Psychodynamic Perspective was developed by Sigmund Freud (1859 -1939)
Haralambos, et al. (2002) the approach which included Psychoanal ytic Theory of
personality . Freud developed an interconnection of an iceberg to analysis three parts
of the mind. The conscious the tip of the iceberg is made up of mental processes that
we are aware of. The preconscious our beliefs and emotions that are unreachable but
without difficulty being brought to conscious, and un consciou s the suppression of
memories and knowledge in the mind , that impact decisions and behaviour. According
to Freud our childhood experiences that are supressed in the unconscious can impact
adulthood, as it shapes our personality. McLeod, (2017). Personality advances at
separate stages .
The ID is natural from birth it is a spontaneous and unconscious part of personality the
‘Pleasure Principle’ that responds to impulses that need to be please d instantly despite
the consequences .
The Superego instil values and morals that are the norm in society, these are instilled
by parents and others. Its purpose is to dominant the impulses the ID by prompting
the feeling of guilt , as these impulses are not acceptable in societies world of conduct .
The EGO negoti ates between the ID and Superego its part of the personality the
behaves within reason by working on the ‘Reality Principle’ by using practical ways of
satisfying the ID demands without causing conflicts in life. McLeod, (2016) , when
conflicts arise it cau ses anxiety, in itiating defences mechanism to cope for example,
Denial refuses to accept truth , e.g. smoking is bad for your health.
Reaction -Formation , the suppression of events, e.g. supressing memories of sexual
abuse into the unconscious mind McLeod, (2017).
Evaluation of the Psychodynamic Approach , it has had a huge influence on
psychology and is still use and discussed and has huge impact on diverse subjects.
However, Freud concepts cannot be corroborated as theories cannot be tested and
are open to prejudice .
However, J.B. Watson (1878 -1958) Haralambos, (2002) develope r of the Behaviourist
Perspective, disagreed with Freud as his ideas rel y on theories and actions that could
not be observed , and he could not demonstrate the unconscious mind exists. Watson
approach is that psychology is a science, data is collected and controlled from
monitoring and assessment of behaviour on animals and humans. Watson believes
that we are born into the world with a ‘Blank Slate’ and our behaviour learnt from
external environments. We learn this behaviour through Classical or Operating
Conditioning known as the ‘Learning Theory’. McLeod, (2017). Classical conditioning
was discovered by Ivan Pavlov (1849 -1936) Haralambos, (2 002), it is made up of
(Stage 1 ) behaviour that is unlearnt had produce an Unconditioned stimulus (UCS )
initiating an Unconditioned response (UCR), e.g. stomach infection would initiate a
response of sickness.
(Stage 2 ) the combination of (UCS ) and (UCR ) has produce a Conditioned stimulus
(CS ), infection is linked to certain food , becomes a Conditioned Response ( CS) , the
food which was consumed before infection took hold generates a response of
The UCS and CS should respond together and should occur multiple times for learning
to happen. McLeod, (2018).
Operating Conditioning was discovered by B.F. Skinner (1904 -1990), Haralambos,
(2002), Skinner believes that behaviour that is good and receives a reward will occur
again the in same way, but behaviour that is bad and receives a punishment will not
be repeated. Skinner establishes that there are three types of reactions that follow
Positive reinforcement e.g., reward given for learning spellings, behaviour will likely
Negative reinforcement for spellings that are not learned, behaviour will decline .
Punishment by removal of incentive completely can have adverse effect from positive
to fear of spellings. McLeod, (20 18)
Evaluation of the Behaviourist Perspective, it is researched based, using observable
events to collect data to support their theories, however critics state , their theories fail
to deal with the invisible characteristics of human life.
In contrast Cognitive Perspective approach that has input from many Psychologists,
Haralambos . (2002 ), it challenges the Behaviourist force of conditioned behaviour and
Psychodynamic concept of evaluation of the mind , they agree with Behaviourist that
Psychology is a science , using Lab experiments to test their ideas. The approach
compares the human mind to that of a co mputer, as both are information processors ,
we input, store and output information the same as computers. Psychologists focuses
on processes of memory, thinking, language and perception and how knowledge is
received and processed by the mind and how it giv es direction for behaviour or
justification of why we behave the way we do. McLeod, (2015).
Bartlett, (1886 -1969) confirm that memories and information as gathered is stored in
the mind as Schemas , these are mental concepts that notifies an individual about
expectations from experiences and circumstances, they mature based on experiences
through life, and are created to provide a shortcut with future similar encounters easier.
Exampl e; Event Schema, what behaviour is deemed appropriate for events, the mind
will consciously inform you how to act and what to say . Cherry, (2018).
