Approaches

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  • Created on: 24-10-18 12:39

Behaviorism- classical and operant conditioning

Three main assumptions of behaviourism 

  • Nearly all behaviour is learnt- except for inborn reflexes like blinking when we get dirt in our eyes and instincts like running when we sense danger. However evidence now says that genetics can influence psychological features such as the development of shcizophrenia. 
  • Animals and humans learn in the same way- Humans are much more complex than animals but the principles by how we learn is the same.  This is to do with the association of learning to stimulus-response associations. However even though we may both use conditioning humans can use other froms of learning e.g social learning 
  • The mind is 'irrelevant'- we can't directly observe and measure a person's thinking , so you can only obtain measurable data by studying behaviour. 
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Two Types of conditioning

Classical Conditioning 

  • When the dogs see food they salivate. This is an autonomic unlearned response-  a reflex. The food is an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) and salivation is an unconditioned response (UCR)
  • The bell had become a conditioned stimulus(CS) and salivation conditioned response (CR). 

There are several Principles of Classical Conditioning 

  • Generalisation- When stimuli similar to the original CS produce the CR
  • Discrimination- when stimuli similar to the original CS don't produce the CR. This can be achieved by withholding the UCS. When the similar stimukus is used.
  • Extinction- When the CR isn't produced as a result of the CS. This happens when the CS is repeatedly presented without the UCS following it. 
  • Spontaneous recovery- when a previously extinct CR is produced in response to the CS. This happens when the CS is presented again after a period of time during which it's not been used. 
  • Higher order conditioning- when a new CS prodcues the CR becuase the animal associates it with the original CS. This can be acheived by consistently presenting the new CS before the original CS.
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Operant Conditioning

Consequences can be classified as;

  • Positive reinforcement- This is when something 'desirable' good is obtained in response to doing something. Giving chocolate bar to a well- behaved child to encourage future good behaviour. 
  • Negative reinforcement- This is when something 'undesirable' is removed when something happens. E.G. being told by the teacher that you'll have no extra homework if you pass your test. 
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Skinner

Rats showed operant conditioning 

  • A behaviour such as pressing a lever can be positively reinforced by recieving food.  
  • Skinners research has been hugely influential in promoting the idea of behavioural psychology.However as the study used animals may be hard to generalise from .
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Conditioning has strengths and weaknesses

  • Humans and animals can learn by conditioning but conditioning can't explain all human behaviour. We also learn by observation, as shown by social learning theory.
  • Most research into conditioning has involved animals. This means generalisng to humans is difficult. More research into human conditioning would be useful. 
  • Different species have different capacities for learning by conditioning. Some may also learn by simple observation, with no reinforcement involved. 
  • Genetics Seem to influence and limit what different species can learn by conditioning 
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Watson and Rayner (1920)

Little albert had been conditioned to have a fear response showing that abnormal behaviour can be learned. 

This experiment was very unethical- such an experiment couldn't be repeated today. 

lacks Not everyone goes on to develop a fear or phobia after a negative situation. 

lacks ecological validity as the situation was artificial . 

However

  • Our genes influence our behaviour 
  • We can learn in other ways than conditioning 
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Watson and Rayner (1920)

Little albert had been conditioned to have a fear response showing that abnormal behaviour can be learned. 

This experiment was very unethical- such an experiment couldn't be repeated today. 

lacks Not everyone goes on to develop a fear or phobia after a negative situation. 

lacks ecological validity as the situation was artificial . 

However

  • Our genes influence our behaviour 
  • We can learn in other ways than conditioning 
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Social Learning Theory

Behaviour can be learnt through:

Reinforcement- Positive and negative reinforcement makes the behaviour more liekly to happen again in the future. 

Vicarious Reinforcement- seeing others being rewarded for a behaviour influences someone in whether they choose to imitate behaviour. 

