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The psychodynamic approach ­ FREUD

Early experience has a strong influence on behaviour in later life. Our
behaviour as adults is greatly influenced by our experiences in early

The effects of early experience on personality development

He believed that child development proceeds through
psychosexual stages. Each stage has a…

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The ego has ego defence mechanisms to reduce the anxiety
created by conflict. They are unconscious and explain the dynamics
of many behaviours. RDDRPS

Explanations should include
Psychosexual stages

Defence mechanisms
Dream analysis
Free association

Freud's views have changed the…

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A number of Neo-Freudians have adopted Freud's explanation
incorporating more social rather than sexual influences.

The theory lacks empirical support. It is based on a few case
studies of abnormality (white Viennese women) and it is not
possible to build a theory of normal development based on a few…

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next generation so that selected characteristic does not become
Behaviour patterns as well as physical characteristics become
adapted by evolution in such a way that those that aid survival and
reproduction are most likely to survive.
In order for natural selection to occur a characteristic must be
adaptive and…

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Has drawn attention to how the pressures of natural selection can
affect behaviour. It is especially relevant for explaining nonhuman
animal behaviour but may be less useful in explaining human
There is no doubt that aspects of our behaviour are determined by
genetic factors.
Has certain practical applications.…

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Assumes that the mind works similar to a computer. Both
computers and the brain receive information, store it and retrieve
it. Human thinking is assumed to involve the processing of
information the way a computer processes the data put into it.

The basic unit of our mental processes. It…

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Takes into account the influence of mental processes on
behaviour. It focuses on processes involved in perception and
thinking. It has provided very useful for models of memory and
It has many useful practical applications, e.g. memory, problem
solving and in the application of therapies for mental disorders.…

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E.g. a neutral stimulus (white rat), a loud bang (unconditioned
stimulus), crying (unconditioned response). Paired white rat with a
loud bang (conditioned stimulus) and made little Albert cry
(conditioned response). He now associates everything white and
fluffy with this experience.

Operant conditioning
New behaviours are learnt through reward, punishment or…

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Such explanations are well supported by research. E.g. Classical
conditioning: Little Albert, SLT: Bobo dolls.
Behaviourist explanations can account for individual differences in
terms of selective reinforcement.
Shows people to be active in their environment.
SLT can explain social influences, such as those of parents, peer
groups and the media.…


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