art form that most people cannot understand :picard:.

Maybe things have changed, and Freud has come back from the dead? :shock:

What I was wondering is, what is the current view on Freud and Freud's ideas. Did Freud hold the field of study back or push it forward? What is the current consensus, in the field of psychology, on Freud's theories?
Mayak
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 1172

Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Freud and Psychology

#2  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 27, 2010 7:06 am

:lol: If you read the thread on RDF then you know my opinion already..

Unscientific fraudster who contributed almost nothing of value to the field, and if we were to argue that he had an impact on the field, then we have to conclude that it was a negative impact. The problem is that most people have a limited understanding of the history of psychology, so they assume that psychology at Freud's time believed in magical unicorns or alchemy, so Freud (whilst not perfect) was still good for the field in developing a science of human behavior - in reality, however, psychology was in a fairly decent scientific state due to the work of William James, Wilhelm Wundt and Ivan Pavlov, and it was their work that Freud pushed back with his ideas of magical unicorns.

Nobody I've ever spoken to who attended a good university were taught Freud as a serious aspect of psychology. At best, he gets a 10-min mention about how silly we were back then.
Image
Mr.Samsa
 
Posts: 11370
Age: 34

Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#3  Postby Mayak » Mar 27, 2010 7:23 am

Thanks Samsa. It's nice to know that I remembered the thread on RDF correctly.

I was wondering if you had any reading material which goes through Freud's theories point by counterpoint?
Mayak
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 1172

Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#4  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 27, 2010 7:47 am

Mayak wrote:Thanks Samsa. It's nice to know that I remembered the thread on RDF correctly.

I was wondering if you had any reading material which goes through Freud's theories point by counterpoint?


Hmm.. I can't think of anyone who deals with Freud point-by-point since he had quite a few books and ideas. Here are some links that could get you started:

"The Science and Folklore of Traumatic Amnesia" - McNally (2004) - highlights the fact that instead of aversive or traumatic memories being "repressed", these events actually tend to strengthen memories.

"Debunking myths about trauma and memory" - McNally (2005)

Traumatic impact predicts long-term memory for documented child sexual abuse - Alexander et al. (2005)

Dreaming - J Allen Hobson

The mythologizing of psychoanalytic history: deception and self-deception in Freud’s accounts of the seduction theory episode - Esterson

How a Fabrication Differs from a Lie - Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen

Perhaps if you had any particular questions or concerns about an aspect of Freud's ideas, then you could ask them here and someone might be able to give you a few links to help you out. It's much easier to find facts to refute specific claims, rather than trying to find one source that refutes all of his claims.. :cheers:
Image
Mr.Samsa
 
Posts: 11370
Age: 34

Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#5  Postby Lazar » Mar 27, 2010 8:07 am

Mr.Samsa wrote::lol: If you read the thread on RDF then you know my opinion already..

Unscientific fraudster who contributed almost nothing of value to the field, and if we were to argue that he had an impact on the field, then we have to conclude that it was a negative impact. The problem is that most people have a limited understanding of the history of psychology, so they assume that psychology at Freud's time believed in magical unicorns or alchemy, so Freud (whilst not perfect) was still good for the field in developing a science of human behavior - in reality, however, psychology was in a fairly decent scientific state due to the work of William James, Wilhelm Wundt and Ivan Pavlov, and it was their work that Freud pushed back with his ideas of magical unicorns.

Nobody I've ever spoken to who attended a good university were taught Freud as a serious aspect of psychology. At best, he gets a 10-min mention about how silly we were back then.


WHAT absolute bull shit. Freud is the only real scientist in psychology....... :naughty2:

To the OP I actually work in psychology research largely in personality. NO Freud no longer gets used by the mainstream. Indeed we now have a common taxonomy of personality and Freud is no where to be seen. :lol:

EDIT: The J Allen Hobson book recommended by Samsa is a cracker. Its worth a read regardless of whether you want to debunk Freud of not.
Image

Spinozasgalt: "And how come no one ever sigs me?"
User avatar
Lazar
 
Posts: 2280
Age: 36
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#6  Postby Mayak » Mar 27, 2010 8:14 am

Thanks for the links! I will definitely check them out.