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Social Learning Theory

Cognitive processes

  • Attention- To learn from others you must pay attention, give full behaviour and attend to their behaviour. 
  • Retention- Not only do you need to pay attention at the time, but you need to remember what you observed to be able to model it. 
  • Reproduction- you then judge wheter you have the ability to reproduce the behaviour . If you think you can reproduce the behaviour , you're far more likely to do it. 
  • Motivation- Finally you evaluate the direct or indirect results of imitating the behaviour. If the behaviour results in a good reward, you're more liekly to imitate it. 
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Social Learning Theory

This theory is reductionist- It explain things through very basic case and effect mechanisms, It explains all behaviour as a result of learning from others.ignores biological factors. 

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Bandura(1961)

Method- 

  • 36 boys with a mean age of 52 months took part. 
  • The study had a matched participant design (were grouped on aggressive behaviour rating shown in nusery) 
  • Three conditions- First observed aggressive adult models, Second observed non aggressive models, Third was a control condition children had no exposure to the models- behaviour was observed in a room containing aggresive toys and non aggressive.

Results

  • Children exposed to aggressive behaviour imitated the behaviour 
  • Children in non aggressive and control conditions showed barely any aggressive conditions 
  • Agression was slightly higher in the control condition than in non aggressive. 

Conclusion 

  • Agrressive behaviouir is learned through imitation
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Evaluation

Evaluation

  • Strict control of the variables increasing the reliability and therefore study can be replicated
  • Low ecological validity
  • Hard to generalise - all had children from the same school
  • This study encouraged aggression-Ethics
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Further comments on Bandura

  • Shows reinforcement isn't needed for learning and you can learn through observing
  • Children were shown how to play with the doll so the test could be a test of obedience 
  • Behaviourism and SLT empahsise learning and are on the nuture side of nature nurture debate- Genetics are not taken into account
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Cognitive Approach

  • Cognitive psychologists try to exp behaviour through looking at our ; perception, language, attention and memory 
  • Use experimental procedures to test behaviour scientifically.
  • The minds compared to a computer and therefore is reductionist
  • Computers and computer models are often used to exp how we think and behave. Humans are treated as information processors (computers) and behaviour is explained in terms of information processing (how computers deal with information) 
  • Computer  and  Theoretical models are used to exp  and make inferneces about the mental processes that lead to particular behaviours since they can't be directly observed 
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Cognitive Approach

Use three main reasearch methods

  • Laboratory Experiment - Very scientific and reliable and there is greater control over variables. However low ecological Validity 
  • Field Experiment- takes place in a natural situation -more ecological validty however less control over variables.
  • Natural Experiments-  making observations of a naturally occuring situation- Little control of variables,  and pps cant be randomly assigned to conditions. Have High ecological validity, but they are not massively reliable as confounding varibales can affect the results. 
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Cognitive Approach

  • Our mental systems have a limited capacity- The amount of information that can be processed will be influenced by how demanding the task is and how much other information is being processed
  • A control mechanism oversees all mental processes- This will require more processing power or new tasks, leaving less available for everything else 
  • There is a two way flow of information -  we take in information from the world, process it and react to it. We also use our knowledge and experinces to understand the world.
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Cognitive Approach

Cognitive Psychology Developed as the computer age developed

  • The brain is described as a processor - it has data input into it and output from it 
  • Some part of the brain form networks (interconnected parts)
  • Some parts can work Sequentially (info travels along just one path) This means one process must finish before another starts. This occurs in more demanding, or unknown tasks
  • And they can work in parellel, too (info travels to and fro along lots of paths at the same time ). This is more likely to happen in tasks which are familar. 

However there are differences 

  • Humans are often infleunced by emotional and motivational factors- Computers aren't
  • Humans ahve unlimited by reliable memory whereas computers have a limited buy reliable mmeory.
  • Humans often have free will (the ability ot choose ) Computers don't
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Cognitive Approach

Schemas

  •  consistent info is assimilated into the schema. A childs Schema of an apple may be hard , edible, green , hard sphere. Everytime a child sees a green apple the schema is strengthned. 
  •  inconsistent info with a schema, accomdation occurs and the schema has to change in order to resolve the problem. So if a child sees a red apple their schema has to accomdate this new info- so it becomes an edible, hard sphere that is either green or red. 
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Cognitive Approach

