Psychodynamic Approach To Social Psychology

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Psychopathology
Psychopathology is simply known as the study of mental illness. A mental illness is usually diagnosed when an individual is failing to function adequately and displaying abnormal behaviour. However, it has proven difficult over time for psychologists to rightly define what abnormal behaviour is and what isn’t. Likewise, the definition of an abnormality most likely depends on deviation from social norms in which the individual’s behaviour violates ‘unwritten’ rules within the social group and is seen as not socially acceptable. It is always worth noting that certain acts which may be acceptable in one social group can be completely unacceptable within another social group, different cultural and societal norms around the world
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Rather than focusing on biological factors, psychoanalytic psychologists believed that mental disorders were the result of psychological factors instead. The approach is based on the concept that an individual’s behaviour is the result of an underlying conflict in childhood which drives people to behave or act in the way they do. These unresolved conflicts are a direct result of one’s personality structure, which Sigmund Freud (1859-1939) identified as being the id, ego and superego. The id is the primitive and impulsive system of the psyche and is driven by the pleasure principle, while the ego is based on reason and is driven by the reality principle. Freud also recognised the superego, which embodies our sense of right and wrong and strives by the moral principle. With each structure aiming to fulfil their own purpose, this then results in a conflict that the ego must try to appease to. But through this anxiety, the ego employs its own defence mechanisms such as repression, denial, dissociation etc. These defence mechanisms then result in the abnormalities the individual is …show more content…
He stresses that negative schemas- such as ones regarding an individual’s perception of themselves, their future and the world- can all affect someone’s susceptibility to mental disorders and atypical behaviour. He later identified the ‘negative cognitive triad’ as being a cycle of thinking patterns that some individuals may find themselves trapped in, this cycle results in the individuals perceptions, thoughts and realities becoming affected as their negative thoughts become more obsessive. The negative triad can be shown in figure 1

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