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From the five perspectives of Psychology compare and contrast any two perspectives. Which seems to be the more reliable when discussing human behaviour?

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From the five perspectives of Psychology compare and contrast any two perspectives. Which seems to be the more reliable when discussing human behaviour? To get a better insight to what this essay is trying to define, a brief explication of what Psychology is all about will be necessary. "Through systematic research, psychologists aim to explore questions about the way human beings, and sometimes animals, behave and how they experience the world around them" (Malim and Birch. 1998). The word Psychology is derived from two Greek words: psyche meaning 'mind' and logo which could be understood as 'study', therefore Psychology could be classified as 'The study of the mind'. It was only in 1879 with the opening of the first psychological laboratory by Wilhelm Wundt in Germany, that Psychology was considered as a distinctive and self standing scientific speciality and no longer simply as an extension of Philosophy, Physiology or Biology. Throughout the 19th century and just up until recently, there have been many significant innovations which have lead to the development of different perspectives within the realm of Psychology, the five most supported are: the Cognitive; the Humanistic; the Biological; the Psychoanalytic and the Behaviourism. ...read more.


This is an opinion that was shared with Freud, who also believed that early childhood experiences were very important for later adult development. Freud (1909) called this evolution, the 'psychosexual development' and maintained that each individual would have to go through certain phases such as the oral, the anal and finally the phallic stage (Pennington, D. 2002). Erik Erikson (1959) argued that each individual had to go through each of his eight stages of human development, the individual has to correctly complete the present stage before being able to move on to the next. Erikson used the word 'conflict' rather than stage, among the conflicts that he proposed; there were 'trust/mistrust', 'initiative/guilt, and 'generativity/stagnation', to name just a few (Hayes and Orrell. 1998). A comparable idea was proposed by Abraham Maslow and his 'hierarchy of needs', which is often presented under a pyramid form, this pyramid characterize the individual's consciousness, Maslow stated that before being able to progress to a higher level that it was necessary to fulfil the lower levels of needs first. Though Erikson spoke about stages/conflicts and Maslow talked about needs, they both implied the importance of completing steps in the development of an individual's personality (Taylor, I. ...read more.


1998). It can be said, despite the fact that these two perspectives diverge mainly in their approach, they do share a same central core, being the understanding and treatment of mental health and behavioural dilemmas, each looks at what is the human mind, but just from a different angle. Each of these perspectives in their own way is trying to help, treat and eventually propose a solution or remedy to an individual's crisis, therefore it would be extremely difficult to discuss which of these two perspectives is the more reliable when it comes to looking into human behaviour. The choice would depend on so many internal and external factors, such as the personality of the individual, the illness from which they are suffering or their mental force, as no two individuals are the same, their need for therapy would be different. "Psychology is a young discipline relative to the other sciences. As such it has no global paradigm, or single accepted theory, about the nature of human beings in the way that biology has been influenced by Darwin's theory. Until this is possible in psychology, the scope and variety of the many different approaches allow us to adopt different levels of explanation in order to explain human functioning" (Malim and Birch. 1998). ...read more.

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