There are three types of Schemas 

  • Role schemas-  Ideas of someone in a particular role/setting- Doctor should be intelligent etc.
  • Event schemas- These are called scripts- what should happen in a situation- Restaurant read menu and place order
  • Self schemas- Infomation about ourselves based on physical charctersitcs and personality- if self schema is health conscious you are likely to eat well and excerise & vice versa
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Cognitive Approach

Schemas 

  • They can stop people learning new info 
  • Prejudice and sterotypes can be a outcome of schemas. Schemas that hold expectations or beliefs about a certain group can bias the way we process incoming information. 
  • Usually ignore information that involves changing our schemas.
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Bartlett - The war of the Ghosts

Method

  • English pps were asked to read a tale, it was a unfamiliar  story, had unfamiliar names and objects also was a different structure. Pps were then asked to recall the story. 

Results

  • All pps changed the story to fit their own schemas. The story became more English and had English culture an elements
  • The length of time between hearing and recalling affected the accruacy of the story

Conclusion

  • people use thier own schemas to help interpret and remember the world around them 

Evaluation

  • This study was conducted in a laboratory, so it lacks ecological validty. But it was highly inlfuential at the time as it paved the way for further cognitive reasearch 
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Cognitive Approach

The emergence of cognitive neuroscience

  •  In the 1970s there was an emergence of cognitive neuroscience- with the use of imaging techniques and procedures
  • This maps out human behaviour to brain function. Brain imaging techniques allow psychologists to dsicover when and where things happen in the brain in relation to people's behaviour at the time. 

Cognitive Neuroscience uses lots of different methods

  • Lesion studies- looking at people with brain damage to see how behaviour is affected
  • Electrophysiology- Using electric and magnetic fields to measure brain activity and brain waves
  • Neuroimaging- pinpointing areas of the brain which are active when a task is performed. For example, PET scans have been used to show the brain areas that are most active during memory tasks.
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Cognitive Approach

Strengths

  • It considers mental processes  which are often overlooked in the other approaches. 
  • It has had a big influence on the development of therapies, e.g cognitive behaviour therapy

Weaknesses

  • Research is often carried out in artifical situations (laboratories, using computer models) and the role of emotion and influence from other people is often ignored. For these reasons some argue that the results aren't valid in the real world. 
  • Cognitive psychology fails to take individual differences into account by asuming that all of us process stuff in exactly the same way.
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Biological Approach

Three basic Assumptions of the Biological Approach

  • Human behaviour can be explained by looking at the biological things such as hormones, genetics, evolution and the Nervous system.
  • If we can explain all behaviour using biological causes, unwanted behaviour could be modified or removed using biological treatments such as medication for mental illness. 
  • Experimental research conducted using animals can inform us about human behaviour and biological influences, becuase we share a lot of biological similarities
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Biological Approach

Genetics can explain Psychological traits

  • faulty genes are known to cause some diseases that have pscyhological effects,- Huntington's disease that leads to mental abilities deteriorating. 
  • They reckon genes explain our intelligence , perosnality and sexual oreintation.
  • They also study genetics too see which genes make people more likely to mental illness or addictions. 
  • Twin studies and adoption studies are useful for investigating these situations  
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Biological Approach

100% of genes are shared by identical twins.

Gottesman (1991)- meta- analysis of Twin studies

  • Method-  Gottesmann carried out a meta- analysis of approx 40 twin studies. 
  • Results- Was found having identical twins with schizophrenia gave you a 48% chance of developing the condition. This reduced to 17% in non identical twins. 
  • Conclusion- Schizphrenia has a strong genetic basis
  • Evaluation-  Has high ecological validity, As only half of cases both twins developed it other factors must be involved
  • Identical twins are treated more similarily thn non identical so family environement may play a role
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Biological Approach

