• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast 2 approaches to psychology

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast two approaches to psychology A psychological approach is a basic set of assumptions and beliefs about an organism, and a way of explaining how it operates/functions, with evidence to support this. Different psychologists have different ideas about what makes us, us and there are 5 major approaches in psychology. I have chosen to compare and contrast the Psychodynamic and Behavioural approaches. The Psychodynamic approach claims there are psychological forces [psycho] that drive us forward [dynamics]. It studies the interrelationship of the different parts of the mind, personality or psyche and how they relate to mental, motivational and emotional drives, particularly at a subconscious level. This approach believes most of our behaviour is determined by unconscious thoughts, desires and memories and tries to interpret our behaviour in relation to those innate emotional processes. The seed of Psychodynamics was sewn by Ernst von Brucke in 1874; adopted by Freud and later adapted by Jung, Adler and Erikson One of the main focuses in psychodynamics was the link between the emotions and conflict in the id [which holds the raw animal drives; was inaccessible to conscious thought, selfish and demanded instant gratification] the ego [the logical part that controlled the drives of the id and allowed its desires to be expressed in a socially acceptable way] and the superego [where our 'highest' ideals and outside expectations were internalised; the source of our morals] Freud likened the structure of personality to an iceberg. ...read more.


He separated psychology from philosophy, steered it towards biology and rejected Freuds' theories about unconscious as they could not be observed. Behaviourists did not reject the existence of consciousness and a mind but felt these concepts were impossible to study so couldn't give a great deal towards a scientific approach in psychology. They felt the human body was a machine and watched what went into it (stimulus) then measured what came out (response) Watson and his colleagues state that behaviour is moulded by experience and relied heavily on Pavlov's classical conditioning theory. Pavlov initially discovered that dogs' behaviour followed a pattern of stimulus and response. He then carried out experiments which developed a conditioned response to a stimulus that was paired with an original unconditioned stimulus. He went on to find that other behaviours like discrimination, spontaneous recovery and extinction developed. This research also worked with humans. Behaviourists theorized that all human behaviour could be explained as a complex series of highly conditioned reflexes and as humans are related to other organisms through evolution, their behaviour could be understood by looking at animals and that general rules could apply to both. They felt that humans and animals were related physiologically and behaviourally. Behaviourists see learning as a change in behaviour that is bought about by altering links between stimuli and response and that however complicated a behaviour, it was possible to break it down and analyse it in basic stimulus-response units (reductionism). ...read more.


However the behaviourists could scientifically document their findings as they were observable and unlike Freud they could almost identically replicate experiments. They also argue that emotional and instinctual drives cannot be observed, therefore are also unfalsifiable. Freudian theorists state that adult behaviour is best understood by looking at childhood experiences. Behaviourist Skinner agrees but feels connections are based on the reinforcement history of the person and that the id, ego concept is too vague. Behavioural therapy only focuses on altering behaviour and ignores the underlying problem but psychoanalysis tries to get to the underlying problem to alter current behaviour. Behaviourists don't take into account the possible role of biological factors in human behaviour and believe learning and experience determines the type of person you become, whilst Freud firmly believed that childhood experiences moulded us into whom we became as adults Both approaches are very deterministic, they leave little room for free will. Behaviourist ignore free will, they view individuals as passive beings that are at the mercy of their environment. This doesn't account for creative and spontaneous behaviour, they generalise behaviour ignoring differences between individuals and their experiences. Psychodynamics also ignores free will. How can internal conflicts be in our control? Both approaches also agree that past experience can determine how we react to present and future events, but some of Freuds' ideas are clearly tied to his time in history and not easily testable. The research carried out by behaviourist can still be repeated today. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast two of the main approaches to personality psychology

    3 star(s)

    for good behaviour. Freud believed that the healthy personality must keep all three systems in balance. If the id is too strong, the person is likely to be selfish, impulsive and antisocial. However, someone who is too controlled by the superego is likely to be rigid, moralistic and authoritarian.

  2. Describe And Evaluate Two Approaches In Psychology. - Psychodynamics and Behaviourism

    Hans had a phobia of being bitten by a horse. Freud used his theory of the Oedipus conflict to interpret his phobia as an unconscious fear of being castrated by his father. It is worth mentioning that Hans father was a follower and supporter of Freud's ideas.

  1. The study into the use of Roamer in promoting basic concepts in geometry for ...

    Lesson 4 This lesson was introducing the Roamer to the experimental group of three children. During this lesson the children had told me that they had not used or knew what a Roamer was. The children were very enthusiastic when I had introduced the Roamer and when I asked if

  2. Psychology Cae Studies

    There is room for these tests to be manipulated by either the prosecution or the defence. Which ever team pays for the tests can get the results that they so desire. Over sensitivity of the machinery needs to be controlled for in the tests in order for their reliability to be increased, and their usefulness enhanced.

  1. discuss freud's psychodynamic theory and compare and contrast to the humanistic theory

    The first is the oral stage which usually occurs between birth and two years and is when the mouth is the source of pleasure. The anal stage is usually between ages two to three and the child is now aware of its bowels and controlling them.

  2. Using studies from the list below, answer the questions which follow: Rosenhan (sane in ...

    Brain functioning can be one possible factor why a person may act violently. However, other factors must be taken into account including a person's social background, their role models, psychological predispositions, learned responses etc. It was learnt that it is also important to question the notion that all murderers are violent.

  1. c hallenging a client to change

    - Fantasy: Through the use of symbols-fantasy can be verbalised, written or acted. - Shuttle; Directing the clients' attention back and forth from one activity or experience to another. - Top -dog-underdog: * Top dog represents the "shoulds" that the person has introjected; top dog is righteous, perfectionist, authoritarian, bullying and punishing.

  2. Evaluate The Assumptions And Contributions Of The Behaviourist, Psychodynamic and Humanistic Approaches

    Freud believed that much of our behaviour is determined by unconscious thoughts, memories etc. He compared the mind to an iceberg, with the tip of the iceberg being the conscious mind and the larger part as being the unconscious mind.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work