Sigmund Freud said: . . . men are not gentle friendly creatures wishing for love, who simply defend themselves if they are attacked, but . . . a powerful measure of desire for aggressiveness has to be reckoned with as part of their instinctual endowment. The result is that their neighbor is to them not only a helper or sexual object, but also a temptation to them to gratify their aggressiveness . . . to seize his possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and to kill him . . . Anyone who calls to mind the atrocities of the early migrations of the invasions of the Huns or by the so-called Mongols under Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, of the sack of Jerusalem by the pious crusaders, and even the horrors of the last world war, will have to bow his head humbly before the truth of this view of man . . . We see man as a savage beast to whom the thought of sparing his own kind is alien (Civilization and Its Discontents, 1930). Carl Rogers wrote: I have little sympathy with the rather prevalent concept that man is basically irrational, and that his impulses, if not controlled, will lead to destruction of others and self. Man’s behavior is exquisitely rational, moving with subtle and ordered complexity toward the goals his organism is endeavoring to achieve (Journal of Consulting Psychology,1957). Questions to Answer (Write your answer on a separate Word Document following the guidelines in the syllabus) Which position do you think is more accurate? Why? Since Freud cited historical cases to support his view, what examples could be used to refute him? How could either of the arguments use case histories, correlated observations, or research findings to support the theories (provide some specific examples)? Is there any way to resolve this debate? If so, how? If not, why not? What would the consequences be should the followers of each theorist, Freud and Rogers, be placed in charge of education? What if each point of view was represented by a presidential candidate? Where else in society might big differences be created by the applications of these different models?
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