Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12

Compare and contrast the main approaches - Biological and Behaviourist, biological and cognitive, Psychodynamic and Behaviourist.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Compare and Contrast the Psychodynamic and Cognitive approaches in terms of similarities and differences. [12 Marks] The cognitive and psychodynamic approaches have many similarities and differences; these include debates in nature and nurture, the usefulness of these approaches, deterministic and scientific/non scientific. The psychodynamic approach takes into account both nature and nurture, however the cognitive approach has failed to recognise the influence of nature and nurture. Freud claimed that adult personality is the product of innate drives (nature) and childhood experiences (nurture). These innate drives include the structure of the personality, Id, ego and superego as well as the psychosexual development every child passes through. If a child does not pass through these processes successfully it could lead to abnormalities in behaviour. The cognitive approach has carried out research into intelligence but has not looked at the influence of genes in its research or environmental factors (such as wealth) that could influence intelligence. Therefore this clearly indicates that both approaches are different in terms of nature and nurture. The cognitive approach is useful and has been applied successfully in therapy. As one of the core assumptions of the cognitive approach is that mental processes influence our behaviour, therefore if these process are irrational this can lead to psychological problems. Therapy, such as RET, aims to replace these irrational thoughts with more positive ones. Engels (1994) concluded that Rational Emotive Therapy is an effective treatment for a number of different disorders. In contrast, the psychodynamic approach is useful in many different ways; it highlights the importance of childhood experiences, arguing that it is a critical period of development. Who we become is greatly influenced by our childhood experiences. Ideas put forward by Freud have greatly influenced therapies used to treat mental disorders. For example, Freud was the first person to recognise that psychological factors could influence physical symptoms of paralysis, as shown in the Anna O case.

Middle

The two main processes of learning behaviour are through classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning is learning through association and operant conditioning is learning through positive and negative association/reinforcement. Behaviourist approach would believe that phobias are a learnt process via classical conditioning, as shown in the Little Albert case. Another difference is that the behaviourist approach is scientific in its nature, whereas the psychodynamic approach is non-scientific. The main principle of the behaviourist approach is that all behaviour should be measureable in a quantitative manner. Behaviour should be studied objectively and variables should be operationalised so they are simple and easy to measure. For example, Bandura's work was conducted under lab conditions, one of the most scientific methods; where by children were assigned to experimental conditions (aggressive group) or control condition (non aggressive group). By changing the variables, Bandura could conclude that aggression was due to the social learning theory. In contrast the psychodynamic approach is not scientific as its not testable, which makes it difficult to falsify. A good theory should be able to be tested to prove if it is right or wrong. It is difficult to test this theory scientifically. For example the use of dream analysis is a subjective method and there are no scientific measurements of interpretations. Also much of Freud's work was based on a very small sample and it is difficult to generalise these findings to other people in the population. One of the similarities between the psychodynamic and behaviourist approaches is that they are both useful in many ways. The psychodynamic approach highlights the importance of childhood experiences, arguing that it is a critical period in development. Who we become is greatly influenced by childhood experiences. Ideas put forward by Freud have greatly influenced therapies used to treat mental disorders. Freud was the first person to recognise that psychological factors could influence physical symptoms of paralysis, as shown in the Anna O case.

