PSC 1 Lecture 2: Lecture 2: Scientific Method; Evolution and Behavior

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8 Jun 2018
Lecture 2: Scientific Method; Evolution and Behavior
Sigmund Freud
o Key to mental health is the 'ego'. We get psychopathology when too much of
unconscious conflict and ego gets exhausted and breaks down.
o Seduction theory (abandoned)
Children get abused when they are little and get PTSD from that
o Inner conflict and repression
Id has these urges that super ego tries to repress which causes conflict
o Defense mechanisms that people deploy to deal with conflict
Reaction formation
o Conflict from repression of sexual urges is universal
o Psychopathology occurs when conflict exceeds ego strength
o To get back into better health, we need to go under psychoanalysis. The expert is
going to help the patient explore the inner workings of unconsciousness.
o Bringing the source of inner conflict into consciousness eliminates its power
o Eliminating unconsciousness conflict produces mental health
o Model: Sexual urge --> Conflict --> Anxiety --> Psychopathology
o Unconsciousness conflict is the sole reason of Psychopathology
Problems with the Psychodynamic approach: Falsifiability
o It's not falsifiable, not subject to test by observation
Dreams: wish fulfillment of Id through them
Freud: dreams represent wish fulfillment
Critics: what about nightmares?
Freud: nightmares represent the wish that my theory be proven wrong
Freud: all symptoms reflect unresolved sexual conflict
Rat man (patient of Freud who suffered from rat nightmares) : I'm still
Freud: patient is in denial
Expression of Oedipal complex
Tells people to believe him instead of their own observations
o Failure to consider alternate hypothesis
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All psychopathology is caused by repressed sexual urges
Critics "what about PTSD?"
Freud said that 'sexual arousal' includes arousal of 'narcissistic' and self
preservation instinct.
"Mechanical concussion must be recognised as one of the sources of sexual
excitation. "
o The effectiveness problem
If psychodynamic theory is correct then psychoanalysis is necessary and most
But: cognitive-behavioral approaches are superior in treatment of a variety of
Means that there are others things that work better than psychoanalysis.
i.e. disorders are cured without removal of the hypothetical source of
unconscious conflict.
Scientific method:
o Observe
o Hypothesize
Hypotheses and theories:
Must explain observations
Must generate predications
Must predict what will happen and what will not happen
Good scientists make alternative hypotheses fight
E.g. Goldberger and Pellagra
Pellagra: Fatal disease where body falls apart.
Goldberger's question was: What causes pellagra?
Hypo 1: bad sanitation
Good sanitation--> No pellagra
Bad sanitation--> Pellagra
Hypo 2: Bad diet
Is it sanitation or diet?
Method 1: Subjects Eat
Scales from sores
No sickness
Method 2:
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