In our text, they introduce Sigmund Freud as the "founder of psychoanalysis and he concluded that many mental disorders were produced by psychological rather than physiological factors." The three core assumptions of Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory are:
- Psychic Determinism, which is the assumption that all psychological events have a cause.
- Symbolic Meaning, which is the idea that every action has a meaning.
- Unconscious Motivation, which is part of our personality of which we're entirely unaware.
Let's focus on the psychic determinism aspect of the theory. Freud claimed that "we aren't free to choose our actions because we're at the mercy of powerful inner forces that lie outside of our awareness" (Lilienfeld, 2010). When referring to psychic determinism, we must also look at Freud's Structure of Personality which involves the id, ego, and superego. The id refers to "our most primitive impulses that provide the driving force of our behavior" (Lilienfeld, 2010). This basically states that we never are in total control of our decisions. So if you happen to go through a tough break up with lots of arguing and the other can't explain why they chose to be single rather than with you, maybe they really don't know the reason. Modern theories argue this theory because it is difficult to falsify, but it is still an important aspect of psychology because Freud was the first expert to propose that our actions may be an effect of inner reasons that we are unaware of.