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Psychoanalytic theories

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What are two main psychoanalytic theories? What contributions have these theories made to the study of life span development? What are criticisms of psychoanalytic theories?

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This solution discusses the psychoanalytic theories of Freud and Erikson.

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Psychoanalytic theorists believe that behavior is a surface characteristic and to understand development, one must look at the symbolic meanings of behavior and the deep inner workings of the human mind and that our early experiences comprehensively shape our development. Psychoanalytic theories of development began with the work of Sigmund Freud, who believed that early childhood experiences had a lasting effect on the course of development. Freud's work was enormously influential and inspired other psychologists to expand upon his work and develop theories of their own. One of the most famous theorists influenced by Freud was Erik Erikson, whose eight-stage theory of human development remains one of the best-known psychological theories.

One psychoanalytic theory is Sigmund Freud's psychosexual theory. This theory contains five stages and hypothesizes that as a child grows up, the focus of pleasure and sexual impulses changes from the oral stage to the anal stage, then the phallic stage, the latency ...

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  • MA Education (Family and Community Services), Ashford University
  • B.A., Ashford University
  • A.S., Oklahoma State University
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