Module 1 Discussion

Module 1 Discussion

There are a number of differences between both psychodynamic and social approaches in understanding what causes abnormal behavior. Thanks to psychologist Sigmund Freud, we are able to even have a psychodynamic approach in that he created this form of psychology. A psychodynamic approach focuses more on the unconscious and tries to look at the conscious in order to explain why a person is a way they are. Freud described the importance for a person to discover their unconscious motives because if left unattended it could relate to abnormal behavior. On the other hand, a social approach focuses on a person’s upbringing and childhood. For instance, a person is more likely to have abnormal behavior if they have gone through rough events in their childhood causing them to grow up with behaviors like anxiety and depression.

In regards to the psychodynamic approach in understanding abnormal behavior, Sigmund Freud is the first psychologist who created the idea of psychodynamic and psychoanalysis. The psychodynamic approach deals with a person’s unconscious mind which according to Freud, is where the true behavior lies. Freud deems it that it is important for a person to understand their unconscious drives and bring them out into the conscious. Freud developed a way for people to freely and openly tap into their unconscious and bring them out into the open and he called it psychoanalysis. If a person is not able to have an understanding of what lies in their unconscious, then according to Freud, “it may lead to irrational and maladaptive behavior” (Hooley et al. (2017).

On the other hand, look through a social approach to understanding what causes abnormal behaviors look at a different viewpoint. In this approach, psychologists look at what happened during a person’s childhood and what kind of events occurred to make them resort to certain abnormal behaviors. These behaviors or mental disorders can include, anxiety and depression as a result of “uncontrollable and unpredictable frightening events” which can have negative effects on a child’s development (Hooley et al. (2017). For example, abuse from the parents, whether verbal or physical, can not only leave the child scarred but these events may trigger their brains to develop an abnormal way to cope with such events (i.e. anxiety). Negative social factors are considered environmental influences in a person’s behavior in that it “can negatively affect a person psychologically, making him or her less resourceful in coping with events” (Hooely et al. 2017).

In conclusion, there are several different theoretical approaches that try to define and understand where abnormal behavior comes from. Thanks to Freud, psychoanalysis is able to have a person dig deep into their unconscious and let them out to be understood. If not, then there leaves a risk for abnormal development in behaviors because the person does not know what is their true identity and they feel something is missing. On the other hand, the psychosocial aspect takes a look at how a person was raised and what kind of events they were put through in their childhood. If a child is put through constant negative factors their brains begin to develop negative behaviors and disorders in order to cope with the stress.


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