My main questions would be concerning Freud's theory of personality (Id, Ego, and Superego) and the effectiveness of psychoanalysis.

Honestly, I don't think there is much to say on his theory of personality. After reading the Wikipedia article, it is crazy to think that Id, Ego, and Superego are at the forefront of psychology. :crazy:

The only thing left is psychoanalysis which seems to be a pretty big gray area, from the Wikipedia article it is hard to figure out what the hell is going on.
Mayak
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 1172

Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#7  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 27, 2010 8:26 am

Lazar wrote:

EDIT: The J Allen Hobson book recommended by Samsa is a cracker. Its worth a read regardless of whether you want to debunk Freud of not.


I stole that from one of your posts on the Freud thread at RDF I think! :grin:

Mayak wrote:Thanks for the links! I will definitely check them out.

My main questions would be concerning Freud's theory of personality (Id, Ego, and Superego) and the effectiveness of psychoanalysis.

Honestly, I don't think there is much to say on his theory of personality. After reading the Wikipedia article, it is crazy to think that Id, Ego, and Superego are at the forefront of psychology. :crazy:

The only thing left is psychoanalysis which seems to be a pretty big gray area, from the Wikipedia article it is hard to figure out what the hell is going on.


No problem. And as for his Id, Ego and Superego - the problems they face are the same as what god faces. There is absolutely no reason to believe in them, current theories explain the same concepts and data much better/more parsimoniously, and frankly the idea of id/ego/superego are ridiculous..

And psychoanalysis, I'll have a look for some papers on it but as far as I'm aware it shows no better efficacy compared to patients who undergo no treatment in most studies.
Image
Mr.Samsa
 
Posts: 11370
Age: 34

Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Freud and Psychology

#8  Postby katja z » Mar 27, 2010 9:24 pm

Funnily enough psychoanalysis is alive and kicking in philosophy and literary studies. Admittedly the main reference there is not Freud but Lacan (except when some literary scholars indulge in analysing a ficional character's Oedipus complex, arrgh ...).

A bit OT but anyway, how is Lacan regarded in contemporary psychology? :cheers:
User avatar
katja z
RS Donator
 
Posts: 5353
Age: 39

European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#9  Postby Lazar » Mar 27, 2010 10:21 pm

katja z wrote:Funnily enough psychoanalysis is alive and kicking in philosophy and literary studies. Admittedly the main reference there is not Freud but Lacan (except when some literary scholars indulge in analysing a ficional character's Oedipus complex, arrgh ...).

A bit OT but anyway, how is Lacan regarded in contemporary psychology? :cheers:



Most would not know who he is from my experience.
Image

Spinozasgalt: "And how come no one ever sigs me?"
User avatar
Lazar
 
Posts: 2280
Age: 36
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#10  Postby katja z » Mar 27, 2010 10:32 pm

Lazar wrote:
Most would not know who he is from my experience.

Thanks Lazar. I somehow suspected that would be the case, it's nice to be right sometimes :grin:
Another example of lack of communication between academic fields ... :scratch:
:cheers:
User avatar
katja z
RS Donator
 
Posts: 5353
Age: 39

European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#11  Postby Lazar » Mar 28, 2010 6:11 pm

katja z wrote:
Lazar wrote:
Most would not know who he is from my experience.

Thanks Lazar. I somehow suspected that would be the case, it's nice to be right sometimes :grin:
Another example of lack of communication between academic fields ... :scratch:
:cheers:


NW.
Image

Spinozasgalt: "And how come no one ever sigs me?"
User avatar
Lazar
 
Posts: 2280
Age: 36
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#12  Postby Agrippina » Mar 29, 2010 7:13 am

So why do people still say stuff like "you're projecting?" Or "you have daddy issues?"

And why do psychologists still ask people about their relationships with their parents, and how early they were toilet-trained etc.

