Freud and Psychology

Studies of mental functions, behaviors and the nervous system.

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Re: Freud and Psychology

#21  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 29, 2010 10:55 am

katja z wrote:
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:


Most of his case studies in psychology were made up though.. :lol:

I haven't read any of his anthropological attempts but if they're anything like his descriptions of psychological issues, then I weep for the fields that take him seriously.
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#22  Postby Lazar » Mar 29, 2010 11:13 am

katja z wrote:
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:


Im not as hard on Freud as Samsa is. I think he was a good writer. As I say often when Freud comes up here or at RDF, much of his work is based on the evolutionary biology idea of recapitulation. Unfortunately Freud based his stages theory on a theory of recapitulation that is at best wrong and at worst based on malfeasance. Thus Freud is stuck with a theory of human recapitulation the basis of which has been destroyed by more modern biology.

Speaking of teaching Freud as history. I think Freud's example does have two implications for modern evolutionary psychology. The first is captured by the statement 'evolution is so simple almost anyone can misunderstand it ' (cant remember the source) thus its simplicity and scientific rigour are seductive to psychologists hoping to root their theories in harder science. Unfortunately, like Freud if you dont know the field of evolution well enough to evaluate various biologists claims for yourself, you risk of basing your theories on fringe aspects of the field that may have fatal flaws. Second, Freuds example shows Evo Psychs that it is not enough to let the biologists do the work and expect that you can ride on their coat tails. Integrating evolution with psychology must be more than just a literary exercise of using legitimate science from one field in order to develop theories in another based on analogy. There must be a requirement to not just hypothesis metaphors but to undertake the research to explain the mechanisms and processes for the phenomena you are interested in.

/rant.
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#23  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 29, 2010 11:32 am

Lazar wrote:
Im not as hard on Freud as Samsa is.


To be honest, my descriptions of him on the forum aren't exactly identical to what I really think of him. I think that he has been unfairly demonised by some people and that some of the criticisms against him were a result of him changing his position due to the academic backlash to his more valid ideas. For example, Freud was one of the first people to suggest that "hysteria" in women was due to lasting effects of child abuse. When he suggested this, he was basically attacked by his peers which forced him to change his position to include the idea of false memories, sexual repression, the Oedipus complex etc (and in addition to the backlash, his cocaine addiction probably helped his imagination). So the vague notion of traumatic experiences producing mental disorders was essentially correct, and his more crazy and damaging theories were a result of peer pressure at the time.

However, I'm always wary of lending credibility to his position as currently, in my opinion, he already receives much more respect than he deserves. So I'd much rather come across as overly critical and bring people's opinion of him down to a more accurate level, rather than be seen as supporting him whereupon I inadvertently add to his support and thus further perpetuating myths such as Freud being the grandfather of psychology, or him being a vital figure in establishing psychology as a science.

(Good rant on evo psych though. That's another field that really needs to be brought down a notch or two!)
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#24  Postby starr » Mar 29, 2010 11:40 am

Mr.Samsa wrote:

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.


I must have gone to a good university then. :cheers: :grin:

Freud, and the entire field of psychoanalysis, is unscientific nonsense. :nod:
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#25  Postby katja z » Mar 29, 2010 11:43 am

@ Mr.Samsa: I was mostly thinking of Totem and taboo. I've heard philosophers refer to it, I don't think they buy the assertions at face value (at least I hope so!) but they still find it interesting and worth seriously thinking about.

@ Lazar that's an interesting point you make, and it fits with what I was whining about, the lack of communication across disciplines. So Freud sucks at biology and goes on to do bad psychology, then folk from another discipline come along and start to base their own claims on Freud's psychology and so on. If people only did their homework not just seize on something from another field just because it sounds nice :tongue:
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#26  Postby Lazar » Mar 29, 2010 12:49 pm

@ Samsa. Gotta ya.

@Katja. Yes I fully agree.

