Describe and discuss how each psychological perspective explains smoking using empirical evidence A perspective or approach in psychology is a specific understanding as to why and how individuals think, feel and behave. The perspectives/approaches are essential to the study of psychology; they reinforce all psychological thought and investigation. The purpose of this assignment is to evaluate the psychological perspectives in order to explain smoking. The psychodynamic approach
Psychodynamic psychologists assume an individual’s behaviour is determined by their unconscious thoughts and memories, making it a deterministic approach. They believe that each manifest (surface) thought or behaviour hides a latent (hidden) motive or intention. This reflects our instinctive biological drives and early experiences, predominantly before the age of five. Primarily, how a child is treated by their parents, reflects their adult behaviour. This approach is regarded as a reductionist approach to psychology rather than a holistic one. Sigmund Freud (1896-1939) believed that one of the key influences to his psychodynamic approach was the assumption was that the early childhood was particularly important in the development of an adults personality traits. According to (Gross, 2005) Freud claimed that development took place through three stages of psychosexual development, the oral, anal and the phallic. However, if a trauma occurs at any stage of development it could result in the child getting fixated (stuck) at that stage, if this does happen, then traces of that stage will remain in their behaviour as an adult. For example, smoking in adults can be explained through the oral stage of the psychosexual stages, where as a child a conflict occurs at the oral stage, where the sources of pleasure would be in the mouth, with the influences at this stage being breast feeding and weaning onto solid food. Therefore, the result of fixation is smoking, nail biting, dependency and aggression. An example of psychodynamic research is Freud’s (1909) case study of ‘Little Hans’, where Freud believed Hans was going through the phallic stage of the psychosexual stages of development. (Gross 2005, p. 507-509) However, no independent evidence was provided to support Freud. The information he gathered was through corresponding with Hans’s father, who was a supporter of Freud and his theories. Therefore, the case study was seen as researcher bias. Freud’s evaluation of the evidence suited his own theories and beliefs. In addition, it was very controversial as there was too much emphasis on sex. One of the limitations repeatedly made towards Freud’s theories where that they were unscientific, classing them as unfalsifiable. (Not able to disapprove them). Behaviourist
“Psychology, as the behaviourist views it, is a purely objective, experimental branch of natural science which needs introspection as little as do sciences of chemistry and physics. It is granted that the behaviour of animals can be investigated without appeal to consciousness.” (Watson 1919) Watson (1913) was the founding father of behaviourism and developed a radical behaviourist approach. However, not all behaviourist psychologists adopt such an extreme position. Behaviourist psychologists assume an individual’s behaviour is completely controlled by their environment and their prior learning. Behaviourists believe that the environmental factors (called stimuli) affect evident behaviour (called the response). This approach is deterministic as they believe that individuals have no free will. Behaviourists believe that all learning can be accounted for in terms of law-governed processes like classical and operant conditioning. The behaviourists’ view that all behaviour, regardless of how multifaceted, it can be broken down into the essential processes of conditioning making it a highly reductionist approach to psychology. They also assume that the processes of learning are common to all...
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