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Case study: Jane


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As a young girl Jane was repeatedly beaten by her father for being naughty. She didn’t understand why because he never bothered to explain it to her. But she knew that her father was so big and she depended on him for everything so he must be right. She learned to try very hard to always get things right and to please her father. She learned two specific lessons:

  • to associate love with fear
  • no matter how hard you try, you will fail.

All through Jane’s life, an aunt has developed a special relationship with her. This aunt showed the opposite kind of love, accepting, supporting and nonjudgmental. She saw the positive sides to Jane’s qualities and admired her for them. Jane was fond of her aunt but the relationship was not very regular because of distance. She was not a significant influence in Jane’s early life.

As Jane grew older she learned that her father might actually be wrong. She also realized that her father was scared of being wrong. This gave her a sense of power over him, a redress of the unfair balance of power she experienced as a young girl. As she reaches adulthood she learns that she can use guilt and fear to make her father give her what she wants. He can’t hit her any more but he can now use money to keep her love. Jane then meets a man and marries. After the first three years her husband hits her for challenging him. He feels guilty and begs forgiveness. Jane forgives him and he takes her out to buy some new clothes. She can choose whatever she likes. They agree to have a child and she falls pregnant.

After reading through the case study of Jane, answer the following questions in a 1-2 page paper:

  1. Examine the situation presented in the case study by using the four goals of psychology.
  2. Choose three of the modern perspectives of psychology and address how each would study the behaviors found in the case study.

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