In reference to the current issue on Freud however, it appears that somewant to continue to try and sneak Freud in through the backdoor. While others are doing legitimate work which notes some aspects of psychoanalysis that hold water.

In the end though this quote from J. Allan Hobson from the blog I linked to is just perfect:
With respect to dreams, Sigmund Freud was not only not right. He was dead wrong. And so are Turnbull and Solms (2007) in their desperate effort to save Freudian psychoanalysis from the junk heap of speculative philosophy. Neuroscientists, psychologists, and psychiatrists beware: you are being led down the garden path by this pair of misguided neo-Freudians.
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#27  Postby Agrippina » Mar 29, 2010 1:10 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:
Lazar wrote:
Im not as hard on Freud as Samsa is.


To be honest, my descriptions of him on the forum aren't exactly identical to what I really think of him. I think that he has been unfairly demonised by some people and that some of the criticisms against him were a result of him changing his position due to the academic backlash to his more valid ideas. For example, Freud was one of the first people to suggest that "hysteria" in women was due to lasting effects of child abuse. When he suggested this, he was basically attacked by his peers which forced him to change his position to include the idea of false memories, sexual repression, the Oedipus complex etc (and in addition to the backlash, his cocaine addiction probably helped his imagination). So the vague notion of traumatic experiences producing mental disorders was essentially correct, and his more crazy and damaging theories were a result of peer pressure at the time.

However, I'm always wary of lending credibility to his position as currently, in my opinion, he already receives much more respect than he deserves. So I'd much rather come across as overly critical and bring people's opinion of him down to a more accurate level, rather than be seen as supporting him whereupon I inadvertently add to his support and thus further perpetuating myths such as Freud being the grandfather of psychology, or him being a vital figure in establishing psychology as a science.

(Good rant on evo psych though. That's another field that really needs to be brought down a notch or two!)


Thousands of years ago, when I did my nursing training in a psycho ward, Freud was very popular and of couse it was also the reason that most people refused to have therapy. His theories didn't do very much to convince people to get themselves attended to for depression for instance, and it was only when people attempted suicide that they actually got some sort of treatment.

Is electro-shock therapy still used these days? In those days people practically had their brains fried with that treatment.

Of course living in a country that was run by Christian Nationalists, religion was the only approved treatment for psychological problems. I suppose there aren't many of you who remember when mentally handicapped people were kept locked away in "asylums" and Down's Syndrome was called Mongoloidism. Disorders like dyslexia and autism were regarded as 'retarded' and gifted people who had autism were called "idiot savants."

we've come a long way with psychology in 50 years.
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#28  Postby Agrippina » Mar 29, 2010 1:10 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:
katja z wrote:
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:


Most of his case studies in psychology were made up though.. :lol:

I haven't read any of his anthropological attempts but if they're anything like his descriptions of psychological issues, then I weep for the fields that take him seriously.


Yes his case studies were mainly of his own family.
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#29  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 29, 2010 1:22 pm

Agrippina wrote:
Thousands of years ago,


:lol: :hugs:

Agrippina wrote:when I did my nursing training in a psycho ward, Freud was very popular and of couse it was also the reason that most people refused to have therapy. His theories didn't do very much to convince people to get themselves attended to for depression for instance, and it was only when people attempted suicide that they actually got some sort of treatment.

Is electro-shock therapy still used these days? In those days people practically had their brains fried with that treatment.


It is still used today, but it is pretty controversial and there are quite a few groups lobbying for it to stop. The research on it is pretty mixed so I don't know if it has any benefits, however, I have a feeling that any significant "improvements" that they find are due to the fried brain preventing them from exhibiting problem behaviors, rather than "fixing" them, per se. Sort of like curing a child's running away behavior by cutting off their legs..

