Foundations of Psychology

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Foundations of Psychology
PSY/ 00
April 9, 2012

There are many schools of thought and study within the field of psychology. Psychology is generally both an applied and academic science. This is the study of both the human mind, and the human behavior. Psychology seeks to understand the thoughts of emotion and behavior. Psychology is applied to mental health treatment, performance, and many areas affecting the daily life. The main perspectives in psychology are divided by schools of thought that are founded on different sets of assumptions regarding causes and effects of disorders and their treatments. The main schools of thought are the psychodynamic, the behaviorist, the cognitive, and evolutionary. This school concentrates on “the dynamic interplay of mental forces.” The school evolved from Sigmund Freud’s theories that have “powerful unconscious motives that underlie their conscious intentions” (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). Simply put this school of thought emphasizes the influence of the unconscious mind on behavior. The psychodynamic perspective suggests, “people’s actions are determined by the way thoughts and feelings are connected in their minds” (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). Freud believed the mind composed of three elements, the id, the ego, and the superego. Freud also indicates that we make unconscious compromises between our competing motives that are the foundation of our internal conflict. This school depends on case study methods to provide information to interpret the motivations of our “wishes, fears, and patterns of thought from an individual’s conscious, verbalized thought and behavior.” Psychodynamic theory says that the researcher can collect valid information in this way because subjects will reveal their inner workings in their every day actions (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). Freud was known as the father of psychoanalysis. This path has come under increasing criticism, leading psychodynamic psychologists to...
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