mill5249: November 2011 Archives

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Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, is one of the most influential figures in psychology to this day. In 1885, he studied in pairs with neurologist Jean Charcot. Jean treated people who had a condition known as grande hysteria. It was a mental disorder, mostly in women, that caused one to experience physical symptoms such as seizures and paralyses of the arms and legs. Studies done on people with this condition came up empty. This then lead Freud to the conclusion that some mental disorders are produced by psychological factors rather than physiological factors. This idea was then named Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality. This theory consists of 3 main claims. These include Psychic Determinism, symbolic meaning, and unconscious motivations. First, psychic determinism is the idea that everything happens for a reason so to speak. That we don't have control over our actions. Freud said this happens because, "we are at the mercy of powerful inner forces that lie outside our awareness". The second claim of this theory, Symbolic meaning, is a strange concept to me. It states that an object has special symbolic meaning. An example out of the Lilienfield Text is that in class, a male professor breaks a long piece of chalk in two. This would then have a symbolic connection to something sexual in nature. The third claim is Unconscious Motivation. This states that we rarely understand why we do what we do even though we seem to make up an explanation for it almost instantaneously. Freud believes that there is an unconscious part of our personality in which we are completely unaware of that plays a much larger role in our personality then the smaller portion of the conscious part of personality which is the part we are aware of.

The Strange Situation

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Remember getting lost from your parents when you were little in a enormous store and panicking like hell? well, I do. Now I laugh at it. But back then it was pretty scary. When children are growing up they develop a great bond with their attachment figures, usually our mothers. Where when we get separation anxiety so to speak when we get separated from our mothers. There is a name for this. The Strange Situation is a major procedure in social development in infancy and childhood. The Strange Situation was established by a psychologist named Mary Ainsworth and her colleagues in 1978. They conducted an experiment involving an infant and her mother in a room filled with toys. The child plays with the toys for a certain amount of time until a stranger comes in. This is when the mother leaves and the separation anxiety kicks in. The child becomes uncomfortable and acts in 1 of 4 ways:

Secure attachment: the child becomes upset when it's mother leaves but then greets her with joy upon return.

Insecure-avoidant attachment: The child acts indifferent when it's mother leaves and shows little reaction on her return.

insecure-anxious attachment: The child acts in a panic when its mother leaves but then shows mixed-emotions upon return. Reaching for her yet squirming to get away at the same time.

disorganized attachment: The child acts with inconsistent and confused responses upon her mothers departure and return.

The following is a video showing the Strange Situation procedure in action. The baby portrays a secure attachment reaction when reunited with her mother.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by mill5249 in November 2011.

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