January 14, 2013
Foundations of Psychology Paper
The foundations of psychology rely mainly on their major schools of thought: the psychodynamic perspective, first introduced by Sigmund Freud, the behaviorist perspective, the cognitive perspective, and the evolutionary perspective. These four main theories were developed to explain how we as humans behave, think and react. Although the human mind still remains a mystery to most, these four perspectives in psychology offer different ways in which to study and analyze thought process and human behavior. Each perspective has many opposing ideas but has made lengthy contributions to psychology. The psychodynamic approach to psychology was first thought of by Sigmund Freud and relies on three key premises: Peoples actions are determined by their underlying thoughts, feelings, and wishes, many of these thoughts, feelings and wishes occur in the unconscious state of mind, and these processes may conflict with one another leading to compromises among motives (Kowalski & Westen, 2011 Methods of the psychodynamic perspective psychologist are interpreting meanings behind a person’s behavior by studying a patient’s dreams, fantasies and subtle behavior. This is mostly done in a case-study setting with leads the psychologist to rely on clinical data to support their theories. “Research confirms that most psychological processes occur outside awareness and that many of the associations between feelings and behaviors or situations that guide our behavior are expressed implicitly or unconsciously” (Kowalski and Westen, 2011). John Watson and B.F. Skinner developed behaviorism or the behaviorist perspective. Behaviorism is the focused study of environment and conditioning on behavior. The perspective asserts that behavior is a direct result of environmental events or stimuli. Conditioning is a key concept used in behaviorism....