Psychodynamic Explanation of Moral Development
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How does the Psychodynamic approach to morality differ from others?
It focusses on the feelings attached doing good deeds (pride) or on wrongdoings (guilt)
When are ideas of right and wrong acquired according to Freud?
4-6 during the phallic stage
What is the child born with?
The Id (instinctive and selfish)
When is the ego developed?
During potty training in the anal stage to deal with the conflicts that arise
What is the final component to the personality?
- The superego (morality)
- Develops during the phallic stage through the resolution of the Oedipus/electra complex
- This part is constantly worrying what others think
- The superego represents the parents' morals and standards
What is the role of the superego?
- To act as an internal parent of conscience, punishing us with guilt if we behave badly
- It also includes the ego-ideal which indicates high moral standards
How do the Oedipus and electra conflicts relate to morality?
- Boys become obsessed with their penis and girls by their clitoris
- As a result they develop an unconscious desire for their opposite sex parent
- Both sexes are worried about discovery and suffer anxiety as a result
- Boys have more to lose (the penis) so suffer greater anxiety
- Eventually both sexes accept their quest is futile and realise the only way to obtain the object of their desire is to be like the same sex parent and identify with the same sex parent, adopting and internalising their morals
With what do girls replace their desire for their father and his penis?
A desire to have babies of their own
Why do boys experience more anxiety and what results does this have?
- They have more to lose
- This means they develop a stronger superego and, as a result reach higher levels of moral thinking
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