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Was Freud right?

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Old
03-21-2013, 10:00 AM
  #1
xX Hot Fuss
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Was Freud right?

I hope this belongs in the Science thread and not ze Lounge but i'm in a developmental psych class right now and Freud obviously pops up a lot. The father of modern Psychoanalysis is notorious for associated most things (if not everything) in regards to human behavior and decision making to sex in one way or another.

Specifics are easily available so i wont bother posting them but are human beings completely dominated by sexual desires and interactions? Even at the infantile level?

I've always been of the mind that Freud was a brilliant man but he "stuck to his guns" too much with his emphasis on sexual desires, even at the infantile level, influencing our adult behavior and characteristics. It seems that he is associating simple infant developments with sex simply because he wants to and not because those desires are actually there. In addition to that, he even goes as far to say that these subconscious "desires" influence our behavioral patterns as grown, fully mentally functional adults.

Personally i dont see how a baby having a passifier, or drinking milk from their bottle/mother's nipple qualifies as a sexual oral fixation. Nor do i see how how a little boy or girl learning to go to the bathroom can develop into a sexual satisfaction. In my opinion, Freud ignores that these are completely normal biological processes and necessities and instead associates them with very consequential sexual satisfactions.

I have a much stronger belief that our behavior is influenced by the classical and operant conditioning that we experience almost every day, as well as the Social Learning Theory.


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03-29-2013, 03:26 PM
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Well, some people are turned on by being urinated on and by dressing up like a child and being treated by one, so in one stretched out belief you could say everything you do is a ramification of sexual desires.

On the flip side, he wasn't called "Sigmund Fraud" for ***** and giggles.

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03-29-2013, 04:44 PM
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I did psychology at school. When we were introduced to Freud, I was a bit disturbed during being told about the oral fixation bit that I was sitting with my pen in my mouth. As I always do.

Much like with anything that I've done in psychology, I don't think there's one specific branch of thinking for each subject area that is the definitive answer for it. It's a combination of stuff. The same applies to Freud, for me.

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03-30-2013, 01:18 AM
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Faculty of Arts for a reason. Personally I preferred his daughters work.

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04-09-2013, 08:30 PM
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I'm convinced that the tripartite model of id-ego-superego, as well as his conceptions of sub- / unconscious life have some truth to them, just from my own experiences. I'm trying to think of an example but it's not coming at the moment. But most any time one is going through turmoil and it affects him or her in their day-to-day experiences is an example of some unconscious aspect to one's life.

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Faculty of Arts for a reason. Personally I preferred his daughters work.
Psychology is an art now? When did this happen?

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04-09-2013, 09:19 PM
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No.

To put it simply, sex is a large part of our psyche, but it's not the only part of it. To try and single out a single reason for our behaviour and thought processes just doesn't sound reasonable in any sense.

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04-09-2013, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Hippasus View Post
I'm convinced that the tripartite model of id-ego-superego, as well as his conceptions of sub- / unconscious life have some truth to them, just from my own experiences. I'm trying to think of an example but it's not coming at the moment. But most any time one is going through turmoil and it affects him or her in their day-to-day experiences is an example of some unconscious aspect to one's life.

Psychology is an art now? When did this happen?
Wow, really? Since forever, at most credible institutes?

I remember my first psych course. One had to participate in 5 studies to earn a small percentage of the overall grade (so studies only had students for partcipants). For my first one I had to play a video game and then answer questions in a survey. Naturally I had beer to go drink - seeing how it was my undergrad and all - so I just answered as quickly as possible. Some studies I deliberately skewed the results because I thought they were so dumb that I was pissed off my time was wasted. Anyways, I never actually bothered to follow up and read the actual publication, but I'm sure some silly touchy-feely post graduate extrapolated my entire emotional experience during the video game.

Seeing the lack of science yet?


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04-09-2013, 10:21 PM
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No.

To put it simply, sex is a large part of our psyche, but it's not the only part of it. To try and single out a single reason for our behaviour and thought processes just doesn't sound reasonable in any sense.
While I don't disagree with this, I will just add that, at the most basic level, we are simply carriers of instructions on how to make more copies of ourselves. Sex is obviously not the only thing guiding our conscious and subconscious decisions, but it's hard to argue against it being the most influential by a large margin. Almost a large enough margin to justify it being the sole underlying cause of our behaviour.

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04-09-2013, 10:48 PM
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While I don't disagree with this, I will just add that, at the most basic level, we are simply carriers of instructions on how to make more copies of ourselves. Sex is obviously not the only thing guiding our conscious and subconscious decisions, but it's hard to argue against it being the most influential by a large margin. Almost a large enough margin to justify it being the sole underlying cause of our behaviour.
So when Einstein spent the majority of his life on relativity, he was trying to get laid?


Poor ******* wasn't smart at all!

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04-10-2013, 12:16 AM
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So when Einstein spent the majority of his life on relativity, he was trying to get laid?


Poor ******* wasn't smart at all!


