The Gestalt Approach to Psychology
Outline and explain the principles of the Gestalt approach to psychology. How does humanistic psychology differ in essence from other analyses of "mental disorder", and what are its strengths and weaknesses? Psychiatrist Frederick "Fritz" Perls (1893-1970) devised Gestalt therapy. The word "Gestalt" is of German origin, as was Perls, and means "pattern" or "organised whole" (Gross & McIlveen, 1996). In order to make sense of life events, our perceptions are organised into gestalts. Just as we cannot fully understand a family by looking solely at the individuals without regard for its operation as a whole, neither can we understand a gestalt by merely observing its constituent parts. When a gestalt is formed, there is a focus of attention against a background of everything else of potential relevance. This foreground/background (figure/ground) formation is called "field theory". Whatever is of most interest at any moment becomes figure, but if something else becomes more important, figure recedes into ground and is replaced. In field theory all aspects of an individual and their environment are interrelated so that the field forms their context. Unless we understand a person's environment, we can never fully understand them or their behaviour. As Yontef (1973) said "Behaviour is a function of the field of which it is a part. Experiencing is also a function of the
Compare and contrast the main approaches - Biological and Behaviourist, biological and cognitive, Psychodynamic and Behaviourist.
Compare and Contrast the Psychodynamic and Cognitive approaches in terms of similarities and differences. [12 Marks] The cognitive and psychodynamic approaches have many similarities and differences; these include debates in nature and nurture, the usefulness of these approaches, deterministic and scientific/non scientific. The psychodynamic approach takes into account both nature and nurture, however the cognitive approach has failed to recognise the influence of nature and nurture. Freud claimed that adult personality is the product of innate drives (nature) and childhood experiences (nurture). These innate drives include the structure of the personality, Id, ego and superego as well as the psychosexual development every child passes through. If a child does not pass through these processes successfully it could lead to abnormalities in behaviour. The cognitive approach has carried out research into intelligence but has not looked at the influence of genes in its research or environmental factors (such as wealth) that could influence intelligence. Therefore this clearly indicates that both approaches are different in terms of nature and nurture. The cognitive approach is useful and has been applied successfully in therapy. As one of the core assumptions of the cognitive approach is that mental processes influence our behaviour, therefore if these process are
During the Course of your Study, What have you Discovered about the Individual and the Family?
During the Course of your Study, What have you Discovered about the Individual and the Family? Through a number of texts we can learn many concepts of the Individual and the family. Texts include 'Looking for Alibrandi', 'Family Portrait' and 'The Simpsons' whether they are books, songs or cartoons they all have underlying meaning regarding the individual and the family. Through the texts the composers have made us discover that change, families' influences, belonging or trying to fit in, the 'perfect' family image, and the media play a significant role in every individual and the family. An aspect discovered in the study of the individual and the family is change occurring in the family and in the individual. This is discovered when Michael Andretti is introduced to the Alibrandi family his presence changes the relationships and roles of the family. The new information about Nonna's relationship with Marcus changes Josie's view of Nonna they come to a closer relationship and understanding. In Simpsons at the end of the episode the family has changed from a chaotic, dysfunctional family to a united family because they have decided to buy a new TV. Pink's family has also been changed when 'daddy ...leaves' now that 'daddy... leaves' the family will have new relationships and roles. Change is one of the many things that are examined during the course of study of the
Discuss two or more psychological therapies for schizophrenia
Schizophrenia - Psychotherapies 'Discuss two or more psychological therapies for schizophrenia (9 marks + 16).' As a scientifically proven cure for schizophrenia, medication is largely crucial for the treatment of schizophrenia, but unfortunately many people fail to uphold the medication, as its side-effects prove too distressing or they find that these symptoms outweigh that of the disorder. As such, many sufferers of schizophrenia turn to psychotherapies, of which there are two main type of therapy: CBT and psychoanalysis. Cognitive-Behavioural-Therapy CBT is largely founded in the cognitive approach to psychopathology, which arose in the 1950's. CBT assumes that the schizophrenia is a maladaptive behaviour, caused by beliefs that have been distorted, either by someone or something and delusions are often seen as caused by distorted interpretations of events. In CBT, patients are usually prompted to trace the genesis of their symptoms, so as to get a grasp of how they may have occurred and how they might be treated and are then encouraged to evaluate any internal voices they may hear, delusions or hallucinations and so on. As their behaviour is thought to stem from distorted beliefs, they are prompted to find alternative patterns or ways of thinking to their maladaptive one. CBT generally tries to generate less distressing symptoms to arise, rather than completely
Discussion on Autism.
