Analysis of a phobia of a five-year old boy - Freud, S. (1909)
All parents will agree that their children go through 'phases' of behaviour. Sigmund Freud had an explanation for that. Along the way, he can also teach you a bit of Greek Literature... and make you feel really uncomfortable!
Background to Freud's theory - the Psychodynamic approach
An introduction to Freud's theory is on the Developmental Psychology page.
For more background you can watch this BBC documentary clip on Freud's theory of dreams
Freud's theory of personality and some evaluation of the approach as a whole can be found here on Saul McLeod's site.
For more on Oedipus himself and the history of the complex, read the summary on the SGS website.
Assignment 1 - Alternative study - Little Hans using quantitative data?
Freud's study consists entirely of quanlitative data, mostly Freud's thoughts and theories about Little Hans' phobias and some transcripts of Hans' conversations.
1. Describe different types of data that can be collected in Psychology. (5)
2. How would you design the study so that it had a similar aim, but collected quantitative data?
Write a description of the study, including the who, what, where and how.(10)
2. What would the advantages and disadvantages of such an experiment be, compared to the original?
Evaluate this new study in practical and ethical terms. (10)
Submit your alternative study and evaluation through the form on the home page.
The Oedipus complex... of shaving
Watch the video and then complete the summary sheet below in as much detail as you can from memory.
Test yourself on the key parts of Freud's theory with this quiz.
What Freud got right...
It is very easy to make fun of Freud's ideas, and to make him seem like a figure of fun. Psychology teachers are as guilty of this as anyone (anything for a laugh...)
The picture below is a good example.
But in actual fact, although his ideas seem strange now and although he said them in an unusual (!) way, many of his ideas have been hugely influential and useful, and some of them have been revolutionary.
Read this article from 'The Psychologist' magazine, which helps to set the record straight.