Evaluation of Psychoanalysis as a Form of Therapy

Brief Introduction

From looking into the psychodynamic approach, the unconscious mind is predominately thought to be the influence on behavior (Silverman, 2017). The unconscious mind is fully responsible for the feelings, thoughts, urges and specific memories in which our body is not fully aware of it (Karbelnig, 2019). In most cases, the unconscious mind can involve a pleasant or unpleasant memory. Individuals can develop defense mechanisms to erase the memories to protect themselves from re-experiencing the event. These defense mechanisms can reduce stress, anxiety and any internal conflict. 

Literature Review

A review of literature, Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, developed the psychoanalytic theory (Silverman, 2017). Freud believed that the conscious mind and unconscious mind is thought to be the influence on behavior (Silverman, 2017). The five major components that are associated with the theory are: (1) motivation and behavior, (2) domains of consciousness, (3) the structure of personality, (4) stages of development, and (5) defense mechanisms. Expansion for this theory includes the object relations theory and ego psychology.

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For motivation and behavior, Freud simply believed that all behaviors had some type of meaning/purpose behind it. Unconscious, multiply determined and drives are some examples that correspond with motivation and behavior. For domains of consciousness, Freud believed that the human mind resembles an iceberg. Examples under this component consist of conscious processes and the preconscious. For the structure of personality, this component will be later analyzed in this theory discussion. For stages of development, Freud believed that five crucial stages immediately begin at infancy through adolescence with the major focus on the first five or six years of life. Examples include the oral, anal, phallic, latent and genital stages (Silverman, 2017). For defense mechanisms, Freud believed that individuals can overcome their challenges by operating towards an unconscious level that will help uplift those unpleasant feelings and anxieties.

Freud strongly believed that the human mind consisted of three separate elements which are the id, the ego, and the superego. Firstly, the id is the personality module which is made up of unconscious energy in which individuals can simply satisfy urges, needs, and desires. For example, a client from a hostile childhood may carry over the abusive traits from his father towards his relationships with his peers. Abusive people often show kindness and anger in which a client demonstrates with his peers by complimenting them first and later then saying something derogatory according to the pleasure principle (Silverman, 2017).

 Secondly, the ego is primarily responsible for the correlation of the id, the superego and the reality within an individual’s personality. The ego doesn’t allow individuals from acting on specific urges but does allow individuals to accomplish the equilibrium between morals and idealistic principles. For example, a client’s impulsive behaviors can be ways to be rebellious against all authoritative figures. The power struggle between a client and an authoritative figure proves that they are recklessness and anti-authority mindset. The client wants to be in control but they are not able to.

Lastly, superego is the module within an individual’s personality in which they learn mostly from parents and society. The superego wants to conceal the urges from urges of the id to make the ego perform morally rather than realistically. For example, a client that comes from a hostile childhood environment can represent himself as a criminal and a bad boy image to look tough towards others. Over the years, this client will developed defense mechanisms to erase the painful memories to protect themselves from re-experiencing those abusive events. 


Psychoanalysis is the most serious form of an approach to the treatment of psychodynamic therapy. The reason for psychodynamic therapy is to bring up unconscious material and to process it fully to consciousness. The psychodynamic approach can be used as an example of eating disorders in adolescents (Latzer and Stein, 2016). Eating disorders within adolescents can have long-term correlation effects with personality disorders rather than the eating disorder itself. The keenness for relationships, isolation, the opinions from others and anxiety are some examples that adolescents experience which results in their eating disorders (Latzer and Stein, 2016). Eating disorders do not start in adolescent but they do start early in childhood with the lack of relationships with others. To solve this problem, psychologists can use psychoanalysis which is the most serious form of an approach to the treatment of psychodynamic therapy.

Client Populations

The debate to practice psychoanalysis serves as an appropriate function of social work remains as a contentious question regardless of the evidence that much of the psychoanalysis in this nation is widely used by social workers. Psychoanalysis is the most serious form of an approach to the treatment of psychodynamic therapy. The most common techniques that are used throughout psychodynamic therapy are free association, dream interpretation and observing resistance and transference while engaging through a client’s severe memories and/or strenuous issues to develop healthy therapeutic relationships.

For example, it can be used to analyze the verbal and physical abuse that a client experienced throughout his life. The psychological abuse towards a client can have long-term correlation effects especially with conduct and depressive disorders. The keenness for having relationships, isolation, the negative opinions from others and anxiety are some examples that a client could experience. Establishing a strong therapeutic relationship with that client is a major component to understand while working through these difficult challenges that they have experienced in their lifetime.

