Psychodynamic Versus Behavioral

Topics: Psychology, Sigmund Freud, Mind Pages: 2 (566 words) Published: May 6, 2001
In psychology there are six modern psychological perspectives. These perspectives are behavioral, psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive, sociocultural, and biological. Each perspective has its own unique way of explaining the human behavior. I believe to truly explain the complex mental processes and behavior, each perspective must be examined, not limited to just one. The following is my explanation and comparisons between two of these perspectives: psychodynamic and behavioral.

"The behavioral view is defined as the psychological perspective that emphasizes the power of the environment to influence behavior." (Zimbardo, page 17) The behavioral view is often referred to as behaviorism and was developed by psychologists who disagreed with the cognitive view. Instead of looking at the mental processes, behaviorists look at humans externally by observing the effects of people, objects, and events on behavior. The stimulus-response connection, developed by behaviorists, explains human behavior by stating that each response has a stimulus. An example would be a loud noise (the stimulus) causing a person to jump (the response). True behaviorists claim that thoughts, feelings, and motives do not play a role in determining behavior. Thoughts and feelings are not the cause, but the result. B. F. Skinner is quoted as saying, "The crucial age-old mistake is the belief that…what we feel as we behave is the cause of our behaving." (Zimbardo, page 20).

"The psychodynamic view is defined as a psychological perspective that emphasizes unconscious memories, needs and conflicts as the causes of behavior." (Zimbardo, page 17) Psychodynamic psychologists look at the cause and mental conflict that trigger behavior. Importance is put on the unconscious motives and discords. Sigmund Freud developed psychoanalysis, which is considered the most well-known of the psychodynamic theories. (Zimbardo, page 19) Frued explained the mind as having pressures that build up and...

Cited: Freud, Sigmund. An Outline of Psycho-Analysis. W.W. Norton and Company.
New York: 1949.
Zimbardo, Phillip G., Ann L. Weber, and Robert Lee Johnson. Psychology:
Third Edition. Allyn and Bacon. Nedham Heights: 2000.
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