Possible paranoia

The behaviourist approach has contributed to psychology in many ways, it has allowed us to recognise that we as humans influence others behaviour every day. Behaviourists show that it is not possible to explain behaviour by labelling it. One of the practical applications, that it is best known for, is its relaxed approach to people’s lives. It is used by many today such as by advertisers and businesses, whom rely on learning principles to get their customers to change their behaviour. An example of this is being offered reduced insurance for non-smokers.

Behaviourism is very scientific and its experimental methods have made a lasting impression on the subject. Its practical applications have proved to be effectivtive. It is criticised by other approaches for their rejection of conscious mental experiences and the fact that it ignores important mental processes in learning. The use of animals and laboratory experiments are criticised by many as it is felt by others that experiments of this nature can only show artificial results rather than natural.

The Humanist approach, originally developed in America in the early 60’s, aimed to investigate all aspects of human experiences such as, love and hope. The approach came about due to dissatisfaction with all other perspectives. Humanists believe that all humans have the potential to grow and develop positively; humans are free to choose their behaviour and emotional responses to events in their lives.

In the 1950’s Maslow suggested that are a wide range of human needs, which he demonstrated diagrammatically within his triangular hierarchy of needs. Physiological needs such as food and water were at the bottom followed by safety (stability and being free from anxiety). This was then followed by belongingness, the need for love and acceptance. Above this Maslow placed self esteem, the self- confidence and respect that we require. The last one being placed on the top was the Self- actualisation which is the need to fulfil ones own potential.

Maslow believed that the basic needs (those at the bottom of the triangle) need to be fulfilled to be able to fulfil the higher needs. People can be helped with their personal growth through client-centred therapy which was developed by Carl Rogers. The therapy is a talking therapy and is where the therapist listens and repeats back what the client has told them withought giving suggestion on how the client can change. This then enables the client to make decisions for themselves and decide how they would like to change.

The humanistic approach has shown the great need to study the consciousness and human experience to enable to see the subject as a whole. It serves as a criticism against the earlier approaches. The Maslow triangle is used today as a tool to show and recognise our needs, especially as part of therapy. Although psychologists see this approach as a philosophy of life rather than a method or approach to psychology it is still embraced by many. As a whole it shows the need to study the consciousness and human experiences to enable a complete study.

The approaches practical applications has been its therapeutic treatments, which have proved to be affective especially for those who have shown to have problems with simply living. Two examples of the therapy’s that are known for its practical results are client centred therapy, that we have looked at previously in this essay and Gesult therapy which is used to get the client to accept every aspect of themselves as a whole. However this approach has not had a big impact on psychology academically, this may be due to the fact that it is not a scientific approach instead more of an idiographic one.

The Biological perspective believes that all psychological events are a result from brain activity and the nervous system. Wilson set out to explain that all non human and human social behaviour in terms of evolution and other biological principles. It was believed that human genes evolved over millions of years to adapt the behaviour to our environment. Evolutionary psychologist’s construct a theory of human nature that is an overall view of how we should expect humans to behave.

The normality that is expected in people is a properly normal functioning nervous system. The stages of development in this perspective are based on the changes in brain growth which are determined by our genes. There are several major causes to having abnormal behaviour such as, genet tic disorders (that you are born with), brain disease or injury and mental illness which can give rise to both behavioural and psychological symptoms. The treatments that can be used in this area have improved greatly over the years as our technology has improved. The use of drugs can be used such as chemotherapy, antipsychotic drugs (to treat illness such as schizophrenia), antidepressant drugs (the main used one these days being Prozac) and minor tranquillizers (used for more physical symptoms such as panic attacks then for emotional disorders.)

Electro-convulsive therapy (E.C.T) can be used to treat categories of illness such as Bipolar disorder, certain types of schizophrenia and chronic depression. It involves an electric shock being applied to the brain to investigate convulsive seizures. The main contribution to this perspective has been the new insight it has given mental and emotional disorders. Due to advances in this area it is now clear that disorders that was once thought to be purely psychological are now in fact involve genetic factors. This is one area that has contributed to science in many ways and will continue to develop.

However this approach is critised for not adequately explaining how the mind and the body interact. It is also greatly critised for its reductism, in which the approach tends to explain personal and social problems solely as actions of neurones or biochemical’s, failing to look at other leading factors. The cognitive perspective began in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. The interest had been gradually started through the work of people such as Piaget and Tollman but the arrival of the computer gave cognitive psychology the technology it needed to investigate and study the human mind. This perspective is a mental process, not relying on behaviour but concentrating on how humans learn.

Cognitive neropsychologists study humans who are brain damaged to investigate the cognitive dysfunctions which occur as the result of the brain damage. One of the leading nero-pschologists was Piaget (1932). Piaget’s idea was intelligence being made up of imate ideas and environmental influences. Piaget believed that there are several stages of cognitive development, these being: Sensorimotor stage (0-2 years) this is the stage when the child’s intelligence is practical. Using their senses and movement.

Pre-operational stage (2-7 years). The development from the sensorimotor stage is still continued, using interiorised schemas. Acting on memory of how things look. Concrete operational stage (7-11 years). In this stage the child develops the mental structure and can start to understand things logically, such as that objects belong to more than one category. Formal operational (11+ years). It is in this stage that imagination and abstract thought is developed. In teenagers they are able to think hypothetically, i.e.; think about situations that they may have not yet experienced.

Abnormal behaviour is shown in a person when they have unrealistic and irrational ideas with possible paranoia and are unable to control their behaviour through the appropriate cognitive process. The main treatment for any abnormal behaviour in this area is ‘Rational emotive behaviour therapy’ (R.E.B.T). Ellis (1962) was behind this treatment and was used to train the client to have more rational thoughts. In R.E.B.T the client is challenged to prove they are worthless and are directed to practise positive statements.

This theory also has a part on education for example the repetition of the way a teacher pronounces something in a language class or the way a teacher explains something. Students believe in their teachers as a person whom knows …

Using one of the schools of thought in psychology below explain your behaviour during your first day at Wits. You are expected to fully describe the school of thought of your choice. Also explain in which ways the school of …

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 …

The history of psychology dates back to ancient times, for instance, in ~400BC Hippocrates looked at the link between body and personality, his theory being that body type determined the personality. In later years Aristotle (~350BC) focused on the relationship …

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