Theoretical Strength(s)

Despite receiving a great quantity of criticism from others, there are some strengths within Freud’s theories. Freud’s theories of psychodynamic thinking heavily contributed to experimental psychology and were an influence on other great psychodynamic thinkers including Eric Erickson. In addition to Freud’s five psychosexual stages, Erickson created eight more psychosocial stages based on the entire life rather than just after puberty. Erickson shared Freud’s philosophy about human development that he accepted the id, ego, and superego of the personality. The human development process requires the resolution of stage-specific conflicts and that early developmental experiences have a substantial impact on later development. For an example, in a client’s oral stage, psychoanalytic theory can accurately explain that he did not get enough sucking activities in which can explain mistrust and rejecting of others due to their unfriendly and uncaring environment during his childhood.

Theoretical Criticism(s)

During and after the development of the psychoanalytic theory, Freud received numerous amounts of criticisms of which many believed that Freud’s theories were overstressed about the unconscious mind, sex, aggression and personal childhood experiences (Breger, 2012). For example, psychoanalysis resorts heavily on the social worker’s interpretation of what the patient may perceive. According to Freud, a client’s reaction to the social worker proposed interpretation can be acceptable. If the client openly accepts the interpretation, then it is most likely correct. If the client rejected the social worker’s interpretation, they may be resistant due to their conscious mind to an unacceptable but some accurate interpretation by the social worker. The conflict with this scenario demonstrates the social worker as winning both ways due to the client’s acceptance or denial of an interpretation as authenticating evidence that the interpretation is right.

Taking this approach with a client can also be very time consuming due to their compliance with opening up about their past. According to Freud, “the patient attempts to escape by every possible means. First, he says nothing comes into his head, then that so much comes into his head that he can’t grasp any of it. At last, he admits that he really cannot say anything, he is ashamed to. So goes on, with untold variations” (Madison, 1961, p. 50).


The psychoanalytic theory does account of the influence of social privileges and social oppressions (Tummala-Narra, 2016). The investigation of social privileges and social oppressions involves a strong rapport transformation from the client and the social worker. The psychoanalytic can focus primarily on transference, counter-transference and the continuous patterns that serve the investigation of social privileges and social oppressions (Tummala-Narra, 2016). For example, a social worker may open up their true perceptions about stereotypes and assumptions conniving towards a client’s personal experience of oppression. Therefore, it is the social worker’s responsibility to note and justify the client’s personal experiences of oppression on a routine basis. In some cases, this strategy can help implicit the role of social justice in psychoanalytic therapy.

A social worker who holds a minority title and a majority status in regards to a particular race, religion, culture, political view or social class who acknowledge their backgrounds of oppression may positively affect their rapport with clients (Tummala-Narra, 2016). The psychoanalytic theory can also be beneficial while discussing the numerous forms of social privileges and social oppressions witnessed by individuals and families. For example, the social worker may want to analyze how a client may have witnessed racism in one situation and ableism in a different situation and how did the client accommodate these experiences.

With the right social worker and/or possible wraparound services, a client has the opportunity to change despite all the verbal and physical abuse that they have experienced throughout their lifetime. It is the social workers’ responsibility into learning more information about the client’s story which will allow the proper knowledge to understand and appreciate this vulnerable population. It is the social workers’ responsibility to create enhancement/maintenance tools to stabilize our clients physically, psychologically and socially into assisting them back into society. Every day our clients go through numerous difficult obstacles from society including making a healthy lifestyle, going to school and keeping up with societal demands. We need to feel our clients as if we are them and picture ourselves in their shoes to know exactly how they live.


Breger, L. (2012). Freud: Darkness and Vision. Psychodynamic Psychiatry,40(2), 211-242. doi:10.1521/pdps.2012.40.2.211

Karbelnig, A. M. (2019). The theater of the unconscious mind. Psychoanalytic Psychology. doi:10.1037/pap0000251

Latzer, Y., & Stein, D. (2016). Bio-Psycho-Social Contributions to Understanding Eating Disorders. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-32742-6

Madison, P. (1961). Chapter IV: Resistance. In Freud’s concept of repression and defense: Its theoretical and observational language (p. 50). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Silverman, M. A. (2017). On the Birth and Development of Psychoanalytic Field Theory, Part 1. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly,86(3), 699-727. doi:10.1002/psaq.12164

Tummala-Narra, P. (n.d.). Cultural competence from a psychoanalytic perspective. Psychoanalytic Theory and Cultural Competence in Psychotherapy.,63-84. doi:10.1037/14800-004


Criticisms and Strengths of Psychoanalysis

Freud’s psychoanalysis was many of the theories today. Many of his basic concepts are still part of the fundamental resource on which other theories develop (Gerald Corey, 2005). Many of the theorists refer Freud theory to develop new theory, it just like a fundamental resources. However, we cannot follow blindly toward psychoanalysis theory due to nowadays many researchers found out that there are some criticism and strengths of the psychoanalysis theory.