Autism was first described by Leo Kanner in 1943 and is known to affect 1 in 500 Americans with boys being four times more likely to have autism than girls. Although the focus of research is on children, there are many adults who are living with autism. Research on Autism is relatively new, as in the past those with autism were grouped into the broad category of mental retardation. Autism falls under the category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders, PDD, which also includes Asperger's Disorder, Rett's Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and PDD not otherwise specified (atypical autism). These disorders all differ from each other and within themselves differ in severity and level of functioning. Autism is a Spectrum Disorder which indicates that its symptoms can present themselves in various combinations which may range from mild to severe. It is extremely difficult to define a standard autistic person several terms, which also vary in severity, characterize the person. The general terms that describe an autistic individual include: autistic-like, autism spectrum, autistic tendencies, high-functioning, and low-functioning. There are also autistics that have extraordinary capabilities such as Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. The basic criteria for autism include: 1) early onset (before 3-5 years of age) 2) abnormal responses to sensory stimuli 3)
Examine 'The Five Precepts' in the context of 'The Eightfold Path'
Part A-Examine 'The Five Precepts' in the context of 'The Eightfold Path' Both 'The Five Precepts' and 'The Eightfold Path' are significant elements of the Buddhist religion. The precepts act as a guide for the average everyday lay Buddhist on how to create the least amount of karmic energy possible. It by no means is the way directly to reaching Nirvana. The Eightfold Path however, is known as "the way." It is, in itself, the Fourth Noble Truth, and the path to enlightenment. In this examination of the Five Precepts I will endeavour to relate them in context to the different aspects of the Eightfold Path. All the precepts begin with, " I abstain from" so a definition of this word is relevant. The Oxford Dictionary states the meaning of 'abstain' as: " to undertake or restrain oneself." Any undertaking involves not only skill, but work and practice and therefore appreciation of the five precepts would be enhanced by developing the different aspects of the Eightfold Path. Right understanding would enhance appreciation of The First Precept, which is to abstain from the destruction of life, because it would enable a Buddhist to understand not simply that it is wrong to kill, but why you should not take life. It would enable one not only to see the true meaning behind the wrongdoing of taking life, but also to be aware of the consequences of their actions for themselves and
Psychological explanations of schizophrenia
Psychological explanations of schizophrenia Freud believed that schizophrenia was the result of 2 related processes, regression of the pre ego state, attempts to re-establish control of the ego. If the world of a schizophrenic is harsh e.g. the had cold and uncaring parents they may regress a stage of development before ego was properly formed. And before they develop a realistic awareness of external world, thus leads them to an infantile state. AO2, No empirical evidence to support this, except psychoanalysis Support comes from Reichmann et al, who described schizophrenic mothers as uncaring, dominant, and stated that theses mothers behave rather differently Behavioural explanation Symptoms of schizophrenic due to faulty leaning, as liberman said "due to child receiving little or no social reinforcement in early life due to parental disinterest. Makes child behave in a deviant way and focus on irrelevant environmental cues. E.g. the sound of a word rather than its meaning, thus making a person seem abnormal, as this would affect a person verbal and physical behaviour AO2 Supported by the success of behavioural therapies, used in treating schizophrenia. Support comes from roder who found that social skills training helps schizos gain social skills, as they were able to interact with wider community. Cognitive Suggest a diathesis relationship as further
With reference to alternative research findings, critically assess Aschs study into conformity
With reference to alternative research findings, critically assess Asch's study into conformity A study that criticises Asch is by William & Sogon (1984) who claimed that the group Asch created did not reflect all groups found in society. They found that majority influence was significantly greater among friends than among strangers. Therefore Asch failed to realise that he could have obtained much stranger majority influence if he had replaced groups of strangers with an in0group of friends of the genuine participants & consequently this limits Asch findings to only groups of strangers & as a result lacks generalisability to other populations. And to support this Abrams et al (1990) argued that 1st year psychology participants would show more conformity if the other group members were perceived as belonging to an in group (other 1st yr psychology students) than if they were perceived as belonging to an out group (history students). Eagli & Carli (1981) criticise Asch study for being gender biased. They claim that in Western societies a masculine bias exists & as a consequence women show higher levels of conformity than men in the Asch study. They also found that in feminist societies, women actually show less conformity than men. This criticises Ash because he ignored complex gender characteristics that would have affected his results. Also David & Turner (1996) criticise
Reductionism is useful, but only on simple systems rather than complex systems, as we need to focus on other variables such religion, socio-biology and culture.
Outline reductionism Reductionism is where you break something really complex into a simpler explanation. All scientists (i.e. physicians, biologists and chemists) are interested in reductionist explanations and methods of research because reductionism is a useful tool, in the sciences and that it has led to major discoveries such as cures for illnesses and a better lifestyle. Rose identified three kinds of reductionism. Experimental reductionism, which reduces complex behaviours to operationalised variables that can be manipulated to determine cause and effect relationships. Reductionism is also an approach to the explanation in psychology, as the best explanations are those with the fewest sets of laws or principles. The principle of parsimony, or Occam's razor, states that, all explanations are equal, but the simpler explanation is to be preferred. Reductionism also serves as a philosophy that underlies psychology and science in general. If all science is unitary we should be able to reduce all explanations of behaviour to physical laws, and there should a universal language that all sciences speak. Outline and evaluate the cases for reductionism b. This kind of approach allows psychology to be scientific, as it enables a complex idea break down into simple predictions, which can be tested in a controlled way as seen in Peterson and Peterson trigram's experiment. The
"Outline and evaluate two definitions of abnormality: statistical infrequency and deviation from social norms."
Abnormality "Outline and evaluate two definitions of abnormality: statistical infrequency and deviation from social norms." The term "abnormality" is defined as 'deviation from a norm or standard' and in psychology, it is essential to look at what abnormality is. Several ideas have developed for its definition, none of which are entirely apposite since the best way to define abnormality may be a combination of the varying ideas. Two definitions of abnormality that are probably most obvious and most often used are 'statistical infrequency' and 'deviation from social norms'. These define that abnormality is rare, i.e. the majority of the population are not abnormal and that a small minority are, and also that a person who is abnormal deviates from social norms, meaning that the person differs from or does not conform to what is socially accepted. Statistical infrequency is based on the idea that particular behaviours are statistically rare since if few people show a certain kind of thinking or behaviour, it is deemed as abnormal. When any aspect of human behaviour is measured, e.g. height and intelligence, it usually prevails that people with varying degrees of behaviour are usually distributed around the mean. For instance, when measuring intelligence, the vast majority of the individuals are grouped round the mean and the further away you deviate from this, the fewer