Agrippina wrote:Of course living in a country that was run by Christian Nationalists, religion was the only approved treatment for psychological problems. I suppose there aren't many of you who remember when mentally handicapped people were kept locked away in "asylums" and Down's Syndrome was called Mongoloidism. Disorders like dyslexia and autism were regarded as 'retarded' and gifted people who had autism were called "idiot savants."

we've come a long way with psychology in 50 years.


Hmm... Whilst I agree that conditions have definitely improved over the years, I think we have to be careful not to judge people for using terms such as "retarded", "spastic" etc as they were valid medical terms that did not carry the same connotations as they do today. The problem is that the words are associated to the people who carry the labels, so the terminology needs to change every decade. "Retarded" means the exact same thing as "developmentally disabled", it's just that DD hasn't been around long enough to have the same negative associations. As a demonstration of my point, your use of the term "mentally handicapped" is now highly discouraged, although you probably didn't realise as it was the standard term used during your training.

It's a weird old world, I guess :dunno:
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#30  Postby katja z » Mar 29, 2010 1:31 pm

Agrippina wrote:Of course living in a country that was run by Christian Nationalists, religion was the only approved treatment for psychological problems.

:shock: Oh my IPU, did the doctors prescribe prayer and fasting or was it regular bathing in holy water? :crazy:

I guess even Freud's therapy was more effective than that ...
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#31  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 29, 2010 1:36 pm

katja z wrote:
Agrippina wrote:Of course living in a country that was run by Christian Nationalists, religion was the only approved treatment for psychological problems.

:shock: Oh my IPU, did the doctors prescribe prayer and fasting or was it regular bathing in holy water? :crazy:

I guess even Freud's therapy was more effective than that ...


To be fair, most countries have court ordered religious therapy for some crimes; specifically, people with alcohol or drug addictions are forced to undergo AA - which is, at best, a thinly veiled religious conversion attempt when watered down for "secularist" members (i.e. "You must accept there is a higher power or purpose") but some studies also suggest that AA is less effective than people giving up cold turkey.
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#32  Postby Agrippina » Mar 29, 2010 1:39 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:
Agrippina wrote:
Thousands of years ago,


:lol: :hugs:

Agrippina wrote:when I did my nursing training in a psycho ward, Freud was very popular and of couse it was also the reason that most people refused to have therapy. His theories didn't do very much to convince people to get themselves attended to for depression for instance, and it was only when people attempted suicide that they actually got some sort of treatment.

Is electro-shock therapy still used these days? In those days people practically had their brains fried with that treatment.


It is still used today, but it is pretty controversial and there are quite a few groups lobbying for it to stop. The research on it is pretty mixed so I don't know if it has any benefits, however, I have a feeling that any significant "improvements" that they find are due to the fried brain preventing them from exhibiting problem behaviors, rather than "fixing" them, per se. Sort of like curing a child's running away behavior by cutting off their legs..

I've always thought it was pretty drastic.

Agrippina wrote:Of course living in a country that was run by Christian Nationalists, religion was the only approved treatment for psychological problems. I suppose there aren't many of you who remember when mentally handicapped people were kept locked away in "asylums" and Down's Syndrome was called Mongoloidism. Disorders like dyslexia and autism were regarded as 'retarded' and gifted people who had autism were called "idiot savants."

we've come a long way with psychology in 50 years.


Hmm... Whilst I agree that conditions have definitely improved over the years, I think we have to be careful not to judge people for using terms such as "retarded", "spastic" etc as they were valid medical terms that did not carry the same connotations as they do today. The problem is that the words are associated to the people who carry the labels, so the terminology needs to change every decade. "Retarded" means the exact same thing as "developmentally disabled", it's just that DD hasn't been around long enough to have the same negative associations. As a demonstration of my point, your use of the term "mentally handicapped" is now highly discouraged, although you probably didn't realise as it was the standard term used during your training.

It's a weird old world, I guess :dunno:

[/quote]
No, I just think political correctness makes sense, I don't care too much for "developmentally disabled" because as you say, it will be out of fashion in about ten years.

