Who Provides the Better Approach to Human Behaviour, Freud or Skinner

2603 WordsSep 10, 200811 Pages
Why do we behave the way we do? Is our environment responsible for shaping our personalities? Does childhood influence who we are? These are all questions that have intrigued philosophers and society in general for centuries. ‘There are many experts that share and dispute the answers to these questions, but there are two in particular that have contributed greatly in finding explanations’ (Crux, 2006); Sigmund Freud and Burrhus Frederick Skinner. This essay will compare Freud’s and Skinner’s approach towards human behaviour, highlighting the main ideas and focus of their theories and subsequently coming to an informative decision as to who provides the better approach. This is achieved by pinpointing criticisms that hinder their reasoning,…show more content…
For example; over concern about going regularly may cause either obsessive time keeping. The phallic stage starts from about four years of age and is where the ‘genitals become the focus for the child’s erotic energy, largely through self stimulation’ (Weiten, 2001, p. 495). During this fundamental stage the Oedipus Complex emerges. That is little boys develop an erotically tinged preference for their mother. They also feel resentment towards their father, whom they view as a challenger for their mum’s affection. Similarly, little girls develop a special connection to their father. At the same time they learn that little boys have very different genitals, and supposedly they develop penis envy. The latency and genital stages last from around age six through puberty, where the child’s sexuality is greatly suppressed (Weiten, 2001, p. 495). The latency stage focuses on expanding social contacts beyond the immediate family. Subsequently, with puberty the child advances into the genital stage. Sexual drives re-emerge and the focus moves to the genitals once again. At this point, sexual energy is normally channeled towards peers of the other sex, rather than towards ourselves as in the phallic stage. ‘Freud argued that future developments are rooted n early, formative experiences and that significant conflicts in later years are replays from
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