I did a case study once about a woman who had three sons all of whom had speech problems as babies. There was no clinical reason for it, there was also another one who had a total obsession with bowel movements. The two cases were 20 years different in age. On in-depth discussion with the two cases both were found to have had over-zealous and too early toilet-training. Both mothers of the two cases boasted that they's never had a 'dirty' nappy. They'd used some conditioning to make the kids poop on demand creating an enormous obsession with toilet behavious. Luckily in the first family the kids were fairly young, some speech therapy for them and a few sessions with the mother to get over her own issues with poop, solved the problem to an extent. The older person never got over the obsession that he was 'constipated' if he didn't 'go' after breakfast every day.

Of course applying cognitive behavioural changes is at the root of the treatment but toilet-obsession was at the bottom of the initial problem.

I'm not saying the Freud or any of the old theories have any real value but if they don't then surely 'defence mechanisms' also don't apply and psychologists shouldn't use them. Or is my reasoning too simplistic. I just don't see how you can teach psychology without knowing the history, and some of that history is horrific and a lot worse than telling someone they have 'daddy' issues.
Illegitimi non carborundum
User avatar
Agrippina
 
Posts: 36689
Age: 108
Female

Country: South Africa
South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#13  Postby Lazar » Mar 29, 2010 7:45 am

Agrippina wrote:So why do people still say stuff like "you're projecting?" Or "you have daddy issues?"


Because it is appealing and often amusing.

And why do psychologists still ask people about their relationships with their parents, and how early they were toilet-trained etc.


Life histories are not uncommon in a range of approaches. This is not specific to psychoanalysis. I would be surprised if a majority of psychologists asked about toilet training.


I did a case study once about a woman who had three sons all of whom had speech problems as babies. There was no clinical reason for it, there was also another one who had a total obsession with bowel movements. The two cases were 20 years different in age. On in-depth discussion with the two cases both were found to have had over-zealous and too early toilet-training. Both mothers of the two cases boasted that they's never had a 'dirty' nappy. They'd used some conditioning to make the kids poop on demand creating an enormous obsession with toilet behavious. Luckily in the first family the kids were fairly young, some speech therapy for them and a few sessions with the mother to get over her own issues with poop, solved the problem to an extent. The older person never got over the obsession that he was 'constipated' if he didn't 'go' after breakfast every day.

Of course applying cognitive behavioural changes is at the root of the treatment but toilet-obsession was at the bottom of the initial problem.


See this i think is where Freud is so seductive. What a convenient explanation for this behaviour. However, how much effort was gone to to rule out confounds. Seems to me if a mother comes across as highly authoritative and controlling. We know from much empirical research that this has many negative consequences. There are lots of reasons for the behaviour presented and few of them need to go to the ludicrousness of psycho-sexual stages to explain.


I'm not saying the Freud or any of the old theories have any real value but if they don't then surely 'defence mechanisms' also don't apply and psychologists shouldn't use them. Or is my reasoning too simplistic. I just don't see how you can teach psychology without knowing the history, and some of that history is horrific and a lot worse than telling someone they have 'daddy' issues.


I agree teaching the history of psychology is very important. However, it should not be taught neutrally but in light of what we now know. What is the point of teaching Freud's theories as if they are right when we now know they are not?

In passing there is some empirical evidence starting to emerge for defence mechanisms, I think I liked to some sources is this thread or elsewhere.
Image

Spinozasgalt: "And how come no one ever sigs me?"
User avatar
Lazar
 
Posts: 2280
Age: 36
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#14  Postby Agrippina » Mar 29, 2010 9:21 am

Yes, I'm not proposing Freud as a valid theory, I just think that not teaching the theory to psych students even if just as history is a little like teaching people to paint without teaching them about art history.

Yes, we did speak about defence mechanisms in another thread.

Parents can do some really horrible things to their kids.
Illegitimi non carborundum
User avatar
Agrippina
 
Posts: 36689
Age: 108
Female

Country: South Africa
South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#15  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 29, 2010 9:32 am

Agrippina wrote:Yes, I'm not proposing Freud as a valid theory, I just think that not teaching the theory to psych students even if just as history is a little like teaching people to paint without teaching them about art history.