Conclusion

This means that we are predetermined to develop a phobia if we have a negative association with it. Free will is not considered in this approach which tells us that people have no personal responsibility for their behaviour. Scientifically the approaches are both similar. In the cognitive approach psychologists believe that behaviour should be testable in a scientific manner. One of the assumptions is that all behaviour should be measurable in a quantitative manner and studied objectively. For example, a laboratory experiment produced by Loftus (1987) found that if victims are faced with a weapon, they tend to focus only on this weapon rather than the offender. This experiment was in a controlled environment, it allowed Loftus to determine cause and effect. The behaviourist approach also believes that behaviour should be measured in a quantitative manner an example being Bandura's work; it was performed under laboratory conditions, one of the most scientific methods. In these experiments children are assigned to experimental conditions or controlled conditions by changing the variables Bandura could conclude that aggression was due to the social learning theory. The only difference in these approaches is that the behavioural approach focuses on nurture whereas the cognitive approach focuses on neither. Behaviourists believe that we are born as a blank slate and society shapes our behaviour. The two main processes of learning behaviour are through classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning is learning through association and operant conditioning is learning through positive and negative association/reinforcement. Behaviourist approach would believe that phobias are a learnt process via classical conditioning, as shown in the Little Albert case. On the other hand the cognitive approach has failed to recognise the influence of nature or nurture in its assumptions. For example the cognitive approach has done research into intelligence but has not looked at the influence of genes in its research or environmental factors (such as wealth) that could influence intelligence. Overall the approaches have more similarities than differences. ?? ?? ?? ?? AS Psychology - Compare and Contrast - Group Work Model Answers

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)



The writer has made a very good attempt at comparing and contrasting the different psychological approaches. Quite a lot of detail has been included although more referencing needs to be added so that it is clear where the ideas have come from.

To improve this essay the writer needs to organise the content better. It would be advisable to give a clear, concise and accurate account of each theory or approach and then compare and contrast them.

Star rating 4*

Marked by teacher Linda Penn 14/10/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Psychology of Individual Differences essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Outline and evaluate two or more therapies used in the treatment of schizophrenia.

    5 star(s)

    Next the patients would be given behavioural assignments with the aim of improving their general level of functioning. The learning of maladaptive responses to life's problems is often the result of distorted thinking by the schizophrenic.

  2. Why cant one approach explain all human behaviour?

    Ego defence mechanisms are unconscious or conscious attempts to protect the mind from extreme anxiety so that when traumatising events occur we push them into a compartment within our unconscious and do not have to outwardly deal with them. Ego defence mechanisms include sublimation which involves diverting emotions into something

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Describe and Evaluate Psychodynamic, Behaviourist and Humanist Theory of Psychology

    4 star(s)

    The sex instinct was actuated according to the pleasure principle, where people and personalities try to gain pleasure. Freud went on to suggest that it was the task of the EGO to satisfy the ID. Freud suggested that a third area of personality, the SUPEREGO, represented the conscience and the ideal self of the mind.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Discuss two or more biological therapies for schizophrenia

    5 star(s)

    However, other claims such as their reduction of negative symptoms and superiority over conventional alternatives find less support. In fact, studies by Leucht have concluded that half of all atypical drugs are only 'slightly' more effective than conventional ones, with the other half no more effective, or even worse.

  1. Schizophrenia. This essay shall discuss the various theoretical causes of schizophrenia including; biological explanations ...

    Dopamine is one of many neurotransmitters operating in the brain, and schizophrenics are believed to have an abnormally high number of dopamine receptor sites in the brain, thus resulting in more dopamine production, (class notes). Too much dopamine can be an effect of drugs, such as L-DOPA or amphetamines; such

  2. EVALUATE THE MEDICAL MODEL AND THE BEHAVIOURAL MODEL OF ABNORMALITY

    Miraculously Phineas survived the accident but was a changed man, he was now described as disinhibited, unreliable, aggressive and impulsive as a result of damage to the frontal lobes of the brain. Another example of physical damage causing psychological damage is the case study done by Ellis and Szulecka (1996),

  1. Psychology - Nature/Nurture Debate

    They combine to produce all the information an embryo needs to develop biologically. Since we inherit particular chromosomes through the egg and sperm, we also inherit the particular characteristics coded for by the genes on those chromosomes. Arnold Gesell, a pioneer of developmental psychology, was an extreme nativist.

  2. Consider the Problems Faced by Psychologists in the Definition of Abnormality

    Therefore, both in mental health and physical characteristics the use of statistical infrequency is not always reliable as each variable may be viewed differently- some are desirable to be within normal ranges, whilst others are desirable if they are 'abnormal'.

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.