Thursday, October 02, 2008

Freud was completely wrong...

Mothers' pride 'aids daughters'

Ambitious mothers produce super-confident daughters, a University of London study has suggested.

A study of more than 3,000 children born in 1970 found girls whose mothers had high hopes for their future felt more in control of their lives at 30.
Girls whose mothers predicted at age 10 that they would go on to further education had greater self-esteem as adults - there was no link for boys.


...
Kairen Cullen, spokeswoman for the British Psychological Society and an educational psychologist said other studies had shown that children relate strongly to the same gender parent.


I like that part. My philosophy expects son carrying father's identity and daughter mother's. In other words daughter is part of mother's family(mtDNA line) and son is father's family (Y-chromosome line). In my opinion, daughter should take up mother's family name and son father's. Wife should never take up her husband's family name or daughter her father's name/family name and vice versa in a matrilineal community. At least, it is not as dumb as having hyphenated surnames.

Anyway, I detect a sour note in the article.

But she added: "It would be fascinating to see what effect fathers' expectations have on daughters - I have a sense that fathers' expectations could have an effect on both genders."


Moral of the story, no expectation; no self-esteem. Always push and force your children to be something. Liberal parents are the worst enemies that the children can get.

10 comments:

KRS said...

Hey Manju,

I think its tough to conclude that no expectation,no self-esteem. Expectation is perhaps one factor required for developing self-esteem. But there is nothing in the study to conclude it is the only thing, or its absence will lead to low self-esteem.

On a related note, there is some research on what kind of mindset helps in achievement by Carol Dweck.
Here's the link
http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2007/marapr/features/dweck.html

Maju said...

And why do you suggest that Freud was wrong? He was admittedly pretty much limited in his understanding of some some issues, specifically female psychology but you do not clarify why was Freud wrong anyhow.

Manjunat said...

Sreekumar:
Frankly I don't know what to make of these studies. The words like 'super-confident' or 'more in control' sound rather dubious. I don't know how they have arrived at those qualitatives. Did they have a control group which was just 'confident' or 'in control' and had no-expectations mothers? Importantly,how much confidence and in-control feelings developed in the first place due to clear goals and vice versa? What are the expectation levels from mothers at each social class? Maybe the real research has all the answers but the BBC report is ambiguous. But there is a hint.

"But women's earnings were not linked to their mother's expectations."

I thought that is a very important statement from the article and felt my doubts are valid.

Manjunat said...

Maju:
Well, I thought Freud's observations about himself and his mother are rather well known.

"...his mother believed that he was destined to become a great man and treated him accordingly. He was his mother's undisputed favorite, and he later wrote that this fact gives a man the feeling of being a conqueror, confident of success, a feeling that often induces real success."(The World of Self Psychology-Arnold Goldberg...Google Books)

Manjunat said...

On a related note, there is some research on what kind of mindset helps in achievement by Carol Dweck.

Oops! I didn't read it before. Well, the goal in my definition is a limiting factor. But I thought this is hilarious;

"A college physics teacher recently wrote to Dweck that in India, where she was educated, there was no notion that you had to be a genius or even particularly smart to learn physics. “The assumption was that everyone could do it, and, for the most part, they did.” "

Maju said...

Well this research does not seem to contradict Freud in this aspect: it is about mothers' influence on daughters and does not preclude the same kind of influence on sons, right?

IMO, I think tha mothers are (generally) more influential than fathers, at least in early childhood, when the fundamentals of the personality are being built. After all there is a very special vincle between children of either gender with their mothers (an intimate biological tie of pregnancy and breastfeeding) that fathers cannot participate in, no matter how dedicated they are. A father is after all not too different from any other adult male living with the family - but mother there is only one.

Manjunat said...

it is about mothers' influence on daughters and does not preclude the same kind of influence on sons, right?

It clearly states there was no link for boys.

Maju said...

Sorry, you're right. My bad.

But what Freud claimed was that his mother favoring him, believing in him, not being an ambitious model woman, was what strenghened his personality.

Now I realize it's two different things what the study and Freud were talking about.

milieu said...

You are in good company if you are skeptical of psychological research.

But the field does have lots of interesting thing to reveal even though it maybe they are still operating on a gross level.

Manjunat said...

You are in good company if you are skeptical of psychological research.

"Psychology has the bizarre quality as an academic field that it's both the hardest and the easiest thing to do. To really explain anything about how people behave is just hard. But to almost explain it in a way that's probably wrong - that's easy."

Nice one.