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There are some criticisms that some of the research found out that is Freudians have commonly forgotten that each individual is also a member of the human race, different people have different physiological and biological process and different life experiences. (Solomon; Meyer, 1914). Its means that if the patient said something that the Freudian is not agree, the Freudian will said you are denial and repression, it actually will hurt the patients who are really said the truth. They are forcing the patient to change their unconscious mind to conscious. To change the unconscious mind Freudian believe that in the rigorous application of the theories of the conservation and transformation of mental energy (as mental energy) is very effective (Solomon; Meyer, 1914).
The second criticism is psychoanalysis is too focusing on childhood experience. In viewing mental tendencies and activities from this standpoint we must include not only our infantile but also our phylogenetic and ontogenetic (Solomon; Meyer, 1914). It means that our population and our life span development, the environment factors and cultural factors will also affect our development. For example, psychoanalysis said that the oral stage if the infant did not get enough sucking activities he or she will develop mistrust of others and rejecting others but it actually change be change if the baby develop in a very friendly and caring environment.
The third is dream analysis, everyone dream is same dream with Freud, therefore, the objects illustrated in Freud dream does not means others will same as well. It is because the formation of dream is mental make-up of our life experiences in the interpretation of certain sensory experiences and in directing the trend and content of our ideas (Solomon; Meyer, 1914). Actually we cannot prove that the symbol in dream that Freud said represent something of the reality. Why should a screw driver in dream represent penis in reality? On the other hand, it said that dream is about “wish-fulfillment” even in a broad sense, does not adequately describe the tendency of dream (Solomon; Meyer, 1914).
According to Dr. Putnam says about the value and the significance of vague longings and surging, which, even though never cultivated; also that the materials utilized to reconstruct the history of the emotional life need not necessarily consist of actual experiences, but may also consist of imagined experiences which have the form and value of actual experiences and that even the possible falsifications and elaborations during the course of a psychoanalysis have a real meaning (Solomon; Meyer, 1914). It shows that in psychoanalysis some of the facts may just an imagination and falsification.
The psychoanalysis theory also has some strengths side of it. We have to thank for the Freud Psychoanalysis theory because it act as a reference for other theorists. A good theory should be argued and it helps to develop ideas and lead to new theories as well as applicable to other field (Kristen, Northwestern University). Freud theory has fulfilled many of the criteria stated by Kristen. For example, Carl Jung refers Freud theory to develop his analytical therapy.
The consistency of Freud psychoanalysis theory is still using until the twenty-first century for the patients suffering from mental illness (Kristen, Northwestern University). It means that Freud theory is very applicable for many setting such as institutes, organizations and hospitals. For instance, patient may feel about work stress and it affect the daily their performance in the organization, psychoanalysis may help the patient develop more ego in the structure of personality.
Psychoanalysis theory helps many health professional to understand about human minds and inner working, phenomena that previously cannot be evaluated. Freud’s psychoanalysis approaches for psychological treatment nowadays are commonly developed in the world (Farrell, 1981). It show that Freud theory actually can be apply to a wide range of people.
The psychosexual in psychoanalysis and Erikson’s psychosocial factors providing complete stages of a human development turning point (Gerald Corey, 2005). It helps therapists can search the patient problems from the patients childhood until it become adult. It seems like systematic way to study about patients problems. For example, a patient which has too much of aggression, it may because of the development of Anal stage is being threatened.
Criticism of analytical psychotherapy (Carl Jung)
Carl Jung has develops a theory of personality that was totally different with Freud Psychoanalysis. Jung’s analytical psychology is an elaborate explanation of human nature that combines ideas from history, mythology, anthropology and religion (Schultz & Schultz, 2001). In Analytical Psychotherapy is still not perfect and it contains some criticism, but it also has its own strengths and contribution to the society.
One of the criticism is that analytical psychotherapy is like a religion worship, according to McGowan(1974), in What’s Wrong With Jung, examines the lack of proof and scientific research in Jungian psychology. Analytical Psychotherapy is like cult-like aspects, its religious overtones, and the prejudices of Jung himself (Ziff; Katherine, 2000).
Another criticism is in research and proof. McGowan (1994) notes that Jung was unconcerned with proving any of his ideas. All his theory was built by self-evident and his personal experiences. Jung’s theory was not proven by any scientific evident. For example, he said that the shadow has the deepest roots and is the most dangerous and powerful of the archetypes (Gerald Corey, 2005). The shadow has the deepest roots, this evident is cannot prove by the scientific method because it is a mythology.
Nowadays, different people will have different religion as in analytical theory is not suitable to people today. Jung had family roots and deep interest in Germanic Volk mythology with its emphasis on transcendent spirituality and pantheistic beliefs (Ziff, Katherine, 2000). The religion view of Jung century may have different with the religion view nowadays. Besides that, Jung European religion that means it may be cannot apply on eastern countries which have different religion of view.
Jung theory is not realistic to the world. According to Noll, he maintained that Jung meant his method of analysis to be means for direct experience of God and a means of spiritual redemption for individuals as well as mankind (Noll, 1997). Jung theory cannot apply towards Islam religion because when Jung doing his research for world religions of the world for ideas he had ignore the Islam religion (McGowan, 1994).
While Analytical psychotherapy also contains it advantage such as Carl Jung had made a big impact of generating in rating researches. His theory based on classification and typology, helps in defining the attitude and function of people and bringing moderation of rating in most of the researches such as Myers-Briggs Type indicator (Gregory, 2006).
Jung’s personality theory brought out a new dimension in creating personality theory known as collective unconscious (Gregory, 2006). He helps in broadening the scope of personality theory. Even though his theory related to occult and mystical but his other theory, such as collective unconscious helps in suggestion more ways analyse a person’s personality. Jung’s theory able assists those who had trauma by identifying their cultural myth and legends.
As conclusion, both theories contain it strengths and weaknesses. On the other hand we should thanks about these theories help people solve so many problems as bring the unconscious mind to conscious.

