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Compare and contrast two psychological perspectives I am going to research the psychodynamic and Cognitive theory thoroughly

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I am going to research the psychodynamic and Cognitive theory thoroughly, using different resources with this I will compare their strengths and weaknesses of each. The psychodynamic approach includes all theories in psychology that see human functioning based upon the interaction of drives and forces within the person, particular unconscious between the structures of personality. Freud's psychoanalyst was the original psychodynamic theory. Sigmund Freud's Theory is quite complex. He believed that different driving forces develop during these stages which play an important role in how we interact with the world. In An Outline of Psychoanalysis, Freud (1949) explains the principal tenets on which psychoanalytic theory is based. According to Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality, personality is composed of three elements, these three elements of personality is known as the id, the ego, and the superego which work together to create complex human behaviors. The id is the only component of personality that is present from birth. This aspect of personality is entirely unconscious and includes of the instinctive and primitive behaviors. According to Freud, the id is the source of all psychic energy, making it the primary component of personality. The id is driven by the pleasure principle, which strives for immediate gratification of all desires, wants, and needs. If these needs are not satisfied immediately, the result is a state anxiety or tension. ...read more.


This is known as the final stage of the psychosexual development begins at the start of puberty when sexual urges are once again open. Though the lessons learned during the previous stages, adolescents direct their sexual urges onto the opposite sex peers, with the primary focus of pleasure is the genitals. (Freud, 1949, p. 52). In contrast to the psychodynamic theory, the cognitive perspective to psychology began in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but it only became clear and important for research in the 1970s. Cognitive psychology is used to study the mental processes of a person. The idea is that the mind has a sort of mental state which makes it able to believe desire and intent. It is like comparing a human mind to a computer by saying that we are also information processors and that we can study the internal mental processes that are in the stimuli and the responses we make. The word "Cognition" means "the process of knowing" so therefore the cognitive process is associated to the ways, in which knowledge is used, retained and gained. Cognitive psychologists have researched and studied attention, perception, thinking, language, memory, attention and problem solving. Emotion was not considered a cognitive process. All in all, the cognitive psychology studies to understand the thinking process that influence our actions and behavior. ...read more.


They also say that it is too cold, meaning they are ignoring the emotional side of humans, their consciousness and free will. But just as all the other psychology approaches, it will be argued forever, but still used. Some like it and some do not, but in the end, it is a very important part of psychology. (Farrell, 1981, p. 195). In conclusion to this the psychodynamic approach concentrates on the human personality which according to Freud has three distinctive and interacting parts and he used thermodynamics as an extended metaphor to explain this. Using this tripartite division the ego and the id in which he named these three distinctive parts, the id, the ego, and the superego. He also believed that much of one's personalities are shaped from one's childhood experiences. He theorized that from a child's birth until the child has gone through puberty, he or she goes through psychosexual stages of development. In comparison to this the Cognitive theory was used by psychologists to explain how people could act as information transmission devices. Cognitive psychology makes a number of assumptions: Humans are seen as active information processors Mental processes exist and these processes are linked to observable behaviors - e.g. how long people take to do things, what sort of mistakes people make. These assumptions are used to develop theories via the use of the information processing approach and by computer modeling. ...read more.

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This essay starts off very well with some excellent explanations of Freud's work. The writer clearly has a good grasp of the psychosexual stages of development and how Freud related problems negotiating these stages to adult problems. It would be a good idea to point out that Freud's psychoanalytical theory is the first of the psychodynamic approaches and that there are other psychodynamic approaches which developed from Freud. However, this part of the essay is very good indeed.

Unfortunately, Cognitive Psychology has not been covered as well and is a bit thin on the ground. The writer needs to read more about cognitive psychology in general and give some examples of its therapeutic uses.

The criticism at the end of both approaches is rather disjointed and needs to be better organised.

With more work on the second part of the essay and a better conclusion this essay could achieve full marks.

3 Stars

Marked by teacher Linda Penn 08/05/2013

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