I use the word 'handicapped' because I don't see anything wrong with it. I'm physically handicapped in some ways, not 'motionally challenged" and none of my systems have been 'disabled' they're all perfectly abled, they're just a little painful, which handicaps my movement.

Sorry I let my anti-pc prejudice get in the way sometimes.

I don't like words like 'retarded' though, I prefer 'slow' and I've never liked the "levels of retardation" I've always thought it was a bit cruel to call people 'idiots' "spastics" or whatever, it's putting people in 'boxes'.' I do understand though that there have to be terms that everyone understands. It's just that I get a bit irritable with pc terms for old ones that aren't really hurtful.
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#33  Postby Agrippina » Mar 29, 2010 1:46 pm

katja z wrote:
Agrippina wrote:Of course living in a country that was run by Christian Nationalists, religion was the only approved treatment for psychological problems.

:shock: Oh my IPU, did the doctors prescribe prayer and fasting or was it regular bathing in holy water? :crazy:

I guess even Freud's therapy was more effective than that ...


You won't believe it, I have one kid I've worked with who, when he announced that he was gay, was firstly taken to the preacher for prayer, then to a brothel to be taught what "men do" when that didn't work, the guys who he worked with raped him, and then when he started cutting himself, he was sent for more prayer. His parents don't know that he's had outside help which was compulsory when he was hospitalised for a suicide attempt. He then went on a drug-crazed binge of promiscuity and is now HIV+ and his parents still don't know that he's talking to people outside of the church etc. And the church people are still tell him that he is a sinner and now that the HIV thing is his punishment for not staying with god. Poor bloody kid. :roll:

@ Mr S, I've never agreed with AA as a treatment for alcoholism, it's merely replacing one dependency with another.
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#34  Postby Shrunk » Mar 29, 2010 1:49 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:It is still used today, but it is pretty controversial and there are quite a few groups lobbying for it to stop. The research on it is pretty mixed so I don't know if it has any benefits, however, I have a feeling that any significant "improvements" that they find are due to the fried brain preventing them from exhibiting problem behaviors, rather than "fixing" them, per se. Sort of like curing a child's running away behavior by cutting off their legs.


I'm not sure what you're basing this on. The evidence for the efficacy of ECT is at least as strong as any other treatment in psychiatry or psychology. As the US Surgeon General wrote:

Accumulated clinical experience—later confirmed in controlled clinical trials, which included the use of simulated or “sham” ECT as a control (Janicak et al., 1985)—determined ECT to be highly effective against severe depression, some acute psychotic states, and mania (Small et al., 1988). No controlled study has shown any other treatment to have superior efficacy to ECT in the treatment of depression (Janicak et al., 1985; Rudorfer et al., 1997). ECT has not been demonstrated to be effective in dysthymia, substance abuse, or anxiety or personality disorders. The foregoing conclusions, and many of those discussed below, are the products of review of extensive research conducted over several decades (Depression Guideline Panel, 1993; Rudorfer et al., 1997) as well as by an independent panel of scientists, practitioners, and consumers (NIH & NIMH Consensus Conference, 1985).


http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/m ... ec3_1.html

You can find more here:

http://scholar.google.ca/scholar?q=ect+ ... as_sdtp=on

Whatever "controversy" that may exist over ECT is akin to that over whether vaccines cause autism.
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#35  Postby Agrippina » Mar 29, 2010 1:50 pm

I know all of that, I just don't like it, it seems a bit medieval to me.
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#36  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 29, 2010 1:57 pm

Shrunk wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:It is still used today, but it is pretty controversial and there are quite a few groups lobbying for it to stop. The research on it is pretty mixed so I don't know if it has any benefits, however, I have a feeling that any significant "improvements" that they find are due to the fried brain preventing them from exhibiting problem behaviors, rather than "fixing" them, per se. Sort of like curing a child's running away behavior by cutting off their legs.


