Psychoanalysis Key Weaknesses Essays Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Culture, Human, Behavior, Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Theory, Life, Influence

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/01/19

Psychoanalysis entails a set of psychotherapeutic and psychological theories and the associated techniques as stated by Feud Sigmund, the Austrian physician. In his school of thought, he emphasized the importance of unconscious mind and the influence that it had on behavior. The feud developed the psychoanalytic theory in order to be able to explain the inner feelings of the human mind (Moscovici, 2007). The theory is mainly concerned with the study of id, superego, and ego. Id entails the quality of the mind being unconscious and involves everything present at birth such as instincts. Ego, on the other hand, can control the id and serves as a connection between the external world and id. The superego gives a representation of the influence of others and the effect of societal, racial, and cultural traditions. The three aspects have an influence on the human mind. Cross-cultural psychology focuses on how the various cultural factors influence the behavior of human beings.
One of the weaknesses of psychoanalysis is that it generalizes and exaggerates the human behavior. Generalizing human behavior is not justifiable as human being behave differently based on their culture and even race. Cross culture states that various cultural factors play a role in influencing the behavior of human beings. Human beings have different cultural practices, beliefs, and therefore generalizing how they behave is absurd. An individual from a different culture say X, will not have the same behaviors, as an individual from culture Y and because of that, psychoanalysis does not give a valid explanation for the generalization of the human behaviors despite the different cultures (Moscovici, 2007). Psychoanalysis also exaggerates the human behavior and, therefore, does not stand time because human beings have different behaviors based on their cultural backgrounds.
The theory only provides for one piece of pie neglecting other cultural, social, and biological considerations. Cultural considerations are significant in the life of a human being as culture contributes much to the way of life of an individual. The culture of an individual contributes to their way of life and influences how they relate to other people in the society (Shiraev, 2007). Culture plays a role in influencing the behavior of an individual and, therefore, should be entailed in the theory. The social aspect of the life of an individual also influences their behavior and not including that in the theory shows one of the weaknesses of psychoanalysis.
Some of the ideas of psychoanalysis such as the penis envy and Oedipus are outdated and does not apply to the contemporary world. Those concepts are as a matter of fact questioned by the practitioners whether they are clinically useful. Psychoanalysis focuses much on the analysis of the family not taking into consideration that people are different on an individual basis. The role a mother plays in stopping mental illness was overemphasized as that differs from one culture to the other. The Oedipus complex that states that all boys want to marry their mothers, and all the girls want to be married by their dads does not stand up to time and that differs from one culture to another (Shiraev, 2007). The Oedipus complex does not apply to all cultures, and that clearly shows the weakness of psychoanalysis.
Psychoanalysis has weaknesses especially when explaining cross-cultural psychology that deals with how culture influences the behavior of people.


Moscovici, S. (2007). Psychoanalysis: Its image and its public. Cambridge: Polity.
Shiraev, E. (2011). A history of psychology: A global perspective. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE.

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Psychoanalysis Key Weaknesses Essays Examples. Free Essay Examples - Published Jan 19, 2021. Accessed September 28, 2023.

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