Father of Psychology

According to the film, why is Sigmund Freud given the title Father of Psychology? Does he deserve to be remembered as one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century? Why or why not? For a person like myself, who doesn’t know a lot about psychology, the only ideas that I can mention from that field, I have realized, were developed by Freud. For me, that justifies his claimed position as the father of Psychology. A father is one who brings up his son or daughter, teaches them the important lessons of life, etc.

Similarly, Freud lay out the groundwork for his field, and came up with the guidelines that his “child” should follow. It is not only his ideas that justifies such a position, but also the approach that he used to support his ideas. Using a more “scientific” method to establish his ideas, and appealing to intuition, he gave way to clinical psychology. The applications of psychology toady, it appears, are widespread, and in much use, for example, to analyze criminal minds, thus preventing them from committing new crimes.

More and more people also claim to be depressed in these days, therefore a tool such as psychology that can alleviate such feelings are very useful. Since Psychology is in great use today, and Sigmund Freud to a large extent is the man behind it, he deserves a position in the hall of fame of influential thinkers. The validity of psychology is, however, not proved, and Freud’s ideas may therefore at some point be discredited, thus leaving only a temporary impact on the world. In that case, it could be argued that he should be left out of the hall of fame.

Lastly, most people probably do not consider such questions, which indicates that his influence is limited and that his impact on society isn’t as huge, which also puts a deterrent on his chances of being accepted into the hall of fame. Using the van de Lagemaat book, what are some of the problems with human science techniques/research methods, etc… and can you apply this to some of Freud’s technique and research? The problem of inaccuracy is one faced by all sciences, but at different degrees.

While “hard” subjects, such as math are considered fairly accurate and objective, the “softer” the science becomes, the less accurate it becomes, it seems. While mathematical equations find their force in being able to isolate single factors, human sciences face problems already at this stage. Bearing the name of science, it is required that it follows the scientific method, and uses an approach in which only one factor is changed, ceteris paribus, in order to see the impact on a dependent variable.

The reliability of the drawn conclusions depend on the extent to which the mentioned procedure can be carried to such a degree of certainty. In the Lagemaat book, however, it is argued that human sciences, including psychology, face many problems on those grounds. Observation of the variables cannot take place at this level of science, Lagemaat says, without the observer interfering with the results. Freud, it was mentioned in the movie, actually made his hysterical test subject claim false things (They were victims of rape, incest, etc. ), by simply talking to them.

In order to analyze a mind, Freud actually distorted that mind: a kind of observer effect. Dealing with human beings, which is indeed a very complex task, doesn’t minimize the problems associated with the human sciences. Those “creatures” do not seem to be universal in neither physical nor mental terms. Establishing universal laws for something that is not universal seem to be contradictory. But still, maybe the forces governing our behavior is universal: It becomes a discussion of free will vs. determinism. The problem is that we cannot know for sure with the method of inductive reasoning that human sciences applies.

Lagemaat points to some of the weaknesses with the application of the scientific method within the human sciences, hereunder psychology. Measuring the observed is another problem, because, at least for psychology, thoughts are hard to quantify. The death wish might exist, but if it is only decisive for behavior a minute fraction of the time, then maybe it is not significant. All the different knowledge inputs that we receive will have to be filtered somehow, because too much useless knowledge makes living an inefficient process.

Some people with amazing memory skills, I once saw in a TV interview, actually wanted to get rid of their skills because ideas and irrelevant memories kept popping up in their mind, making it hard to focus on one thing which might require intense concentration. In any case, a piece of knowledge that only applies very rarely is not useful, and replacing it with something more useful might benefit the person more. Concluding upon experiments that face these problems certainly doesn’t seem to justify the truth entirely, and that is not improved if one takes a closer look at the nature of conclusions one can make.

Bias in whatever form it might can take can influence the findings a lot. Similarly to stereotypes, one might only look for things that confirms one’s theory. In addition to this one might be able to explain any kind of behavior in terms of one’s proposed theory, and explaining everything might be its weakness. Freud might be able to “prove” his theory despite of contradictory evidence. Freud would, for example be able to explain with the same reason why a man either saves a drowning child or not, using his theory about the death wish: A man crosses a bridge, unconsciously wanting to die.

Suddenly he hears a mother crying because her child has fallen into the roaring water. The man can either jump into the water or not. If he jumps into the water Freud would say: “Ah, he’s is unconsciously driven by a force leading him to death, because it is obvious that he will die if he jumps into the water to save the child. ” If the man doesn’t jump into the water Freud would say: “Ah, this man has a death wish, because he refuses to embrace life by saving the dying child.

” As Freud has suggested with his numerous ideas, there are incredible many factors governing human behavior: an almost chaotic pool of x and y’s affecting humans. Therefore it is hard to isolate one single factor, and hard to predict to what extent that factor will have an effect. Hence the problem of Freud’s ideas are that they cannot be known for sure to be true, and even if they are true, they are hard to use correctly since their quantity and potential effect is hard to ascertain and predict.

Why are human sciences considered “soft” subjects while natural sciences are considered “hard” subjects? The use of the words “hard” and “soft” in regard to the various sciences implies that a hierarchy exists. Whether this is justified or not is another case. The parameters that are used to place the sciences in the hierarchy, with the soft being below the hard, have their roots in how reliable and useful the knowledge is. Reliability, as was discussed earlier, depends on how well each of the steps in the scientific method can be carried out and to a satisfactory extent.

The difference between the two are marked by differences in objectivity contra subjectivity. While the hard sciences typically entertains itself with the nature of external things, such as motion, structures, reactions, etc. that are somewhat perceivable, and therefore disassociated from intuition, soft sciences’ focus are directed inwards at things that cannot at this point be perceived inherently. It is possible to observe “hard” objects, such as chemical reactions, but not “soft” objects, such as “the invisible hand” in economics.

Some might say that it is not possible to observe such things as atoms within the “hard” spectrum, but while deductive reasoning and indirect measurements provide support for that theory, soft sciences find it harder to use deductive reasoning and often lack tools to measure a certain “force. ” The difference between the hard and soft sciences can be summed up using key words, such as reliability, ability to be perceived or measured, to what extent the scientific method can be applied, etc. One day, perhaps it will might be possible to quantify thoughts using MRI or something similar. In that case, psychology might become a little bit harder.

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