Explain the principle psychological perspective

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19 February 2016

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A perspective means a way of seeing things. Behaviourist is the first approach in this criterion. Behaviourist is the study of human minds, they study behaviour. The behaviourist sees the brain as a black box, this is because as they study animals it is easy to experiment, and they think that humans and animals are similar. The behaviourist wanted to become scientist, which is why they carried out the experiment. Although JB Watson (1887) was the founder of this theorist he studied the work of Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936). Pavlov did an experiment once on a dog. The dog salivated every time Pavlov came to the lab with the food. The dog then started associating the time, the bell and the brown coat. This kind of association is called classic conditioning. JB Watson also once experimented on a little boy called Albert. JB Watson taught Albert to have fear of the rats. Albert had a white fluffy rabbit. One day a white rat came pass Albert, but Albert did not seem to be frightened. JB Watson stood behind Albert’s back with metals. Every time the rat went pass JB banged the metals and Albert was startled, JB did this couple of times until Albert was scared of the rat, however Albert was not only scared of the white rat, it was also scared of his white fluffy rabbit as them to animals has the same colour. BF Skinner was also another behaviourist theorist, he did an experiment on a rat in a cage, he put some food on the food pallet for the rat, the rat accidently put its foot on the lever and food came out. So the rat did this few time and knew that if the rat puts the foot on the lever food would come out, this type of experiment was positive reinforcement. On the opposite Skinner experimented on the negative reinforcement. Skinner investigated this by giving the rat a small electric shock whenever it pressed the lever. The consequence of lever pressing was experienced as unpleasant, so the rat learnt to stop pressing the lever.

Psycho dynamic

Freud ( 1856-1939) and Erikson(1902-194) are two men who came up with the psycho dynamic theory. Freud said that we humans are like animals driven by basic biological natures. He came up with the psyche idea. He said that the psyche idea had three stages, ID means the basic animal instinct, for example, eating sleeping and reproducing, SUPER EGO means morality and EGO means reality and logic. It is said that Freud was the earliest thinkers to bring public attention the idea that us humans are not always aware of some aspects in our lives. He believed that we lock up memories that we do not want to remember or feeling that we do not want to expose somewhere in our brains. He referred consciousness to a tip of an iceberg. He referred pre consciousness at the middle of the ice berg and he also referred unconsciousness as at the bottom of the iceberg. He also came up with defence mechanisms. He knew that when people do not want to remember things, they want to deny it. This mechanism has five stages. Denial is when a person reject the thought or feeling, repression is when we push down the bad memories to the unconsciousness however it could leak at some points. Projection is when a person pushes the social unacceptable thoughts or feelings to someone else. Rationalisation means making excuses and lastly sublimation is putting all the energies onto something else. Freud also came up with the early experience; he came up with this idea which has five stages. Oral means mouth, anal means anus, phallic is a Latin word for penis, latent which means resting and genital which means private parts. Erikson agrees with Freud however he thought that this continues throughout our life time and were essentially social in nature.

Social Learning Theory

The theorist of social learning theory is bandura. He is said to be sympathetic towards behaviourist. Although bandura does not criticize, he tells the behaviourist to build up to it. Bandura agrees with the positive reinforcement. Albert bandura said that leaning takes place in social situations, such as in the family or with friends and other people. How Skinner came up with positive reinforcement, Albert came up with vicarious reinforcement, this means when people observe and get affected. For example, Barbara is good to her mother and the father praises her, her sister is observing it but she gets affected by how she is getting treated by her parents, Barbara’s sister was vicariously reinforced. The other idea bandura came up with was role model and modelling. The people we learn from are our role model but the process of imitating the person is called modelling. Modelling has five stages, attention, which is when a person is attracted to a celebrity or a person they really like. Retention is when the person is keeping the likeness inside them, reproduction is when he person copies the behaviour, motivation is when the person is tempted to do what the celebrity does and lastly self efficacy is when the person is confident in one area. It is said that we do not imitate all behaviour we observe and remember.


This approach has been found by two theorist called Carl Rogers (1902-1987) and Abraham Maslow. Carl Rogers (1902-1087) theory is based on clinic and it is also based on the years he has been dealing with different clients with different problems. Rogers sees people as good and he thinks that “good mental health is a natural progression of human development”. This quote shows that he is stating that human being instinctively know what is bad and what is not. Rogers came up with an idea of an actualisation theory. This is the natural motivation that every human being has. For example, we as human beings try to do very risky things, such as flying to the moon. Some of our hobbies is to create music and paint pictures, we do all because we want to be the best we can, achieve and become successful in the future. He also came up with the idea of unconditional positive regard; he said that this is when people like you, because of who you are regardless of your performances and conformity. The opposite of this is conditional positive regard, which simply explains when someone likes you if their expectations are fulfilled. In other words, Rogers believed that some of the people feel wanted and belonged when they fulfilled other people’s expectations and that is when they develop conditional self regard.

Cognitive Approach

Cognitive approach is found by three theorist, Jean Piaget, Kelly and beck/Ellis. With the invention of computers and other aids brain activities was like the operation of a computer. Loads of researches have been devoted to understand the process of cognitive, such as attention, memory information processing and problem solving. Jean Piaget came up with an idea related to how people develop throughout their lives. He came to a conclusion that cognition develops through a series of stages. There are four stages that Piaget has mentioned in the theory. The first stage is called the sensory motor, it means that babies from 0 to 2 are experiencing through motor and the sense. stage 2 is the pre operational, this is when children from 2 to 7 develop languages along with the memory, stage 3 is the concrete operational which means that the child can now understand conservations but cannot solve problems yet. The last stage is the formal stage, this is when the children can abstract thoughts and present problems of their own and other people.

Biological Approach

The theorist of this theory is called Arnold Gessel (1880-1961), Gessel came up with the idea is that people are born with a set of genes and the genes carries different personalities, so the theorist is stating that behaviour does not to do with environment and what can of people you socialise with but it is to do with the genes the person is born with. This is quite different to the humanistic approach where the effectiveness of nurture is paramount. Gessel believes that as the baby is being formed in the womb of the mother, for example, the heart being first to form. As the child develops the genes allows to flower over the person. The theorist came up with the genetic influences on behaviour idea. He thinks that genes effect behaviour in many ways, some illnesses such as Huntingdon’s disease is caused by the genes caused by the parents genes or the genes from the family. This disorder will change the person’s behaviour, for example, they will speak in appropriately and they will become aggressive.

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