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Origins of Psychology Essay

This theory was developed by Sigmund Freud in the early 1900’s and paved the way for modern psychology in the early 1900’s. This theory deals with the deep, inner and mysterious core of the human psyche, in search of understanding the psychology of the human being. It is also closely connected with evolutionary perspectives on personality. Behaviorist : The primary focus of the behavioral perspective is on behavior and the influence of the external environment in shaping of the individual’s behavior. Teaching, therefore, refers to the environmental conditions that are arranged and presented to students.

Some of the key behaviorist theorists in the field of psychology are viz. , John Watson, B. F. Skinner, and E. L. Thorndike. Teachers who draw from behaviorist theory tend towards active learning (or “learning by doing”). The teacher determines all of the skills needed to achieve the desired behavior and students learn them in a step-by-step manner. Humanist : The focus of the humanistic perspective is on the self, which translates into “YOU”, and “your” perception of “your” experiences. This veiw argues that you are free to choose your own behavior, rather than reacting to environmental stimuli and reinforcers.

Issues dealing with self-esteem, self-fulfillment, and needs are paramount. The major focus is to facilitate personal development. Two major theorists associated with this view are Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. Cognitive : The school of psychology that examines internal mental processes, such as creativity, perception, thinking, problem solving, memory, and language. Cognitive psychologists are interested in how a person understands, diagnoses, and solves a problem, concerning themselves with the mental processes that mediate between stimulus and response (Garvey,1999)

Neuro-scientific / Bio-psychological : The neuro-scientific framework seeks to relate behavior and mind to the brain. The important overall point of a neuro-scientific perspective is that analyses of normal or abnormal function need to be informed by an understanding of the brain structures and processes that implement the function. Psychiatrists need to monitor emerging work that highlights the need for both a neuro-scientific and medical perspective in the management of complex disorders. Evolutionary :

Evolutionary psychology is the science that seeks to explain through universal mechanisms of behavior why humans act the way they do. Evolutionary psychology seeks to reconstruct problems that our ancestors faced in their primitive environments, and the problem-solving mechanisms they created to meet those particular challenges. From these reconstructed problem-solving adaptations, the science then attempts to establish the common roots of our ancestral behavior, and how those common behavioral roots are manifested today in the widely scattered cultures of the planet.

The goal is to understand human behavior that is universally aimed at the passing of one’s genes into the next generation. Socio-cultural : The social-cultural perspective concentrates on the culture of a group of individuals or society as a whole rather than the individual. To understand why people tend to show certain behavior traits, mental health clinicians look at what affects the community as a group of individuals might have on their own thought processes. Some of the questions pondered are if a person behaves a certain way to be accepted or commits an act because it is accepted amongst their society.


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