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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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

    Contrast Principles of Classical and Operant Conditioning

    3 star(s)

    Other therapies include implosion therapy whereby the therapist repeatedly exposes the person to vivid mental image of the feared stimulus in the safety of a therapeutic setting. Flooding is where the individual is forced to confront the object or situation that gives rise to the fear.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Define Psychology using four perspectives; Psychoanalytical, Behaviourist, Humanistic and Cognitive

    3 star(s)

    psychologists, as holistic explanations tend to get more hypothetical and separated from physical reality. The aforementioned unpredictability of the theories means they lack the power of the physical sciences, which is another argument against holism. The strength of ideas concocted by Freud, Tavris and Wade et al on the other

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Critical evaluation of whether certain assumptions are present in Erikson's psychosocial development theory and ...

    This is going to affect their development, particularly in their formative years because of the psychological stresses and trauma placed on them. In the author's opinion, the development pattern will as a result be anything but predictable. Freeman states that "The death of a significant person in one's life is almost always traumatic and has consequences at many levels."

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

    Freud's theory of child development seems to put to much importance on body-parts and the sexual nature of child development. In particular he seems to have put to much importance on the Oedipus conflict. Freud conducted a case study in a five-year-old boy named Hans.

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

    Abraham Maslow ignored non-conscious processes and believed we have a innate human motivation to achieve our potential. We can compare this to Freud's view that we are motivated by two innate drives as they both say that we are born with these motivations although they are very different.

  2. 'Compare and contrast the contribution that behaviourist and psychodynamic theories have made to our ...

    Watson was waiting to totally transform the very subject matter of psychology from 'mind' to behaviour. This is often referred to as methodological behaviourism. Skinner (1987) defined this as, " Methodological' behaviourists often accept the existence of feelings and states of mind, but do not deal with them because they

  1. Describe and evaluate one of the major approaches to psychology in terms of its ...

    This approach, which became known to be the second major approach of psychology, looks at overt behaviour, in other words the behaviour that can be observed. In Watson's Behaviourist manifesto in 1913, he stated that "psychology must discard all reference to consciousness; any term denoting mental processes was to be

  2. c hallenging a client to change

    - Deflection: This is the process of distraction so that it is difficult to maintain a sense of contact, by such defences as humour, abstractness, generalisations and questions. - Confluence: This means a blurring between the self and the environment.

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