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Describe Two of the Major Approaches in Psychology. Choose Two fr...

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Describe Two of the Major Approaches in Psychology. Choose Two from the Following Five: Psychodynamic, Behaviourist, Humanistic, Cognitive, or Biological.

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  • November 2008
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The word psychology derives from the Greek psyche (mind, soul spirit) and logos (discourse, study). It suggests that psychology is simply 'study of the mind'. However, it is worth to mentioning that definition of psychology has been changed in order to dominant perspective. In 1879, when W. Wundt opened her first psychological laboratory at the University of Leipzig and origanated psychology as separate discipline, the definition of psychology was: ' the Science of Mental Life, both of its phenomena and of their conditions... The Phenomena are such thing as we call feelings, desires, cognition, reasoning, decisions and the like.' Nowaday, behaviorism and cognitive psychology are dominant force in psychology, for that reason the most common and popular is Clark & Miller's (1970) definition of psychology as: '... the scientific study of behaviour. Its subject matter includes behavioural processes that are observable, such as gesture, speech and physiological changes, and processes that can only be inferred, such as thoughts and dreams'. This definition corresponds to more modern definition of psychology. Zimbardo defines psychology as 'scientific study of behaviour of individuals and their mental processes' (1992).

There are several major approaches in psychology: psychodynamic, behaviouristic, humanistic and cognitive. This essay focuses on psychodynamic and cognitive approach.
Psychodynamic approach was started by Sigmund Freud. In 1900 he published psychoanalist theory of personality, in which he had noticed a relation between mental disease and mind (not demons or supernatural forces). Moreover he had undrestood that unconcious mind can treat some forms od mental illnesses (for example hysteria).

The main issue of psychodynamic approach is a stress on unconcious feelings, thoughts, wishes and memory. It is said that behaviour is determined by unconcious mind. The concept of unconcious mind is the most important idea in psychodymnamic psychology. On...

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