APPROACHES TO PSYCHOLOGY
Theories Explaining Human Behavior
Psychoanalytic / Psychodynamic :
Behavior is a result of unconscious forces, hidden aggressive tendencies, sexual impulses and desires often from early childhood. These impulses live below the surface of consciousness and from there control our everyday behavior in ways that we are not aware of. Dreams may reflect what is going on in the unconscious. Currently, the interest in unconscious processes does not focus on sex and aggression as Freud did. Psychologists try to understand what kinds of perception, thinking, and memory go on below our level of awareness. (Sigmund Freud)
Behavioral : Behavior is a product of what we learn and the associations we make. We are controlled by the environment in the sense that we become whatever the environment forces us to be—good or bad. Rewards and punishments that we receive for behavior shapes what we do and learn. There is no free will. Our behavior is learned, and therefore, can be unlearned. What we can see and study directly (observable behavior) should be the focus of psychologists, not cognition or unconscious processes. (John Watson, B. F. Skinner)
Humanistic: People are basically good and capable of helping themselves. Individuals are in control of their own destinies and can make their lives worthwhile. The environment does not force us to become anything, but can act as a nurturing background for our internal growth. People have free will and choice and every human has the potential to become great in his or her own way, with a little guidance. (Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow)
Cognitive : Behavior is directed by our mental processes and internal sentences. The word cognition refers to thinking or using mental processes. The most important human ability is that we can take information from the environment, analyze it, and come up with a solution to almost any problem. We can change our...
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