Hata mesajı

User warning: The following module is missing from the file system: plup. For information about how to fix this, see the documentation page. in _drupal_trigger_error_with_delayed_logging() (line 1138 of /home/u6487968/public_html/includes/






Theory Application Paper




Sarah Merve Ahmad




Koç University







In this paper, my main goal is to analyze one boy's development in depth whom I well


acquainted with, I will explain his development from Freud's Psychoanalytic and Skinner's ,


Behaviorist and Learning Perspective. I will shed light on his some specific behaviors,manners and


reactions by using these two different perspectives. I think these both perspectives lead me way to


understand him better and help me in order to figure out the real answer lying behind his character.


I will try to find the underlying factors that shape his character. Throughout the paper, I will keep


his name anonymously , lets call him X. First of all, I will give some background and biological


information about X .


X is a quite young boy. He is around 12 years old, coming from high-middle class family. He has


not been any romantic relationship yet. He is a student, goes to primary school called Mustafa M.


Boysan I.Ö.O which is located in Suadiye. He does not like studying instead studying, he prefers to


watch TV for hours or chatting with friends on Facebook. His home is located in Kozyatağı. He has


a kind of eating disorder problem, he is an over-weight and diagnosed as a in a danger of becoming


a diabetic and nowadays he is in on a strict diet. But for him it is quite difficult to apply this strict


diet because for him it is almost impossible task to leave his mouth empty. He always wants


something to eat or chew, enjoys oral stimulation especially while watching TV or movies.




Besides that , X has a special bond especially with his mother. he is dependent on her. There is a


kind of symbiotic relationship between X and his mum. Since early ages, he is surrounded by girls.


I view him as a different person when I compare him with other boys, peers and his friends. While


other boys are interested in playing football, cars, discussing about the last basketball game, he is


interested in girlish stuffs such as playing with the baby dolls, keeping up with the fashion,


discussing and reading the articles appeared in the magazines called such as HeyGirl. It could be


claimed that he lacks of same male characteristic traits.


I am going to analyze his behavior from two different perspectives. Firstly, I want to use


Skinner's approach , If we look at this case with Skinner's glasses, the first thing that we should do


is no to underestimate the importance of environment and we see that his behavior is mainly shaped


by his surroundings. According to Skinner the term personality is meaningless, he rejects any


mental internal component such as personality , according to him personality is a result of responses


to the environment. He is a radical determinist free will is an illusion, supports the idea that all


behavior is caused. According to him behavior is changed by its consequences we call it operant




And if we look at the case from Freudian perspective our interpretation differs to a great extent


and in Freudian perspective, we put great emphasizes on unconscious mind, id, ego, superego and


early childhood experiences. I will give more detail explanation about Freud's psychoanalytic


perspective later. Here I want to underline that both Freud and Skinner are radical determinist, they


believe that all human behavior is caused. They believe that people have no “free will” in their


behavior. While Skinner is environmental determinist, Freud is a biological determinist.


If we go back to Skinner's perspective, from his perspective, we could claim that he behaves


in that certain way, he prefers to be with the girls chatting with them because he takes advantage by


doing so. In order words, this behavior has a benefit for him. Lets look at ABC model from


behavioral perspective, this model can be divided into its components. In this Model A represents


antecedent(what comes before) antecedent leads to behavior, we might say that leads him to act in


that way as a consequence he feel himself accepted among them and feel happy. B represents


behavior and C represents the consequence. First thing is to ABC analysis. Here, overt behavior is


important for us. According to this model what comes before and each behavior has a consequence


here we could talk about the reinforcement +punishment. İf you desirable behavior ,your behavior


has been conditioned. Lets take X's case . When we look at his case we should find the function of


the behavior. If function has been reinforcing there is a high chance that the individual will keep on


performing the same behavior. He perceives himself as a popular among the boy feel himself unique


among the girls. His girl classmates want to be close with him , chatting with him compared with


the other. They prefer X because they have common interests about some certain topics. because he


is close to them although he is boy. It seems that he is quite satisfied with that condition moreover,


we see that he takes advantage from being with the opposite sex, feel himself unique. These all


advantages that he takes could be interpreted as a function of behaving in a girlish manner. As long


as X takes advantage from this situation, he will keep on behaving in the same manner. Function is


the benefit that he gets as a result of being with the girls. Function gives us an idea about what


should need to be changed and there psychotherapy works. We should ask X about why he behaves


in this way if it turns out that he behaves in this particular way because he wants to be accepted by


his opposite-sex friends and want to be liked. Then we may teach X that there are actually multiple


ways to be accepted by girls such as buying gifts for them, behave in a kindly manner instead


behaving in a girlish manner.


