What is the psychodynamic approach to understanding human development?

Unit Two – TO DO list – Historical Trauma, Post Traumatic Growth, Social Identity Theory

Posted on: Sunday, January 28, 2018 3:56:20 AM PST

The objective in this unit is for you to understand the connections between historical and chosen trauma, posttraumatic growth, and social identity theory.  You will become familiar with all three paradigms and how they are useful in conflict resolution.

For NCR 291 Week Two do the following.

1. Read the following –

Vamik Volkan article on Chosen and Historical Trauma


Post Traumatic Growth and Positive Psychology



Description of the Famous Tajfel Experiment on Social Identity


2. Watch the following in-class followed by class discussion.

Vamik Volkan on Historical and Chosen Trauma (short portion of larger lecture)

Positive Psycholgy Ted Talk by Martin Seligman

Jenri Tajfel – Minimal Group Paradigm

3. Answer the questions in the Unit Two Discussion area.

1. In your words, explain Volkan’s approach in a short paragraph.  Explain each element of his theory and create your own example to demonstrate your understanding.

2. In your words, explain Tajfel’s approach in a short paragraph.   Explain the importance of his study and provide a real life example showing the application of his theory.

3. In your words, explain Seligman’s approach in a short paragraph.   Explain and create your own example to demonstrate your understanding.

4. Why is it useful to connect these three approaches when analyzing social conflict?  How can you use these paradigms as a consultant?

5. What are the implications for the practice of conflict resolution? Discuss.  Do you think this bundle of approaches is useful?  Can you see yourself applying them in your own practice?

6. What are the implications for the related practice of organizational and community development? Discuss.  What are the implications for “identity politics’?

Please complete the following HW Assignment for Chapter Two and submit it to the link by 9pm Sunday February 11:

Sociology 386              Chapter Two Homework Assignment

Please answer the following questions in paragraph format. Please include the question before you begin your answer.


1. What is a theory?  What are its main components?  How do researchers test their theory?

2. What are the main claims of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory?  Explain the different components of the psyche, according to Freud.

3. What does it mean to say that psychoanalytic theory is deterministic?

4. What does it mean to say that, according to Freud’s theory, the part of the human mind that a person can “see” is only the tip of the iceberg?

5. What is Adler’s Individual Psychology?  How does it differ from Freud’s theory?

6. What is the psychodynamic approach to understanding human development?

7. What is Sullivan’s Interpersonal Theory of Psychotherapy?

8. What is a Freudian slip?  Can you find a couple of examples?

9. What is Erickson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development?

10. What is Bowlby’s Attachment Theory?

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