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Freud & Piaget

When reviewing the work of Sigmund Freud and Jean Piaget two things come to mind immediately where their similarities are concerned-both had a major, lasting and profound impact on the field of psychology and both received considerable criticism regarding their theories. Freud is considered the father of psychoanalysis, an analysis that was based on childhood development and psychosexual stages. However, Piaget was the ultimate developmentalist, “During the 1960s and 1970s, his theory of cognitive development dominated the landscape the way Freud’s account of psychosexual development had a generation before,” (Brainerd, 1996: 191). For all the criticisms of their work, both Freud and Piaget so influenced their respective fields of psychology that today their thoughts and concepts are so widespread and pervasive in the field as to be almost hidden, “Freud has been credited for having revolutionized how we think. Acceptance of various parts of his system of thought has come to be so widespread as to be almost anonymous”; and, “Assessing the impact of Piaget on developmental psychology is like assessing the impact of Shakespeare on English or Aristotle on philosophy-impossible. The impact is too monumental to embrace and at the same time too omnipresent to detect, “(O’Brien, 1992: 611; Flavell, 1996: 202). This discussion will compare and contrast the theories of Freud and Piaget, who, except for B.F. Skinner, remain the most influential names in twentieth century psychology.

Psychoanalysis is one of the most popular methods of trying to achieve a healthy mental balance in the individual. Various approaches and techniques are used, but the concepts and ideas of Sigmund Freud remain at the heart of most psychoanalytic approaches. Many of Freud’s theories and terms have become household words, even to those who have never read any of Freud’s work, simply because they have become so influential in the field o...

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Freud & Piaget. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 02:34, February 23, 2017, from