Different form Freud, Skinner acknowledges emotions thoughts and internal process but sees


them as irrelevant in explaining behavior. Thoughts and emotions do occur, according to Skinner,


but they do not cause behavior. Thoughts,emotions, and other internal events are, as are all


characteristics of the organism, caused by environmental events. According to Skinner general laws


of learning that apply equally to all human and nonhuman organism.




Now, lets put our Freudian glasses and try to look at X case from Freudian perspective.


According to Freud , always there is a deep meaning , real answer that we are looking for underlies


in X's mind childhood experience and the unconscious mind. In other words, his problem traces


back to his childhood or early life. His ID and desires are repressed and besides, the early


experiences which he had gone through also play significant role on shaping his character and the


life. I try to look at his personality in more detail and try to explain X and his certain characteristic


traits and the reactions given to the particular situation with the Freudian Concepts. Here, according


to Freud we might claim that X fails to complete psychosexual stages successfully and also this


could be the reason why fixation occur and in result becoming over-weight boy. I also want to point


out that three major system which constitutes the total personality and called id, ego and superego


fail to form and unified and harmonious organization this also might be considered as one of the


underlying factors lying behind his girlish manner.


According to perspective of Freud, personality is mostly established by the age of five, early


experiences not only play major role in personality development and but also continue to influence


behavior later in life. Life has traces from the one's past life therefore Freud believes that one


should not overlook the past experience. Freud's theory of psychosexual development is one of the


best known, but at same time it is one of the most controversial one and therefore it is open to


discuss. Freud believed that personality develops through a series of childhood stages during which


the pleasure-seeking energies of the id become focused on certain erogenous areas. This


psychosexual energy or libido was depicted as the driving force behind behavior. If these


psychosexual stages are completed successfully, the result is a healthy personality but if certain


issues are not resolved at the proper stage, fixation may occur. A fixation is a continual focus on an


earlier psychosexual stage. Until this conflict is resolved, the individual will remain “stuck” in this


stage. Such as X's case. For example, a person who is fixated at the oral stage may be over-

dependent on others and may seek oral stimulation through eating, drinking, or smoking and X


could be given as a great example for this claim.


Now, I want to look insight into X's another distinct behavior, I try to find the underlying


reason behind this symbiotic relationship with his mother. We could make assertion that he wants to


be identified himself with his mother and this desire might be the whole explanation behind all his


girlish manners and the behaviors his closeness towards his mother might be perfectly described


with Freudian perspective. Psychoanalytic perspective emphasize the unconscious process of the


mind, personality emphasizes the importance of early childhood experiences and the unconscious


mind. This perspective on personality was created by psychiatrist Sigmund Freud who believed that


things hidden in the unconscious could be revealed in a number of different ways. Freud stresses the


importance of early childhood events, the influence of the unconscious and sexual instincts in the


development and formation of personality. An Odepius Complex, or could be interpreted as his


closeness towards mother could be explained with Freudian terms , I claim that an Odepius complex


perfectly describes the condition that X is having. In other words, I claim that he might be having an


Odepius Complex and this might be real cause underlying his distinct personality and relationship


between his mother and other girls.


Freud come to assume that, by the time he has reached the 'phallic' stage of development, at around


the age of 4 or 5, the small boy is sexually interested in his mother, wishes to take possession of


her, and therefore feel hostile impulses towards his father. However, the hostility arouses fear that


the father will retaliate, and form which this retaliation is likely to take is that of castration.


Confronted by what he perceives as a horrifying threat to the most precious part of his body, the


small boy unconsciously give up his hopes of sexual union with his mother, identifies himself with


his powerful and aggressive father, and finally turns his attention towards securing sexual


satisfaction from other feminine sources.


Now, I want to shift the topic a little bit towards the Family Context. Here, my aim is to


gain new insights into X's case. I think it is quite important look at the family-context to understand


the individual better. Here, my aim is to underline in the importance of family issue in Child


Development. I assume that looking at family context helps us better understanding of X'case and


give some clues about him. Actually, there are various theories of child development involving


different types of psychological or behavioral phenomena. One of the early theories was that of


Sigmund Freud. His psychoanalytic theory posited that the child's personality is formed on the basis


of the child's developing psychosexual needs in four periods or stages, and the manner in which the


parents handle the child during those stages. We cannot underestimate the great influence of parents


influence on development of children. Parents definitely play major role shaping their children's


behavior, eating habits etc.


