Psychological Perspectives

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Psychology, Attribution theory Pages: 4 (2124 words) Published: April 20, 2015
Three of the five major perspectives in Psychology are biological, cognitive and humanistic. The biological approach states that all behaviours, thoughts and feelings are caused by biological factors such as hormone production and genetics (McLeod 2007). For example the production of the hormone serotonin causes an individual to feel happiness, while genetics have evolved over the years so that human bodies and behaviour adapt to their environment, meaning that most behaviour we display today has an evolutionary purpose. The development of social behaviours in humans have resulted in the rise of civilisation, which has introduced “social norms” and feelings such as embarrassment. This shows the biological approach is nomothetic, meaning that it studies the group rather than the individual. The biological perspective also favours nature over nurture as it believes that behaviour is caused, to an extent, by genetics and is therefore deterministic; human behaviour is determined by biological factors. (McLeod 2007)

The humanistic approach studies the whole person by examining their behaviour through the observations of the psychologist and the person themselves (known as holism) (McLeod 2007). Humanism aims to prove that an individual’s behaviour is connected to their inner feelings and self-concept (how an individual perceives themselves), meaning that it takes a phenomenological approach as it is investigating an individual's conscious, subjective experience of the world. This contrasts with the biological approach which believes behaviour is connected to genes and hormones. The humanistic approach states that each person is unique, which shows that it is idiographic in its approach, and that each person is responsible for their own well-being meaning that it assumes people have free will. Again, this contrasts to the biological approach which is nomothetic and deterministic. The humanistic approach is concerned with understanding the behaviour from the...
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