A comparison between Psychoanalysis and Behaviorism

Psychology is a very old science and has existed from very ancient times of human history. Times to time new theories have emerged due to the dissatisfaction of the older definitions. As an outcome, each and every “system” of psychology has different motives and differing perspectives on what is fact or fiction. Therefore, the using of differing research methods, techniques and goals defines what each system views as the truth. This will be examined through the examples of Behaviorism and Psychoanalysis, two different systems of psychology.

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Behaviorism and Psychoanalysis both evolved out of unique social and intellectual contexts. Psychoanalysis, arguably the most influential system of psychology was pioneered by Sigmund Freud in Vienna during the 19th century. During this time various social trends were in operation. These were the creation of the German School, anti-Semitism and the role of women in society. All of these aspects impacted Freud for instance, the German school provided the basis for his treatment situation and anti-Semitic policies forced him into the medical profession. Freud was also influenced by several significant individuals Josef Breuer, Jean-Martin Charcot and Rudolf Chrobak. All three of these intellectuals had radical views about the role of sex in neurotic disorders, for example Breuer once said that “neurotic disorders were always concerned with secrets of the marital bed”. These views influenced Freud as did Breuer’s former patient Anna O. Through his sessions with her he developed free association one of the main factor of psychoanalysis. Freud compared the human personality to an iceberg. The small part that shows above the surface of the water represents conscious experience; the much larger mass below the water level represents the unconscious – a storehouse of impulses, passions, and inaccessible memories that affect our thoughts and behaviour. It is this portion of the mind that Freud sought to explore with the use of free association.
Freud also believed that personality was composed of three major systems: the id, the ego and the superego. Each system has its own functions but the three interact to govern behaviour.
(a) The id
The id is the most primitive part of the personality and the first to develop. It is present in the newborn infant. It is located in the unconscious and it is from the id that the ego and the superego later develop.
The id consists of the basic biological impulses (or drives): the need to eat, drink, eliminate wastes, avoid pain and gain sexual pleasure. Freud also believed that aggression was a basic biological drive.
The id seeks immediate gratification of these impulses. Like a young child, the id operates on the pleasure principle : it endeavours to avoid pain and obtain pleasure regardless of the external circumstances.
(b) The ego
As the child develops it learns that their impulses cannot always be immediately gratified. Some must be delayed (for example, hunger must wait until someone provides food) and some (for example, hitting someone) may be punished.
A new part of the personality, the ego, develops as the young child learns to consider the demands of reality. The ego constitutes our conscious self and obeys the reality principle : It is essentially the part of personality that decides what actions are appropriate and which id impulses will be satisfied in what manner. The ego mediates among the demands of the id, the realities of the world and the demands of the superego.
(c) The superego
The superego, is the internalised representation of the values and morals of society as taught to the child by the parents and others. It is essentially the individuals conscience. The superego decides whether an action is right or wrong. Initially, parents control a child’s behaviour directly by reward and punishment. Through the incorporation of parental standards into the superego, behaviour is brought under self-control. The superego develops in response to parental rewards and punishments.
In summary, the id seeks pleasure, the ego tests reality and mediates, the superego constrains and strives for perfection. Not surprisingly, the three components of personality are in constant conflict: the ego postpones the gratification the id wants immediately and the superego battles with both because behaviour often falls short of the moral code it represents. In order to deal with this conflict, the ego develops a series of defence mechanisms which allow it to protect itself from the pressures of the id, the real world and the superego. Examples are:

