Key Perspectives in Psychology

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Psychology, Maslow's hierarchy of needs Pages: 4 (1275 words) Published: December 5, 2011
Discuss each of the main perspectives within psychology (Behaviourism, Psychodynamics and Humanism). Support these by including at least two key research studies within your discussion of each perspective. Introduction

Psychology is defined as the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes. It studies people’s thoughts and emotions and why people act in certain ways and do certain things. It is supported by scientific research carried out in experiments; the results are the recorded, similar to a scientific experiment. There are many different perspectives within psychology however this essay will be looking at the three main perspectives; behaviourism, psychodynamics and humanism. It will then outline different research studies from each perspective. Behaviourism

Watson defined behaviourism as “a natural science that takes the whole field of human adjustments as its own. It is the business of behaviouristic psychology to predict and control human activity” (Watson J, 2009). There are three different aspects to the perspective of behaviourism, classical conditioning, operant conditioning and social learning theory. Classical conditioning refers to an individual or animal learning through association. Research was carried out in 1909 by Ivan Pavlov. When he experimented on his dogs, they were offered food and saliva production increased. He also noticed something particularly interesting, salivation increased as the researcher opened the door to bring them the food. The dogs had now learnt the link between the door and their reflex response of salivation .Pavlov then added a bell into the equation, every time he fed the dogs he rung the bell, eventually the dogs would salivate to just the sound of the bell ringing. Pavlov had demonstrated classical conditioning through association (Eysenck, 2005). Operant conditioning refers to an individual or an animal learning through rewards and punishment. Research was carried out in 1983 by Skinner who carried out...
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