Hmm.. I think a more apt analogy would be "It's like not teaching alchemy to chemistry students". Whilst I agree that people should have a strong grasp of the history in their field, this is more important in the sense of not making the same mistakes rather than needing it in order to to be good at what you do. A chemist could do their job successfully with absolutely zero knowledge of alchemy, in the same way a psychologist could do their job successfully with no knowledge of Freud or psychoanalysis.
Image
Mr.Samsa
 
Posts: 11370
Age: 34

Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Freud and Psychology

#16  Postby Lazar » Mar 29, 2010 9:34 am

Agrippina wrote:Yes, I'm not proposing Freud as a valid theory, I just think that not teaching the theory to psych students even if just as history is a little like teaching people to paint without teaching them about art history.


Agreed BUT it is important how it is taught. While knowing the history is extremely important, knowing why the present no longer reflects the past is perhaps even more important. We can teach the history without giving unnecessary credence to unsubstantiated nonsense, particularly when said nonsense is so deeply culturally embedded. As an example I think it is important to teach in psych 101 that homosexuality used to be classed as a disorder, it should however be clearly shown why we no longer hold that nonsensical and bigoted view. I think Freud should similarly be taught to students as a warning on relying on empiricism rather than being seduced by your own imagination.

EDIT: Ah shit Samsa just said the same thing BUT seeing as "unnecessary credence to unsubstantiated nonsense" is probably the best thing I have written in a while I will leave the post in place :grin:
Image

Spinozasgalt: "And how come no one ever sigs me?"
User avatar
Lazar
 
Posts: 2280
Age: 36
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#17  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 29, 2010 9:41 am

Lazar wrote:
EDIT: Ah shit Samsa just said the same thing BUT seeing as "unnecessary credence to unsubstantiated nonsense" is probably the best thing I have written in a while I will leave the post in place :grin:


I just gave a snappy soundbite, you explained the issue in much more detail than me (plus your "homosexuality" example was a good one) :thumbup:
Image
Mr.Samsa
 
Posts: 11370
Age: 34

Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#18  Postby katja z » Mar 29, 2010 9:52 am

Mr.Samsa wrote:
Agrippina wrote:Yes, I'm not proposing Freud as a valid theory, I just think that not teaching the theory to psych students even if just as history is a little like teaching people to paint without teaching them about art history.


Hmm.. I think a more apt analogy would be "It's like not teaching alchemy to chemistry students". Whilst I agree that people should have a strong grasp of the history in their field, this is more important in the sense of not making the same mistakes rather than needing it in order to to be good at what you do. A chemist could do their job successfully with absolutely zero knowledge of alchemy, in the same way a psychologist could do their job successfully with no knowledge of Freud or psychoanalysis.


I disagree with the analogy to the extent that ideas from alchemy aren't around anymore, while Freud's ideas are, so it's probably useful to know just what in our "common sense" about human psychology comes from Freud's work.
User avatar
katja z
RS Donator
 
Posts: 5353
Age: 39

European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#19  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 29, 2010 10:31 am

katja z wrote:
I disagree with the analogy to the extent that ideas from alchemy aren't around anymore, while Freud's ideas are, so it's probably useful to know just what in our "common sense" about human psychology comes from Freud's work.


Sure, but we could also argue that my analogy is wrong because Freud wasn't trying to turn basic elements into gold. An analogy is only useful for general points, once we look at the finer details all analogies will fall apart ;)

I do understand your point though, I just can't think of another example of some person or field that was so hugely popular and infiltrated common thinking, without actually contributing any real information to the field as a whole. Perhaps it's similar to teaching Lamarck when teaching molecular biology? A lot of his ideas are common in people uneducated in biology, yet he was completely and utterly wrong like Freud. (To be fair though, Lamarck's ideas weren't crazy, they were just based on incorrect inferences, whereas Freud was an antiscientific idiot)...
Image
Mr.Samsa
 
Posts: 11370
Age: 34

Print view this post

Re: Freud and Psychology

#20  Postby katja z » Mar 29, 2010 10:49 am

Mr.Samsa wrote: whereas Freud was an antiscientific idiot

And here I used to think I was just too thick to really understand him :grin:

Still, at least he did case studies in psychology. His forays into anthropology seem even worse to me, and they still get taken seriously by serious thinkers :what:
User avatar
katja z
RS Donator
 
Posts: 5353
Age: 39

European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Next

Return to Psychology & Neuroscience

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 4 guests