Explain some merits and demerits of Freud’s psychodynamic theory.

List of merits and demerits of Freud’s psychodynamic theory:


  • It explains human behaviour and personality and seems to be a complete theory of personality.
  • The role of early childhood experiences and the unconscious is emphasized.
  • The dynamic nature of human behaviour also gets emphasized.
  • The defence mechanisms of ego is also emphasized.
  • It provides scope for a serious interest in psychological treatment of mental problems.
  • It provides scope for further theoretical and research work in personality.


  • Freud’s theory lacks empirical evidence and relies too much on therapeutic achievements.
  • Freud’s clinical data are also inaccurate, flawed and selective at best.
  • Freud’s psychoanalysis techniques like ideas on the interpretation of dreams and the role of free association are also criticized.
  • Psychoanalysis cannot be called a science and many of the principles upon which it is based are wrong.
  • Some of Freudian concepts are poorly designed. For example, psychic energy is not explained what is it and how it can be measured.
  • The theory also does not have scientific proof.
  • The role of sexual drive is over emphasized.
  • The theory suggests that there is no free will.
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