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

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Introduction

Evaluate The Assumptions And Contributions Of The Behaviourist, Psychodynamic and Humanistic Approaches This essay will in turn look at the behaviourist, Psychodynamic and Humanistic approaches to Psychology. It will evaluate the assumptions and contributions for each approach. Behaviourists emphasise the relationship between the environment surrounding a person and how it affects a person's behaviour. They are primarily concerned with observable behaviour, as opposed to internal events like thinking and emotion. This is a criticism of the behaviourist approach; it is seen as mechanistic and oversimplified, because it ignores mental processes or reinterprets them as just types of behaviour. John Watson saw emotions as the secretion of glands and thinking as the movement of our vocal chords without actual speech. However studies have been carried out and it has been found that people can still think even when their vocal chords are paralysed. Behaviourists make the assumption that in humans; virtually all behaviours are caused by learned relationships between a stimulus that excites the sense organs and a response which is the reaction to the stimulus. John Watson was strongly influenced by the work of Pavlov on classical conditioning. Pavlov trained dogs to salivate whenever he rang a bell. An unconditioned Stimulus (the bell) leads to an unconditioned Response (salivation). When the unconditioned stimulus is paired with another Stimulus (food), this stimulus will eventually produce the response on its own and is then called the conditioned stimulus which produces a Conditioned response. ...read more.

Middle

2. The Ego, the conscious rational mind, it develops during the first two years of life, it works on the reality principle, taking account of what is going on in the environment. 3. The Superego develops at about age five and embodies the Childs conscience and sense of right and wrong, it is formed when the child adopts many of the values of the same sex parent. Freud also assumed that there were three levels of the mind. The conscious - thoughts that are currently the focus of attention. The preconscious - information and ideas that can easily be retrieved from memory and brought into consciousness. The unconscious - information that is almost impossible to bring into consciousness. by slowly introducing the stimulus and getting the phobic to relax, for example a spider phobic Freud's theory suggested that there are frequent conflicts between the id, ego and superego, which cause the individual to experience anxiety, this leads the ego to devote a lot of time to trying to resolve the conflicts. The ego protects itself by using defence mechanisms, such as repression, displacement, projection and denial. An assumption of the Psychodynamic approach is that the adult personality depends on childhood experiences. Freud assumed that all children go through five stages, the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, the latency stage and the genital stage. This is known as psychosexual development. ...read more.

Conclusion

People only become destructive when a poor self concept or external constraints override the valuing process. Rogers proposed that the most important aspect of self concept is self esteem. In our minds we have an image of ourselves as we are and an image of our ideal self. If the images match well, we will have good psychological health and self esteem, if they do not match then we will have psychological problems. Rogers client centred therapy is the most significant contribution of the humanistic approach. The emphasis on the personal qualities of the therapist contributed to the development of the counselling profession. Rogers developed techniques for measuring the progress of therapy, suggesting that it should be subjected to research scrutiny. This was a vital contribution because therapists need to know whether the methods they use are actually effective. Humanistic Psychology reminds us that individual human experience is Important and that there are important aspects of human experience such as self, peak experience and spirituality that are neglected in other approaches to Psychology. This essay has evaluated the assumptions and contributions of the behaviourist, psychodynamic and humanistic approaches to psychology. The behaviourist approach focuses on the behaviour of people and seeks to explain behaviour as being learnt. The psychodynamic and humanist approaches are more concerned with the emotional aspects of people's lives rather than their behaviour. The psychodynamic approach places importance on childhood experience. The humanist approach places more emphasis on the importance of our self image. ...read more.

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