Touche.

It's too bad there aren't other species on the same level of sentience as we are to compare ourselves to.

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04-10-2013, 01:04 AM
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Freud did some important things. Primarily, he helped shed some light on the unconscious mind in a time when it was thought that all illnesses were physical. He was also important in a shift in ideas towards raising children, who prior were basically just treated as miniature adults.

But his overarching theme of sex isn't falsifiable and can just as easily be replaced with non-sexual theories.

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04-10-2013, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanwb View Post
While I don't disagree with this, I will just add that, at the most basic level, we are simply carriers of instructions on how to make more copies of ourselves. Sex is obviously not the only thing guiding our conscious and subconscious decisions, but it's hard to argue against it being the most influential by a large margin. Almost a large enough margin to justify it being the sole underlying cause of our behaviour.
I'd argue that survival is the single largest guider of our conscious and subconscious behavior, with sex a very close second. Everything else is a very distant third.

Our survival instinct has probably always been the largest driver of animal behavior, even ahead of reproduction.

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04-10-2013, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Leafsdude7 View Post
I'd argue that survival is the single largest guider of our conscious and subconscious behavior, with sex a very close second. Everything else is a very distant third.

Our survival instinct has probably always been the largest driver of animal behavior, even ahead of reproduction.
But isn't reproduction really just the ultimate form of survival? I mean, passing one's gene's on down the line is done to ensure survival of a species. The day-to-day aspect is infinitely more important on the short term, but reproduction is the ultimate goal for all lifeforms is it not?

**** you Freud.

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04-10-2013, 11:32 AM
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What's the facts? Are we not reproducing less in Western Societies? What does that indicate?

Now it's been a while but I believe members of a population adjusts the allocation of resources to either offspring or longevity based on the current environmental pressures. As an example, fruit flies under intense survival conditions will focus on asexual reproduction and will produce small, but less fit offspring. Under blooming conditions, members of the population would focus on fewer, but healthier offspring. Members tend to reproduce later in life and engage in sexual selection. These applications are found in all sorts of different species.


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04-10-2013, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanwb View Post
But isn't reproduction really just the ultimate form of survival? I mean, passing one's gene's on down the line is done to ensure survival of a species. The day-to-day aspect is infinitely more important on the short term, but reproduction is the ultimate goal for all lifeforms is it not?

**** you Freud.
Well, I just base it on observations of nature. Animals are more likely to run away in the face of danger than continue copulating in spite of. Sure, sex is an ultimate form of survival in the end, but in the moment, I still think our personal survival instincts out-weight our instincts to have sex.

But then, if your argument is sex is an ultimate form of survival, so the momentary survival is to allow for future sex, then I could also argue that sex being an ultimate form of survival suggests that survival is still the primary driver.

It becomes a chicken and egg situation.

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What's the facts? Are we not reproducing less in Western Societies? What does that indicate?
That we've figured out effective ways to have sex without it resulting in children?

To spell out what I'm trying to say explicitly, less children in Western Societies doesn't mean we're not still being driven by sex. We still have a lot of sex, and a lot of our social connections with each other are driven by sexual drive.


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04-10-2013, 12:50 PM
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Would an exception be the various species of arachnids and insects who are sexual cannibals?

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04-10-2013, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Leafsdude7 View Post
Well, I just base it on observations of nature. Animals are more likely to run away in the face of danger than continue copulating in spite of. Sure, sex is an ultimate form of survival in the end, but in the moment, I still think our personal survival instincts out-weight our instincts to have sex.

But then, if your argument is sex is an ultimate form of survival, so the momentary survival is to allow for future sex, then I could also argue that sex being an ultimate form of survival suggests that survival is still the primary driver.

It becomes a chicken and egg situation.



That we've figured out effective ways to have sex without it resulting in children?

To spell out what I'm trying to say explicitly, less children in Western Societies doesn't mean we're not still being driven by sex. We still have a lot of sex, and a lot of our social connections with each other are driven by sexual drive.
Vestigial traits that were once important for motivating reproduction. Because the act of sex is pleasurable and therefore a driver of human behavior, doesn't mean reproduction is a driver. In the context of reproduction (as opposed to intercourse frequency) I think the data has merit and is applicable. Otherwise we can debate sex addicts and the prude.


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04-11-2013, 09:30 PM
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If sex and-or survival are the primary drive, how does one explain self-sacrifice? Survival of the species, survival of an ideal?

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Wow, really? Since forever, at most credible institutes?

I remember my first psych course. One had to participate in 5 studies to earn a small percentage of the overall grade (so studies only had students for partcipants). For my first one I had to play a video game and then answer questions in a survey. Naturally I had beer to go drink - seeing how it was my undergrad and all - so I just answered as quickly as possible. Some studies I deliberately skewed the results because I thought they were so dumb that I was pissed off my time was wasted. Anyways, I never actually bothered to follow up and read the actual publication, but I'm sure some silly touchy-feely post graduate extrapolated my entire emotional experience during the video game.

