The Psychosis of Norman Bates Analytical Essay by Nicky

A psychological analysis of Norman Bates from Alfred Hitchcock's film "Psycho".
# 151498 | 1,488 words | 4 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Jun 11, 2012 in Psychology (Behaviorism) , Psychology (Freud) , Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.)

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The paper discusses two theories which prove helpful in the exploration of Norman Bates' psychosis; Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory and the Oedipus complex and the behaviorist notion of dissociation. The paper posits that the character of Norman Bates is probably one of the most memorable ones in all of horror movie history.

From the Paper:

"The first theory that helps explore the development of Norman Bates' character is that of Sigmund Freud's Psychoanalytic theory. According to Freud, there is within all of us what he called the Oedipus complex. This is based on Sophocles' great tale of a Greek King who unknowingly murders his father and marries his mother. According to Freud's thinking, this complex explains the natural affinity children have towards the parent of the opposite sex and their innate initial hatred of their parent of the same sex. As the infant is limited in terms of social construction, he or she exhibits the Oedipus complex when the first sexual feelings towards the opposite sex lead to a feeling of competition for the attention of the parent of the opposite sex with the parent of the same sex. This competition fuels the affinity for the parent of the opposite sex and the tension between the parent of the same sex. According to Freud, the Oedipus complex was acquired at the killing of the father by the brothers banded together," (Freud 1989:93). The boy loves the mother, despises the father, for the mother is the first sexual attraction and the father is the direct competition of that sexual relationship. It is clear that Norman Bates is in the midst of an extreme case of Oedipus complex."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Comer, Ronald J. (2003). Abnormal Psychology. 5th ed. Worth Publishers
  • Freud, Sigmund. (1989). Civilization and its Discontents. W. W. Norton & Co.
  • Hitchcock, Alfred. (1960). Psycho. Shamley Productions.
  • LeDrew, Stephen. (2009). Freedom and determinism: the uncanny in Psychoanalysis and existentialism. Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. Retrieved November 7, 2009 at

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Psychosis of Norman Bates (2012, June 11) Retrieved July 16, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The Psychosis of Norman Bates" 11 June 2012. Web. 16 July. 2020. <>