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This question immediately raises the problem how are we to determine which parts of Freudian theory are good Freud may well have argued that the evidence he documented from his psychotherapy sessions was sufficient whilst behaviourists would demand that the various aspects of a theory could only be recognised as good after being exposed to the full rigours of the scientific method I personally dont feel that one can hope to design a repeatable experiment that will decisively illustrate the existence of for example the Oedipus complex On the other hand I feel that we cannot simply accept a theory that has been moulded to fit a certain experimenters observations coloured as they must be by their own personality prejudices and society Therefore in this essay I will examine the empirical evidence from studies conducted on these most controversial of Freuds theories and where that evidence appears on balance to give support to that particular theory I will accept it as good As I said earlier some will regard this measure of worth as too lax to be of any use whilst others will object to the application of science to the process of personality development a process that is infinitely complex and unique and so beyond science Freuds theories of the oral and anal personality are centred around the idea that the infant is able to experience sexual sensations and that the basis for these sensations changes during early development If an infant is over or under stimulated during one of these stages fixation will occur and certain personality traits will develop The oral personality according to Kline 1984 consists of two not entirely opposed constellations of traits the optimistic oral associated with late weaning and the pessimistic oral associated with early weaning As both situations cause fixation at the oral stage many traits are common to both types Goldman-Eisler 1951 conducted a study the initial
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