Discuss What Makes the Psychodynamic Approach Unique. Refer to Other Approaches in Your Answer. (12 Marks)

1115 Words Feb 23rd, 2016 5 Pages
A student asks their teacher ‘why are there so many approaches to psychology?’
Their teacher replies ‘ Because each has something different to offer to our understanding of behaviour, making each approach unique.’
Discuss what makes the psychodynamic approach unique. Refer to other approaches in your answer. (12 marks) In terms of human behaviour, psychology provides alternative perspectives, known as approaches, which give explanation to human behaviours. What makes each approach unique is that they all have their own focal points for how to explain behaviour. For example, the biological approach looks to the evolutionary processes and gene mutations/hormone levels, whilst the cognitive approach looks at how behaviour is influenced
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Social learning theorists refer to this as vicarious reinforcement, and view it as a large influence on human behavioural responses to environmental stimuli.

However, despite the fact that these approaches look to the conscious mind to explain behaviours, they do bear similarities with the psychodynamic approach. Social learning theorists stress that behaviours are learnt from role models, and claim that they tend to be people that children can relate to (E.g. people of the same sex). Freud would demonstrate similarities in the Oedipus and Electra complexes during the phallic stage, in which children adopt the attitudes and behaviours of their same sex parents. Meanwhile, the psychodynamic approach relates to the cognitive approach, in the way that it studies the human mind extensively, to understand how thoughts and feelings, whether conscious or unconscious, influence outcome behaviours; although Freud sees the mind as influencing types of behaviour more permanently throughout adult life, yet cognitive psychologists see the mind as more malleable with internal processes being shaped at any time, completely changing behavioural responses. Another element of the psychodynamic approach that makes it unique, is its explanation of the personality. Freud believed that the personality consisted of 3 components: the Ego, Superego and id. The id