Hyatts Anagenesis Theory



HYDRAULIC THEORY. This general notion - which underlies several theories that model the phenomena under study using a hydraulic or pressure principle - refers to the assumption that things behave like fluids under pressure and are ready to break through any weak spots in a boundary, barrier, or border should the pressure exceed some critical level. Examples of such hydraulic theories are the German-American psychologist Max Meyer's (1873-1967) theory of hearing, Sigmund Freud's personality theory, and the ethological theory of the Austrian ethologist Konrad Z. Lorenz (1903-1989) and the Dutch ethologist Nikolaas Tinbergen (1907-1988). In one case, in Lorenz's hydraulic model of aggression,, it is hypothesized that stored instinctual energy needs to be discharged and, once discharged, a refractory period is required for buildup because the full store of emotional energy is flushed (comparable to flushing a toilet). Lorenz claimed that aggressive behavior may detonate spontaneously, even in the absence of a stimulus, because of the operation of a hypothetical "innate releasing mechanism." See also AGGRESSION, THEORIES OF; ALEXANDER'S PRINCIPLE OF SURPLUS ENERGY; AUDITION/ HEARING, THEORIES OF; FREUD'S THEORY OF PERSONALITY; INFANT ATTACHMENT THEORIES; SPENCER'S THEORY OF LAUGHTER/HUMOR. REFERENCES

Meyer, M. (1928). The hydraulic principles governing the function of the cochlea. Journal of General Psychology, 1, 239-265.

Freud, S. (1953-1964). The standard edition of the complete psychological works of SigmundFreud. J. Strachey (Ed.), 24 vols. London: Hogarth Press. Lorenz, K. Z. (1966). On aggression. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

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