Perspectives of Psychology: Understanding the Columbine Massacre
In Psychology, there are perspectives and approaches that are looked into when trying to understand how the intricate human mind works. These perspectives are respectfully derived from different ideas and time periods, exemplifying different ways of thinking. These perspectives include: sociocultural, biopsychological, psychodynamic, behaviorism, cognitive, and humanism. These approaches are critically essential in solving something as serious as murder, or simply even why someone acts the way they do. There are many instances where there will be shocking news stories about people committing murders—people that are so unexpected to do such harm. However, when the six perspectives are properly enforced, we can infer and comprehend the situation and reasoning. These handy tactics and knowledge help us understand the underlying core reasons for even the most bizarre and deadliest cases such as the Columbine High School Massacre. This massacre is the world’s deadliest high school shooting that was embarked by two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. The pair initially intended to kill thousands of students, however the bomb did not go off as planned. Unfortunately, the malicious killers managed to kill twelve students, one teacher, and greatly injured 21 helpless students. Not only did they engage in such acts, but once they were satisfied with their spree, they committed suicide. This tragic event was greatly televised as it forced schools around the country to enforce strict laws of security. The unbelievable acts of Eric and Dylan left everyone with many questions as to why these seemingly normal students would take the lives of so many, and also themselves. However, we begin to understand how deceiving looks can be as we deeply examine past the superficial surface of these two killers.
A modern perspective in psychology is the sociocultural perspective, which accordingly combines two fields of study: social psychology, which is the study of social roles, actions, relationships; and cultural psychology, which is the study of cultural norms, values, and expectations. These are closely tied due to the fact that they are both about the effect that people have on one another, either individually or in a larger group as a broad culture (Peplau&Taylor, 1997). In short, First of all, sociocultural is a modern approach where culture, race, genders, and backgrounds are studied closely to better understand behavior. This sociocultural perspective is evident in this case, because according to psychologists, Kimmel and Mahler, the two shooters were white males who did not project the male gender roles other students possessed. According to USA Today, the shooters, Harris and Klebold, were seen as outcasts due to their unusual behavior and inability to conform to society. Harris and Klebold allegedly created a website on how to commit crimes varying from theft to something as dangerous as bomb explosions. Both Kleboid and Harris were victims of bullying. I am driven to believe their unacceptance to society and perhaps their culture, enticed them to go on a killing spree. Also, I believe the violent messages sent by heavy metal music, violent televised movies and shows, and other subcultures also served as a factor for the massacre.
More often than not, psychologists ponder on whether chemical imbalances can really affect the way a person acts and thinks, and how it can affect their lifestyle. This perspective is known as the biopsychological perspective. This perspective is also fairly modern, as it focuses on influences of hormones, brain sructures and chemicals, and diesaease. This being said, this approach is strictly thought that human and animal behavior is seen as a result from events going on inside the body (Ciccarelli, 2012). According to journalist, Dave Cullen of the New York Times, Dylan Kleboid was diagnosed with depression. The...
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