Introduction to Psychodynamic Theories

What you’ll learn to do: use psychodynamic theories (like those from Freud and Erikson) to explain development

decorative image

Many people sometimes feel intimidated by theory; even the phrase, “Now we are going to look at some theories…” may elicit some blank stares or yawns. But, don’t tune out quite yet! Theories are valuable tools for understanding human behavior; they are proposed explanations for the “how” and “whys” of development. In this first section, we’ll examine some of the most persistent theories, developed by Sigmund Freud over a hundred years ago. While some of Freud’s ideas have since been debunked, others have lasted and continue to shape the way we think about development.