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Compare and contrast any two psychological perspectives.

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Compare and contrast any two psychological perspectives. Two of the most fundamental psychological perspectives are the psychoanalytic, and the behaviourist. The father of the psychoanalytic approach was Sigmund Freud who believed that the mind was mostly within the subconscious; "The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one seventh of its bulk above water." he divided the unconscious into three primary sections: The id has no consideration, and only thinks of the most basic needs; such as hunger and comfort. The id is based on our pleasure principle, we can see the id as a newborn baby; its needs must be met and all else is irrelevant. The ego is based on the reality principle and is usually seen to develop at around age three. The ego understands other people's needs and that being selfish may harm us in the long run. The ego's job is to placate the id, whilst considering the reality of the situation. The superego is thought to be developed by the age of five and is the moral part of us, our sense of right and wrong; it can be equated with the conscience as it serves the same purpose. ...read more.


and found that with enough repetitions of this action the dogs would salivate when the bell rang, without the presentation of food (conditioned response- a learned reflex to a stimulus due to association with another inbuilt response.) B. F. Skinner discovered operant conditioning; where rather than reflexive behaviour (eliciting a response) the result was instrumental behaviour (eliciting a response.) The psychoanalytic school of thought refers to the theory of human personality (derived from Sigmund Freud's work). It is the most comprehensive look at human nature and serves as the cornerstone for any clinical psychology or applied psychotherapy. It is simplistic to think of man as a complex animal seeking pleasure, that this animal's personality is established in youth powered by inborn and genetic drives; that a person is unaware of their subconscious or fixated behaviours. Behaviourism is similar in this respect because it states that we seek out pleasurable stimuli, so both agree the pursuit of pleasure/comfort are paramount. Psychoanalysis and behaviourism are linked because behaviourism studies the reflexes of an individual; and a defence mechanism is a reflex: For example: To a man his partner (unconditioned stimulus) may be associated with sex, comfort, affection and feels affection for her in turn (unconditioned response) ...read more.


psychoanalysis would allow development and then treat any problems afterwards, and that behaviourism could seek not also to treat existing problems but to prevent them or shape the personality to suit (another ethical issue raised by Watson). Psychoanalysis is difficult to prove and therefore a sceptic may dismiss it, yet its theories apply to everyday life; "anally retentive" "biting remark" and the most obvious "Freudian slip" are used all the time. Behaviourism is spread throughout learning institutions and is critical in fields such as criminal psychology. The psychoanalytic and behavioural approaches have merit, but equally have their flaws. All sciences have their factions and psychology is no different; when dealing with study of the mind it is difficult to make an exact science. The benefit is, we have gained much information from both fields and many schools of thought have been born from them. Reference: Thomas, Roger K. (1994) Pavlov's dogs Skinner, B F (1973) Beyond freedom and dignity; London: Penguin Smith, M K (1999) the behaviourist orientation to learning Gross, R Mcllveen, R (1998) Psychology-a new introduction Hayes, N (1994) Foundations of psychology http://oldsci.eiu.edu/psychology/spencer/freud.html http://mason.gmu.edu http://www.psy.pdx.edu/psicafe/Keytheorists/watson http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/freud.htm http://www.infed.org/biblio/learning-behaviourist.htm http://mason.gmu.edu/~jshort/tagney.html Compare and contrast any two psychological perspectives Karen Wigham 15th December 2004 Karen Wigham ...read more.

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