Repression – burying a memory so thoroughly that it is not recalled at all – “it never happened”.
Projection – attributing own unwanted “bad” feelings or ideas to another person.
Rationalisation – making up a reasonable excuse for unacceptable behaviour and really believing it.
Suppression – forgetting a shocking event on purpose: (consciously in this case) putting it out of one’s mind.
Denial – refusing to acknowledge something because it is so distressing.
Displacement – transferring feelings from one person or object to another.
Identification – imitating someone who is admired and modelling oneself on them.
Reaction-Formation – consciously substituting the opposite emotion for true feelings about someone/something.

Freud believed that conflict is inevitable and all behaviour is a compromise. Conflict is the primary cause of human anxiety and unhappiness. Defence mechanisms are one way we have of dealing with our inner conflict; neurotic symptoms and dreaming are the other major forms of compromise.
Freud believed that the individual, during the first five years of life, progresses through several developmental stages that affect personality. Applying a broad definition of sexuality, he called these periods psychosexual stages. During each stage, the pleasure-seeking impulses of the id focus on, and derive pleasure from, a particular area of the body and on activities connected with that area.
Freud called the first year of life the oral stage of psychosexual development. During this period, infants derive pleasure from nursing and sucking; in fact, they will put anything they can reach into their mouth.
During the second year of life, the anal stage, as children have their first experience with imposed control in the form of their toilet training.
In the phallic stage, from about age 3 to age 6, children focus on their genitals. They observe the differences between males and females and may direct their awakening sexual impulses toward the parent of the opposite sex. It is at this stage that children have to resolve the Oedipus and Electra complexes.
A latency period follows the end of the phallic stage, during which children become less concerned with their bodies and turn their attention to the skills needed for coping with the environment.
The last stage, the genital stage, occurs during adolescence, during which young people begin to turn their sexual interests toward others and to love in a more mature way.
Freud felt that special problems at any stage could arrest (or fixate) development and have a lasting effect on the individual’s personality. The libido would remain attached to the activities appropriate for that stage. Thus a person who was weaned very early and did not have enough sucking pleasure might become fixated at the oral stage. As an adult, this person may be excessively dependent on others and overly fond of such oral pleasures as eating, drinking and smoking. Such a person is called an “oral” personality. The person fixated at the anal stage of psychosexual development may be abnormally concerned with cleanliness, orderliness, and saving.
Later psychoanalysts felt that Freud placed too much emphasis on the instinctive and biological aspects of personality and failed to recognise that people are products of the society in which they live. The neo-Freudians including Alfred Adler, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, Carl Jung and Harry Stack Sullivan, considered personality to be shaped more by the people, society, and culture surrounding the individual than by biological needs. They placed less emphasis on the controlling power of the unconscious, believing that people are more rational in their planning and decisions than Freud thought. Although psychoanalysis has exerted a powerful influence on our thinking about human nature, it has been seriously questioned as a scientific theory.
Freud’s constructs are ambiguous and difficult to define. He does not specify, for example, what behaviours indicate that a child is fixated at the anal stage of psychosexual development and what behaviours indicate that he or she is not fixated. For anybody of theory to be accepted as a valid scientific perspective, its consequences must be statable. The hypothesis that fixation at the anal stage can lead to stinginess (or to the opposite, generosity) is evidently not refutable; whatever the outcome, the theory can account for it. To that extent the psychoanalytic approach fails to meet the criteria of a scientific theory.
Because some important aspects of psychoanalytic theory cannot be proven experimentally, some psychologists claim that it has no value either as psychology or as science. However, many others claim that experimental validity is an inappropriate yardstick for evaluating psychodynamic theory and that the theory is verified in practice in the analyst-patient interview.
