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Freud and Skinner

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One name that jumps out at the mention of psychology, or the study there of, is the name of Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud is also known as the "Father of Psychoanalysis." Freud was also known for having the tendency to trace nearly all psychological problems back to sexual issues. Although only parts of his theory of psychosexual development are still accepted by mainstream psychologists, Freud's theory of the Oedipal Complex has become a cultural icon.

Freud is known for developing the use of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is based on the observation that people are often unaware of many of the things that determine their emotions and behavior. Psychoanalytic treatment demonstrates how the unconscious affects current relationships and patterns of behavior. It then helps track them back to past experiences, such as in childhood, and helps people to deal better with how past experiences then affect their current adult life. Freud's contributions that often come to mind while thinking of psychoanalysis include the therapy couch, the use of talk therapy, and his theories about the unconscious which include the role of repression, denial, sublimation, and projection.

Freud also incorporated the use of dream analysis and the study of dreams. While working with his patients, they began to spontaneously tell their dreams. Freud became interested in dreams and the revelations that they could provide as doors to the inner psyche. He soon systematically included interpretation of dreams in psychoanalysis, as well as hypnosis and free association of the dreams that had been revealed.

Freud was one of the first psychologists to utilize hypnosis in therapy. Freud's interest in what lay beyond the conscious mind and in the practice of hypnotism and what led hysteria eventually led him to study with the famous neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot of the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris. When Freud returned to Vienna, he began using hypnosis, massage, and pressure on the head to get patients to dredge up thoughts related to their symptoms. Only later did he ask them to say whatever crossed their minds. This he called "free association," and had already been described as the "talking cure."

Just as Freud is known as the father of Psychoanalysis, B.F. Skinner is often referred to ask the "the father of operant conditioning." B.F. Skinner is also known for major contributions to the field of psychology. Skinner was a prolific author, publishing nearly 200 articles and more than 20 books. Skinner was most known for his work in behavior psychology. Behavioral psychology is the psychological practice that focuses on learning new behaviors and how to modify our existing behavior and how that takes place. One of his major contributions was his theory of operant conditioning. Operant conditioning means roughly, the changing of behavior by the use of reinforcement, either



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