Seeing the lack of science yet?
Your first psych course? It's an empirical science. Sciences can be hard or soft, natural or social--psychology falls under the latter, as do economics, sociology, anthropology, etc.

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04-11-2013, 10:22 PM
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If sex and-or survival are the primary drive, how does one explain self-sacrifice? Survival of the species, survival of an ideal?

Your first psych course? It's an empirical science. Sciences can be hard or soft, natural or social--psychology falls under the latter, as do economics, sociology, anthropology, etc.
Yes, first one. I believe some classes were under the faculty of science. I've never heard of economics being a science though. How do you test an entire economy? At least some psychology comes pretty close to eliminating variables and executing sound scientific method.


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04-12-2013, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippasus View Post
If sex and-or survival are the primary drive, how does one explain self-sacrifice? Survival of the species, survival of an ideal?
Exceptions?

Primary drive doesn't mean every situation will be driven by either/or. Some situations will result in the primary drives to be cancelled out by a secondary drive that is stronger in said situation, such as parental instincts that many species including our own have evolved. Many species will put themselves in harms way to save their offspring, so in situations where the offspring is threatened, the primary survival drive gets repressed by the secondary drive to protect the offspring.

This doesn't mean that survival isn't a primary driver of behavior in such species.

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04-12-2013, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
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Freud did some important things. Primarily, he helped shed some light on the unconscious mind in a time when it was thought that all illnesses were physical. He was also important in a shift in ideas towards raising children, who prior were basically just treated as miniature adults.

But his overarching theme of sex isn't falsifiable and can just as easily be replaced with non-sexual theories.
If I say 'everything in human life is based on sex', then someone else could come up with a counterexample and suggest an alternative theory. What I'm trying to suggest is that Freud's theory on the sex drive could be indirectly falsifiable as it still relates to empirical phenomena even though it may not be agreeable with quantifiable methods of testing by itself.

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Yes, first one. I believe some classes were under the faculty of science. I've never heard of economics being a science though. How do you test an entire economy? At least some psychology comes pretty close to eliminating variables and executing sound scientific method.
Stats and focus on methodology are the more conventionally scientific side of the social sciences. But it's debatable as to how much the social sciences should try to imitate the hard sciences because of grey areas, interpretive difficulties, etc. Human behavior isn't able to be put in a straitjacket as well as chemicals in a laboratory. They're still by-and large scientific though as far as I am aware.

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Exceptions?

Primary drive doesn't mean every situation will be driven by either/or. Some situations will result in the primary drives to be cancelled out by a secondary drive that is stronger in said situation, such as parental instincts that many species including our own have evolved. Many species will put themselves in harms way to save their offspring, so in situations where the offspring is threatened, the primary survival drive gets repressed by the secondary drive to protect the offspring.

This doesn't mean that survival isn't a primary driver of behavior in such species.
I think of primary drives differently. I think of it as a necessary basis of any more specific drives, such that all drives can be analyzed and revealed to be at bottom such-and-such a primary drive. Whether there even can be a primary drive in this strict sense is probably debatable as well.

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04-12-2013, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippasus View Post
I think of primary drives differently. I think of it as a necessary basis of any more specific drives, such that all drives can be analyzed and revealed to be at bottom such-and-such a primary drive. Whether there even can be a primary drive in this strict sense is probably debatable as well.
Indeed on the bolded. If that's your definition, I'd go further and bet that there absolutely is no primary drive at all. Too many factors, internal and external, can influence our behavior. To try and narrow it down to a single or small group of factors that drive every behavior would likely be impossible, even if true.

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04-12-2013, 08:34 PM
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I believe the working model for altruism is evolution and the social traits designed for communal survival, hence survival of the gene pool. Basically, we have vestigial traits that enable us to be a better social creature when community was absolutely necessary for survival. Just as depression is a product of failed social survival, altruism is a product of success. Obviously that's a gross over simplification to the mechanisms and academics, but you get the picture.

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04-14-2013, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
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Yes, first one. I believe some classes were under the faculty of science. I've never heard of economics being a science though. How do you test an entire economy? At least some psychology comes pretty close to eliminating variables and executing sound scientific method.
I misread post #7 when I quoted it. I thought you were using your knowledge from one course to debunk psych as a science. Whoops. Anyways, surveys and studies are going to have some tainted results, but the researchers account for things like that and take all results with a grain of salt.

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Indeed on the bolded. If that's your definition, I'd go further and bet that there absolutely is no primary drive at all. Too many factors, internal and external, can influence our behavior. To try and narrow it down to a single or small group of factors that drive every behavior would likely be impossible, even if true.
It's a tough nut to crack either way. Will to power? Will to goodness? Those seem better than just sex or survival but still a bit shaky.

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04-14-2013, 05:56 AM
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I'm not a Freud fan but I do respect the work that he and others have provided to advance psychology. In regards to his beliefs on actions being caused by a sexual basis is flawed simply by the fact that asexual people exist.

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