assess different psychological approaches to study

Topics: Psychology, Cognition, Human Pages: 6 (2205 words) Published: November 15, 2013
Assess Different Psychological approaches to Study
To be able to assess all five psychological approaches to study you need to understand what they are and how they work. All five approaches have their own strengths and weaknesses and they all have their own theories which explain human behaviour, the only problem is not all of them agree that their theories and studies are correct. The Behaviourist approach believe that human beings are able to learn all types of behaviours through the environment they grow up in, its believes that we learn these behaviours through using theories, such as, Ivan Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning and Burrhus Frederic Skinner’s Operant Conditioning. Both of which show that behaviour can be learnt by training the mind of an individual to behave in a certain way, for example, potty training an infant. This approach also believes that human beings have no free will which in turn means that their behaviour is resolute by their surroundings. When a new born baby is born behaviourist believe that their minds are ‘tabula rasa’ which means a blank state. For example, the little Albert experiment which was carried out by Watson and Rayner, where they conditioned an infant boy, which they called Albert B also known as little Albert, to fear a white rat. This experiment was the first ever study within psychology that proved classical conditioning can transpire within humans not just within animals. Watson and Rayner made sure their study was strictly carried out within a controlled environment and their findings were carefully documented. Doing this ensured Watson and Rayner study could be proven if this experiment was to occur again. As the experiment was carefully documented and controlled; which meant they were ensuring there were no problems with reliability. This was another way in which Watson and Rayner backed up their evidence. Nevertheless, nowadays this experiment would not be allowed to be carried out as it is unethical; as you cannot compare the behaviours of humans with those of animals; and goes against the ethical principles, such as, non-maleficence and beneficence. It lacks ecological validity, as little Albert may have come across or developed these fears before the experiment took place, if someone was to perform this experiment on other children it would be less likely to create the same response. This is due to the fact they only carried out this experiment on one child which makes it less reliable than if a sample of children were used. Watson and Rayner’s research overweighed the welfare of little Albert. In the future there is a high chance for little Albert to encounter emotional damage due to the study. During the experiment they did not take little Albert’s best interests into consideration, even more he was unable to consent to take part in this study. All the stages which were carried out for this study were created within a controlled lab instead of creating they within a real life environment, the main problem with carrying out the experiments within a lab is whether or not little Albert would have the same reaction when he is in an environment he recognises, for instances, the hospital he was used to. The psychodynamic approach believes that all the behaviours and feelings of an individual are strongly influenced by their unconscious motives, and that an individual’s personality is made up of three main areas, these are the id, ego and super ego. The id is the impulsive part of a human being’s mind that directly responds to their instincts. The ego becomes an element of the id and it is there for working a person’s rational ways to which it can please the id’s demands. The super ego is to control the id’s impulses which include aggression and sex; it also persuades the ego to go towards moralistic ambitions instead of realistic one and is also there the help an individual the endeavour for excellence. This approach says that an adult’s behaviours and feelings are...
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