In the research article called Maternal- Child Feeding Patterns and Child Body Weight. Faith,


Heshka, Keller, Sherry,Matz, Pietrobelli, Allison (2003) mentions that during feeding may promote


childhood obesity or disordered eating patterns which are partially determined by environment


regarding to the result of this study, it is clear that we can not underestimate the importance of the


environment. As Skinner says, environment plays a major role to shape our behaviors.


And in another research article called Treatment of Obese Children With and Without Their


Mothers:Changes in weight and blood pressure Brownell, Kelman, Stunkard (1995)treatments


group divided into 3 subgroups . In the first treatment group Mother- Child attended separate


groups, in the second group mother-child together in the same group and in the 3. group, children


met in groups and mothers were not involved. The program consisted of behavior modification,


social support, nutrition, and exercises. According to results of the study that a program of behavior


modification and parent involvement can lead to significant weight losses in obese children, and that


the nature of parent involvement may be important.


This study mentions about behavior modification . It is a treatment method based on value of


operant conditioning with this technique, the undesirable behaviors changed with more desirable


ones through various techniques and the methods.


Reinforcement increases or strengthens behavior by reinforcing the desired behavior with praise,


X is more likely to perform the same action again. Reinforcement refers to anything that increases


likelihood that a response will occur. Reinforcement has an effect on behavior either it strengthens


or increases the behavior. In X'case using some reinforcement may lead us to desirable


consequences. For instance; as I mentioned before, he does not apply his diet in a proper way, but it


might be good solution to use some reinforcements in order to convince him apply his diet.


Research article called Treating Overweight Children Through Parental Training and Contingency


Contracting Aragona, Cassady, Drabman (1975)mentions that response-cost plus reinforcement


group regained weight more slowly than the response-cost only group. This may indicate that


parents in the response-cost plus reinforcement group were more likely to continue their effective


use of reinforcement procedures than were parents in the response-cost only group.


The present study demonstrated that behavior-modification techniques can be successfully used to


enable parents to help their children lose weight. This study mentions about behavior modification .


It is a treatment method based on value of operant conditioning with this technique, the undesirable


behaviors changed with more desirable ones through various techniques and the methods. Skinner is


regarded as the father of behavior modification science.


I want to point out that Freud admits that thoughts and emotions as an internal events in order to


explain and understanding of behavior. Skinner differs himself from Freud in that sense, Skinner


does not perceive thoughts, emotions and other internal events in order to explain and


understanding of one's behavior. Although, Skinner does not deny thoughts, emotions and other


internal event, he puts great emphasis on environment and according to Skinner thoughts, emotions


and other internal process all caused due to environmental causes. According to Skinner


“personality” is meaningless concept besides, he does not believe in internal component of


behavior such as id,ego and superego and he has not put emphasis on unconscious mind.


Psychoanalysis perspective provide us to better explanation regarding the X's case. Also based on


the information that get from empirical evidence though we also cannot deny the fact that


environmental condition affect X to some extent for instance his girlfriends and his mother could


be interpreted as environmental condition.


Here nevertheless, I want to put emphasizes on crucial importance of personality. we cannot


underestimate the importance of personality as we analyze X therefore I want you to draw attention


to crucial link between Personality disorders and the Obesity. Before making treatment plans for X's


obesity problem, I would suggest for learning more information about his personality. According to


research article called Treatment of Obesity by Personality Classification-Oriented Program


Yoshida, Murano, Saito, Inadera, Tashiro, Kobayashi, Tadokoro, Kanzaki,


Shinomiya,Morisaki,Ohono,Ishikawa,Shirai, Azuma,Kodama(1995) , an understanding of the


personality of obese patients was effective in helping to avoid psychological reactions. As I


mentioned before, X has more feminine qualities than male qualities therefore it could be argued


that he might have some personality pathology. Although, it is a quite early to make reasonable


claim about his sexual orientation , It is obvious that , he has no interested in opposite-sex, in others


words, he has not perceived the opposite sex as an opposite sex. He perceives himself as a female


rather than male and identified himself with his mother. Before making treatment plans for X's


obesity problem it might be good idea for learning more information about his personality. It might


lead us to make better treatment plan for X.


