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This essay will attempt to explore three approaches in psychology which will be the psychoanalytical, behaviourist and the cognitive approach.

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Introduction

This essay will attempt to explore three approaches in psychology which will be the psychoanalytical, behaviourist and the cognitive approach. The main features of these approaches will be highlighted and there strengths and weaknesses will be evaluated. Qualifications within certain branches of psychology will also be explained. The psychoanalytical approach was founded in 1900 by both medical doctor and philosopher Sigmund Freud (1876-1939). The psychoanalytic approach aims to understand thoughts, feelings and behaviours by analysing unconscious mental processes formed by early childhood experiences. Freud was interested in charting how the human affected the body, particularly in forms of mental illnesses. Here the psychoanalytic explores psychotherapist explores there unconscious to help the patient understand him or herself The psychoanalytic theory is concerned with the unconscious mind for this the mind can be described as being like an iceberg. Only the tip of the iceberg can be seen above the surface of the water, while the great remainder is hidden under the water. The tip of the iceberg represents the part of the mind which is conscious this part being the only part that humans are directly aware of. The part of the iceberg just below the waters surface is described as being our preconscious, this being our dream state and recent experiences which we are able to remember with little effort. The base of the iceberg represents our unconscious mind; this is the part we are not normally aware of. It contains our instincts (sex and aggression), traumas, fears, and passions. The unconscious is said to have more influence over our behaviour than our conscious mind. These unconscious thoughts and ideas can become conscious through the use of special techniques, such as free association, dream interpretation and transference, the cornerstone of psychoanalysis. ...read more.

Middle

The bell had become the stimulus for salivation to occur. (Stimulus response connection). After this, whenever the bell was sounded the dog salivated and continued to do so even though no food was given. The name given to these procedure used by Pavlov is classical conditioning. The second theory of learning is operant conditioning. This theory was developed by American psychologist Burrhus Skinner (1904-1990). Operant conditioning proved to be very successful. This type of experiment involved the subject behaving in some way first and then the consequences would follow. If the consequences of the behaviour were positively reinforced, the subject would continue with the same behaviour. On the other hand if the subject received some sort of punishment it was found that the behaviour would stop. This type of experiment was carried out on animals such as rats. The rat would be placed in a closed box (Skinner box) and was observed carefully A Skinner box typically contains one or more leavers, a stimulus light and a food dispenser. Once the rat is place in the box it runs around accidentally hitting leavers which then release food. After a while the rat knows that by pressing the leaver food is the result. It is also possible to deliver other reinforcements such as water or to deliver punishment like an electric shock through the floor of the chamber. If the rat is reinforced with something good it is more likely to continue with that behaviour, if it is reinforced with something bad the rat will avoid repeating the same behaviour. The purpose of the Skinner box was to prove that behaviour is learnt; it was successful in proving this and proved great importance to behaviourists Skinner believed that humans should be treated in the same controlled conditions for their own good and for the good of civilisation. ...read more.

Conclusion

They also advise on educational provisions and policies and carry out research. Educational psychologists draw on the cognitive approach in psychology and as well as being involved directly in influencing children's behaviour they are also involved in research which looks at how children develop cognitively and how they learn. A clinical psychologist has a post graduate qualification in clinical psychology they work with patients and clients in a health care setting to enable them to make positive changes to there life. Clinical psychologists are concerned with assessment, treatment and research in medical and physical illness, they offer therapy for difficulties relating to anxiety, depression, addiction social and interpersonal problems and challenging behaviour. This work involves applying therapies based on different psychological approaches e.g. a behaviour therapy may be used to treat anxiety which draws on both behavioural and cognitive approaches or counselling for a depression may draw on the psychodynamic approach. The work is interdisciplinary as a clinical psychologist works closely with a wide range of other professionals including medical specialists, social workers etc. Applicant for teaching and research posts are usually judged mainly by formal qualifications, publications and experience. For university posts a good first degree in psychology, a higher degree and a record of research and publication are usually needed. Psychology teachers in schools and in further education colleges are generally required to hold recognised teaching qualifications. This essay has explored three very different approaches. All three approaches take a different view on how human behaviour should be understood. It is obvious that there is no completely right or wrong answer on how to interpret human behaviour; these three approaches have proved this. However different these approaches seem to be they have offered a lot to psychology over the years and are still in good use. Lynn Brown Psychology L01 1 ...read more.

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