Major Theoretical Perspectives in Psychology Essay

2419 Words10 Pages
Major Theoretical Perspectives in Psychology INTRODUCTION In this assignment I will be describing the five major schools of psychological research. These are Behaviorism, Biological, Cognitive, Humanist and Psychoanalytical. I will then attempt to evaluate the pros, cons and practical applications of the Behaviorist and Psychodynamic approaches. BEHAVIORISM The earliest origins of behaviorism can be stemmed from the philosopher John Locke (1632-1704). He believed that the human being is born as a 'tabula rasa'. This effectively means a neonate is a blank slate with no prior knowledge or ideas. According to Locke it is experience through senses, which provides the mind.…show more content…
He used rats put into a small maze to investigate his ideas. Rewards were placed at certain points around the maze to reinforce the rat's behaviour towards that particular route. After this conditioning process the rat's behaviour was reinforced to the extent that it was able to complete the maze on upon entering (see fig.2). He believed that all behaviour is learned not reflex or innate. BIOLOGICAL OR NEURO-BIOLOGICAL As the name implies this school of thought uses biology as a means of describing and explaining psychological functioning. They believe our behaviour is linked to the processes in our physiological make-up. The functions of the brain, nervous and hormonal systems are key to their research. The origins of this approach can be traced back to the Greek physician Galen, who believed that the levels of such fluids as blood and bile affected our temperament and personality. But it has only been in the last hundred years or so that this perspective has gained momentum. This is due to technology and our better understanding of the human body. As our understanding of the brain and associated systems continues to evolve so will the ideas and theories of this paradigm. One aspect of this approach is the notion of Reductionism (also used by Behaviourists). This is where area of research is broken down into basic forms or units. From the

More about Major Theoretical Perspectives in Psychology Essay

Get Access