Oppositely, Behaviorism was developed from a utilitarian school of thought and was designed to predict and control behavior. Behaviorism in essence is a revolt against the study of consciousness and an attempt to “transform psychology into a science much like physics or biology”. Behaviorism was born in the U.S. where the English school of thought was dominant. The intellectual climate lead Watson to do specific goal orientated research, conducted in a lab and that predicted behavior. John B. Watson, one of the greatest behaviorists was dissatisfied with current theories and this was a factor in the development of behaviorism. In addition, he was also influenced by several of his contemporaries. Jacques Loeb a researcher who studied tropism showed that complicated behaviors were really Stimulus-Response behaviors. Stimulus-response theory, referred to as S-R theory, is a theoretical model of behavioral psychology that suggests humans and other animals can learn to associate a new stimulus – the conditioned stimulus (CS) – with a pre-existing stimulus – the unconditioned stimulus (US), and can think, feel or respond to the CS as if it were actually the US. Also, Robert Yerkes who wrote a book with Watson and at the time had the only animal research lab in the country. This stimulated Watson to look further into Stimulus-Response relationships and do research on animals and led to the creation of Behaviorism. The term behaviorism refers to the school of psychology founded by John B. Watson based on the belief that behaviors can be measured, trained, and changed. Behaviorism was established with the publication of Watson’s classic paper Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It (1913).
Behaviorism holds that only observable behaviors should be studied, as cognition and mood are too subjective. According to behaviorist theory, our responses to environmental stimuli shapes our behaviors. Important concepts such as classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and reinforcement have arisen from behaviorism.
Both Behaviorism and Psychoanalysis utilize different methods and research techniques and these can be tied to the aforesaid social and intellectual circumstances. Some of the techniques that Freud used were free association, dream analysis, transference, resistance and parapraxes. These research techniques stressed that behavior is “not what it seems on the surface, but a large part of the personality is below the level of awareness”. Therefore, the focus of his research on an individual level was to offer treatment for suffering patients by delving into the psychological underpinnings of their evident behavior. In addition, through analytic work Freud believed it would be possible to define universals about personality.
On the other hand, Behaviorism employed methods to evaluate the Stimulus-Response relationship and its effects on behavior. Behaviorism was not concerned with the mental origins of behavior and even sought to “reduce mentalistic concepts into physical terms”. Research in behaviorism focused on evident behavior and the effect of behavior. Behaviorists such as Skinner did research with animals to show that behaviors that were rewarded would continue, while ones that were not would be extinguished. Behaviorist used lab studies to discover what behaviors were exhibits and by what causes. The bases of their research were to study the Stimulus-Response relationship and its goal was to predict the stimulus response to behavior.
Each system of psychology has its own concept of truth. For the psychoanalyst truth can only be revealed when looking at the unconscious, while for the behaviorist truth what is seen and can be reduced to the Stimulus-Response method. Psychoanalysis is defined by the Id, ego and superego and one underlying desires and repressed emotions. “All mental and Physical behavior is determined by prior causes”. Therefore, truth for the psychoanalyst is not what has been presented at the present moment by what has become obvious before. Each behavior has an unconscious antecedent and only when the underlying cause of behavior is examined can the truth be revealed. On the contrary, the behaviorist only acts on the behavior that is obtained as a response to a situation. Introspection was not needed and the mind was seen as a “mystery box to be avoided as a determent of behavior”. As illustrated the notion of truth varies depending on the system that is employed. For the psychoanalyst the only truth stems from the unconscious and is not indicative of evident behavior. While for the behaviorist evident behavior is the truth and the mind should not be used to assess what is true in regards to ones actions.
Psychoanalysis and Behaviorism are two systems of psychology that both developed under unique social contexts. These systems reflect their origins by the ideologies and methodologies they use, as well as by the goals they try to achieve. Each system provides its elements with different ideas of truth and each employ different methods to reach their goal. Even though these systems differ in so many respects the ultimate goal of both were very similar, to discover truth.