I'm not sure what you're basing this on. The evidence for the efficacy of ECT is at least as strong as any other treatment in psychiatry or psychology. As the US Surgeon General wrote:

Accumulated clinical experience—later confirmed in controlled clinical trials, which included the use of simulated or “sham” ECT as a control (Janicak et al., 1985)—determined ECT to be highly effective against severe depression, some acute psychotic states, and mania (Small et al., 1988). No controlled study has shown any other treatment to have superior efficacy to ECT in the treatment of depression (Janicak et al., 1985; Rudorfer et al., 1997). ECT has not been demonstrated to be effective in dysthymia, substance abuse, or anxiety or personality disorders. The foregoing conclusions, and many of those discussed below, are the products of review of extensive research conducted over several decades (Depression Guideline Panel, 1993; Rudorfer et al., 1997) as well as by an independent panel of scientists, practitioners, and consumers (NIH & NIMH Consensus Conference, 1985).


http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/m ... ec3_1.html

You can find more here:

http://scholar.google.ca/scholar?q=ect+ ... as_sdtp=on

Whatever "controversy" that may exist over ECT is akin to that over whether vaccines cause autism.


Sorry, I wasn't very clear there. I meant "controversial" in that many people disagree with the use of electric shock as a treatment for mental disorders or behavioral problems, and then my opinions were supposed to be a separate sentence rather than a follow-on of the "controversial" statement. I haven't done a proper search into the effectiveness of ECT but I thought I had read some studies suggesting no/negative results, but my "I think I remember..." is no match for your articles.

Thanks for linking them, I'll have to read up on it some more.
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#37  Postby Shrunk » Mar 29, 2010 2:37 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:Sorry, I wasn't very clear there. I meant "controversial" in that many people disagree with the use of electric shock as a treatment for mental disorders or behavioral problems, and then my opinions were supposed to be a separate sentence rather than a follow-on of the "controversial" statement. I haven't done a proper search into the effectiveness of ECT but I thought I had read some studies suggesting no/negative results, but my "I think I remember..." is no match for your articles.

Thanks for linking them, I'll have to read up on it some more.


No problem.
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#38  Postby Iconoplast » Mar 29, 2010 8:22 pm

Regarding "current research" into Freud and/or Freudian understandings, The Neurocritic has written up interesting commentaries on two new papers that deal with where such ideas stand today:

Friston is Freudian

A Bayesian brain is a Freudian brain
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#39  Postby Lazar » Mar 29, 2010 8:27 pm

Iconoplast » Mar 29, 2010 9:22 pm wrote:Regarding "current research" into Freud and/or Freudian understandings, The Neurocritic has written up interesting commentaries on two new papers that deal with where such ideas stand today:

Friston is Freudian

A Bayesian brain is a Freudian brain


Beat ya to it. The link to Neurocritic is on the previous page :smoke: :grin:

Oh in passing I just subscribed to Neuroskeptic today, much enjoyable reading to be had.

EDIT: I also whacked your blog on my reading list. NeuroWhoa!
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#40  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 29, 2010 11:29 pm

Lazar » Mar 30, 2010 9:27 am wrote:
Iconoplast » Mar 29, 2010 9:22 pm wrote:Regarding "current research" into Freud and/or Freudian understandings, The Neurocritic has written up interesting commentaries on two new papers that deal with where such ideas stand today:

Friston is Freudian

A Bayesian brain is a Freudian brain


Beat ya to it. The link to Neurocritic is on the previous page :smoke: :grin:

Oh in passing I just subscribed to Neuroskeptic today, much enjoyable reading to be had.

EDIT: I also whacked your blog on my reading list. NeuroWhoa!


Very nice blog Iconoplast!

Feel free to add it to the Psychology Resources thread if you like - I'm not sure if it'll have any significant effect on your traffic (as you seem to be rather popular already), but it might help some of the members here find your blog. :cheers:
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