Even the people who know quite literally nothing about psychology know about Sigmund Freud- the cigar smoking, cocaine advocating, father of Psychoanalysis.
Quickly, what is psychoanalysis?
There are three basic concepts:
1. The unconscious
· This is the central concept
· Feelings, thoughts, and memories that are outside of the conscious awareness
· Influences behavior and experience without any awareness of its influence
· An active force keeping unconscious elements from the conscious awareness
· "unconscious redirection of feelings from one person to another"
The Id, ego, and superego
Demands pleasure and
Deals with the demands of the
This is perhaps the greatest principle of scientific thinking that
psychoanalysis lacks. In providing "evidence" for Freud's theories he utilized
self-analysis and case studies. And as the wise textbook (Scott Lilienfeld, 2nd ed. Psychology:
From Inquiry to Understanding.) states, "the plural of anecdote isn't fact".
But these case studies are much more legitimate than his self-analysis which provides
no falsifiability. How can a third party come in and attempt to disprove a
No Freud, actually you weren't in love with
Karl Popper states that the claims of psychoanalysis are not testable and that alone should
be reason enough for it to be deemed a pseudo science
There isn't much evidence of Freud doing this. Yes, the development
of psychoanalysis is partly due to him ruling out the effective use of hypnosis.
However he never really searched for other possible reasons why psychoanalysis
the time of Freud though, numerous studies have occurred. They conclude that
psychoanalysis therapy's efficiency is due to the school rather than the theory
of psychoanalysis itself (Psychotherapy: Theory, research, practice, training).
While a French study in 2004 states that psychoanalysis therapy is "far less
effective than other psychotherapies".
The main issue at hand though is, if
psychoanalysis is a pseudoscience rather than a legitimate psychological
theory, why is it taught in psychology classes as a theory? This fact in itself
must speak to some positive aspects of psychoanalysis.
my own experience, psychoanalysis was okay because of Freud's theories on catharsis.
Though these were mostly developed by his daughter, these ideas and theories are
more accepted in the world of psychology. However, they are also less well
known in the general public. Freudian Slips, Oedipus Complex- things of this
nature are practically legendary and yet are the most criticized aspects of
Freud's work. Perhaps this is due to the negative attention. Bringing up the question, should so much energy be put into falsifying things? Because perhaps doing
so will have the adverse affect.