Example: Albert Ellis (1957 ) ABC model to understand behaviour .
A: Activating event : (Input , examines stimuli ) Response to external stimuli e.g.
B: Belief: (Storage, codes and influences stimuli) thoughts to stimuli e.g. Difficult, not
C: Consequence : (Output, primes suitable response to stimuli). activate res ponse in
behaviour: e.g. Stress . McLeod, (2015).
Evaluation of Cognitive Perspective, it is the most govern approach in psychology it
uses precise accurate methods to understand cognitive processes using lab
experiments to provide dependable, verified data, however critics accuse the
approach of being cold disregarding emotions, and experiences that effect the mind,
as the mind is mor e powerful than a machine.
However, Human Pers pective that have two contributors Carl Rogers (1902 -1987 ) and
Abraham Maslow (1906 -1970) , Haralambos , (2002) approach rejects the
Psychodynamic and Behaviourist approach, it considers them as dehumanizing , and
rejects the scie ntific method of studying individuals. It explores the individualism of
each person and supports the theory that all individuals have ‘free will’ and can choose
their own actions to fulfil they potential to lead a happy li fe. Rogers believes that
everyone is good and have desires to fulfil own potential by choosing their own
behaviour , he also thinks that ever individual judges the world in their own way, and
to understand someone actions, you need to see the world how they see it. Everyone
is inspired to self -actualize the need for psychological growth, satisfaction and
fulfilment in life , and Rogers and Maslow have different concepts of how thi s can be
achieved. McLeod, (2008).
Rogers believes that for an individual to fulfil self -actualisation, they must be in a
position of congruence, the occurrence of individuals ideal -self is in harmony with their
self -image . This only occurs if they feel va lued and respected by other s (unconditioned
positive regard ), without scepticism , only being valued and loved if they meet
conditions of self -worth (behaving well). The conditions of self -worth create difference s
between the real -self (how the individual is), and the ideal -self (how the individual they
should be). To help individuals fulfil they potential Rogers developed various
techniques , for example Client -centred Therapy, he believes that to form relationship s
with the client, therapists must have three important qualities , Empathy, Congruence
and Respect, these help the indivi dual to feel understood, while helping to them to
reach their own understandings of feelings and perceptions. Khan, Bowley (2018 –
However, Maslow’s views are that individuals have a diversity needs, which he
arranged in levels of Hierarchy within a pyramid structure.
From the bottom of the pyramid are the basic Psychological needs, like food and water .
Once these needs have been satisfied individuals move on to the following level of
safety and security. Progression up Psychological needs become entwined with social
needs of love and friendship and even further up self -esteem and personal
accomplishmen t become important. Once all these needs have been satisfied the
individual has progressed to self -actualization. Cherry, (2018).
Evaluation of the Humanistic approach sees individuals as good, insisting on human
values such as free will, self -definition and individuals autonomy, but critics argue that
is not possible to verify these qualities as the theory is based on individuals own
On the other hand, The Biological approach believes we are who we are as a result of
genetics , they believe that behaviour is biological and physiological, so
Biopsychology’s investigates behaviour by examining and comparing different
varieties of animal’s brains , nervous system s, hormones and inherited characteristics .
Biopsychologists, are focused on range of physiological and biochemical basis of
behaviour. The brain that is made up of neurons that release chemical messengers
(neurotransmitters) that passes messengers to other neurons. Every individual
neurotransmitter has a specific function and too little or too much influences behaviour .
E.g. Stress is a psychological and biological response to a stimulus like, death, this
will active a chemical called Adrenaline (fight or flight response) , the chemical will
increas e heart rate and blood pressure to prepare for action. McLeod, (2010).
Serotonin chemical occurs naturally in the body , it plays a crucial role in balancing
moods, and is know as the ‘feel good’ chemical. Kristaylyn Salters -Predneault, (2018).
The approach also scientific use methods to investigate genetically inherited
behaviour, it shows that genes have an impact individuals’ personality and behaviour
compared to environment. Genetic influences are tested using animals and twin
studies. McLeo d, (2010).
Twin studies are a way to study nature and nurture and its effects on behaviour. It is
a natural experiment that’s provides geneticists with comparisons of behaviour
between Monozygotic identical twins (100% genetic information shared ) and Dizygotic
non -identical twins (50% genetic information shared) .
For inherited characteristics to be responsible for behaviour, studies on identical twins
should show a greater similarity in behaviour compared to non -identical twins.
Evaluation of the Biological approach can be scientifically be tested to support
theories, can be linked to cognitive and psychodynamic perspective and be used in
real life applications, but critics argue that the approach is too deterministic, and
simpl ifies behaviour and emotions to genes and chemical.
Word Count (164 5)
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