I was curious about whether there is relationship between obesity and personality pathology that X


has. This curiosity triggers me to make deep search about this issue and it turns out to be that there


is a relationship between X's obesity his personality pathology . According to Research article


called The Relationship Between Borderline Personality and Obesity Sansone, Randy A.Sansone,


Lori A.Sansone (2013 )Personality Pathology may also play a unique role in obesity, relationship


between one specific personality disorder, borderline personality disorder (BPD) and obesity is open


to discuss.


Because personality disorders are believed to commence and consolidate in childhood through the


interactions of genes and the environment, it is probable that personality pathology precedes eating


pathology in most cases(eating disorders most often manifest in early-to-late


adolescence).Therefore, a given personality pathology might be viewed as a potential risk factor for


the subsequent development of a specific type of eating pathology. Given the preceding perspective


on relationships between personality pathology and eating pathology, it is acceptable to make


inferences about possible relationships between BPD and Obesity Sansone, A.Sansone (2013 ) It


could be inferred that personality pathology seems to influence eating pathology, such that


restrictive personality pathology.


Subjects with Borderline Personality Disorder were significantly more likely than comparison


subjects to report homosexual or bisexual orientation and intimate same-sex relations. According to


research of the study called Sexual Orientation and relationship Choice in Borderline Personality


Disorder over Ten Years of Prospective Follow-up Reich, Zanarini, ( 2008)same-gender attraction


and/or intimate relationship choice may be an important interpersonal issue for nearly one-third of


both men and women with BPD. Results of this study shows us the fact that, patients with BPD


were over 75%more likely to report homosexual/bisexual orientation than comparison subjects with


other personality disorders. And according results of another research article called Psychological


Factors Associated with Homosexuality in Males with Borderline Personality Disorder


Paris,Zweig-Frank, Guzder,(1995) there was a significantly higher rate of homosexuality in


borderline than in non borderline personality disordered men.


To conclude, if we look at X's case from Skinner's perspective, we might conclude that all


X's operant behaviors that X demonstrates called as his personality. But in some cases, in order to


determine one's personality, it might be not sufficient for us to make claim about X's personality by


just looking at his X's , operant behaviors. I assert the idea that in X's case, we should dig into


more instead of looking from surface level. Regarding to X's case, Skinner would probably look at


environmental causes rather than thoughts, emotion. And if we look at X's case just look from


Skinner's Behaviorist and Learning Aspects of Personality, it is likely that we make error because


we come to realize that most of his real problems is kind of hidden has not come up to surface yet


by just looking a observable behaviors and environment, we may not determine his exact


personality. We see that X's problem traces back to his childhood experiences and his unconscious


mind plays major role determining his personality . In that sense, I would claim that Freud's


Psychoanalysis perspective explained X's case much better and give much stronger empirical


evidence as compared to Skinner's Behaviorist and Learning Perspective .






Faith, Heshka, Keller, Sherry,Matz, Pietrobelli, Allison (2003) Maternal- Child Feeding Patterns


and Child Body Weight. Arch Pediatr Med.2003;157:926-932.


Brownell, Kelman, Stunkard (1995)Treatment of Obese Children With and Without Their


Mothers:Changes in weight and blood pressure. Pediatrics 1983 Apr; 71(4):515-23.


Aragona, Cassady, Drabman (1975) Treating Overweight Children Through Parental Training and


Contingency Contracting. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1975,8,269-278.


Yoshida, Murano, Saito, Inadera, Tashiro, Kobayashi, Tadokoro, Kanzaki,


Shinomiya,Morisaki,Ohono,Ishikawa,Shirai, Azuma,Kodama(1995)Treatment of Obesity by


Personality Classification-Oriented Program.Obesity Research Vol.3 Suppl. 2 Sept. 1995.


Sansone, Randy A.Sansone, Lori A.Sansone (2013 )The Relationship Between Borderline


Personality and Obesity. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2013 April;10(4):36-40.


Reich, Zanarini, Sexual Orientation and relationship Choice in Borderline Personality Disorder


over Ten Years of Prospective Follow-up( 2008)J Pers Disord.2008 December;22(6):564-572.


Paris,Zweig-Frank, Guzder, Psychological Factors Associated with Homosexuality in Males with


Borderline Personality Disorder (1995)Journal of Personality Disorders.Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 56-61.

Uzman Psikolog Sarah Merve Ahmad

Naisa Psikoloji | Tüm Hakları Saklıdır