Essay about A Comparison of Two Schools of Psychology

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A Comparison of Two Schools of Psychology

There are many different schools of psychology, each have their own views and they all look at psychology from different perspectives. I am going to outline six perspectives and then compare and contrast two schools.

The biological perspective and major figures such as Karl Lashley looks to the body to explain the mind, they look at hormones, genes, the brain, and the central nervous system to explain the way we think, feel and act. The psychodynamic perspective and major figures such as Sigmund Freud views behaviour as driven by powerful mental conflicts locked deep within the subconscious. The behaviourist perspective and major figures such as John
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In order to enable me to compare and contrast the psychodynamic approach and the behaviourist approach they must be discussed in more depth. Behaviourism is a movement in psychology that advocates the use of strict experimental procedures to study observable behaviour or responses in relation to the environment. B.F Skinner was a behavioural psychologist who became famous for his work with rats using his "Skinner box". He took the extreme liberty of transferring his experience and theories of rats directly to humans. It should be kept in mind that rats and people are tremendously different creatures, yet Skinner had no problem with easily assuming what was true for rats, on a very simple scale, would be applicable to humans in very different and complex situations. Classical and operant conditioning played a large part in Skinners research (Glassman, 2000).

In a traditional behavioural approach, Skinner followed in the footsteps of Pavlov and Watson. This view puts across that the subject matter of human psychology is only the behaviour of the human being. Behaviourism claims that consciousness is neither a definite nor a usable concept. The behaviourist holds the belief in the existence of consciousness; it goes back to the ancient days of superstition and magic. The behaviourists asks: why don't we make what we can (Nye, 2000).

The initial influence of