Psychodynamic vs Cognitive

  • Created by: axx10
  • Created on: 21-04-21 14:54

Psychodynamic vs Cognitive


  • (+) focuses on nature and nurture; strength as it provides fuller explanation for behaviour
  • (+) successful real life applications that benefit society


  • (+) cog is scientific; strength because scientific methods such as laboratory experiments allow great control over variables. This makes it easier for psychologists to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between variables.
  • (-) psych is unfalsifiable; weakness as you cannot test its theories in an objective way
  • (+) CBT empowers the client whereas psychoanalysis doesn't and it is expensive and time consuming
  • (-) cog is reductionist - it does not provide a full explanation of human behaviour; it ignores factors such as biological and social contributors.  This is a weakness because the human is a product of all the processes working together, not just individual parts
  • (-) cog is mechanistic; weakness as it broadly ignores that influence of human emotion and motivation on the cognitive system and how this may affect how info is processed. -> for example, research has found that human memory may be affected by emotional factors (Loftus)
  • (-) psych is determinist  - argues that our behaviour is determined by innate forces and childhood experiences = this diminishes the role of our personal responsibility.  An example of this is the psychosexual stages

Overall comparison

In conclusion, the cognitive approach is more useful than the psychodynamic approach as it is scientific, allowing psychologists to make cause and effect link. Its therapy is also more useful than psychoanalysis as it empowers the client and gives short term solutions to specific problems, whereas with dream analysis, dreams are subjective and hard to test and there is an imbalance of power in the relationship b/w therapist and patient.


No comments have yet been made