Adoption studies

  • Method- 47 adopted children whose mother had schizophrenia were studied. The control group had 50 adopted whose mother didn't have the illness. The children were followed up as adults and  given intelligence and personality tests. 
  • Results- Of the exepriments group, 5 out of 47 became schizophrenic , compared to 0 in the control group. Another 4 of the experimental group were classifed as borderline schizophrenic by the raters. 
  • Conclusion- The study supports the view that schizphrenia is genetic
  • Evalaution- Interview dat can be unreliable and affected by social desirabiltiy bias. However is a good way of getting naturalsitic data. The control group may not of developed symptoms yet but could later on in life
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Biological Approach brain structure

Brain scans can help examine Patterns of brain activity and anatomy

  • PET Scans- (positron emission tomography)- show which parts of the brain are active during different tasks. Allows us to link particular parts of the brain to certain functions. 
  • CAT Scans-  detect damaged parts of the brain, tumours and blood clots- brain structure is shown not function. 
  • MRI Scans- detect small tumours and provide detailed information about structure
  • Functional MRI Scans- provide structural and functional information
  • SQUID Magnetometry- produces accurate images of brain activity by measuring the magnetic fields of generated when neurons are activated. However measurements can be effected by magnetism outside. 
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Biological Approach brain structure

MRI Scans show changes in brain structure

  • Method-  in a natural exepriment MRI scans from 16 licensed male London taxi drivers were compared with a control group who had never driven taxis. All of the pps were in good general, neurological and psychiatric health, and had a average age of 44. 
  • Results- avergae size of the right postierior hippocampus was significantly larger in the taxi driver group compared to the control group. Longer they been driving larger the size. 
  • Conclusion- the hippocampus is resposnible for storing spatial representation of the environment - it seems that the specific navigational demnds on the taxi drivers have resulted in physical change. 
  • Evaluation- Study showed rehabilitation is possible by tailoring it to the specific needs of individual and their injuries. The study had a good level of control and could be replicated , which increases it's reliabilty. The sample size is small though , and the results can only be genralised to male taxi drivers in london, results can't be generalsied to toher areas of the brain.
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Biological Approach brain structure

Brain structure has been investigated in several Areas of psychology

  • Aggression- Bard and mountcastle (1948) found that lesioning (damaging) areas of the brians of cats led to changes in levels of aggression. Their research suggests that the hypothalamus and amygdala are involved in aggression. 
  • Memory- In a case study Milner et al (1957) found that HM was unable to use his long term memory effectively, suggesting that the hippocampus has an important role . 
  • Psychopathology- Szesko et al (1995) found that differences in the prefrontal cortex when comparing people with and without schizophrenia, suggesting a relationship between them
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Biological Approach

Strengths

  • The approach can provide evidence to support or disprove a theory- it's a very scientific approach. 
  • If a biological cause can be found for mental health problems or for unwanted behaviour such as aggression, then biological treatments can be developed to help individuals. 

Weaknesses

  • The approach doesn't take into account the environment or their family and childhood experinces or thier social situation
  • Using biological exp for negative behaviour can lead to people not taking responsibility for their behaviour 
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psychodynamic

Assumes that

  • Human behaviour has unconcious causes
  • Childhood experinces are important factors that influence childhood development to adulthood.

Three levels of consciousness

  • Conscious- This is what we are aware of at any given time, e.g what we are seeing, hearing and smelling
  • Preconscious- This is made up of memories that we can recall when we want, e.g phone number etc.
  • Unconcscious- Made up of memories and desires and fears which cause anxiety and have therefore been repressed. However it can be reahced via fruedian slips into our dreams or slips of the tongues. 
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psychodynamic

Three parts of personality

ID- is the baisc animal part of the personality that contains our innate, aggressive and sexual instincts. It wants to be satisfied by whatever means possible, and obeys the 'pleausure principle'. It accounts for unreasonable behaviour and appears at birth. 

Ego- Exists in both the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind and acts as a rational part known as the Reality principle. Develops in first three years after birth balances the Id and Superego

Superego- in both the conscious and unconscious parts of mind. This part holds our morals and makes us feel guilty. Develops around four to five years

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psychodynamic

when conflcit occurs and the ID wants instant satisfaction and the superego tries to impose morals , Anxiety can occur however the EGO uses these mechanisms to reduce the anxiety

Repression- This involves the stoppping of unwanted hurtful thougts from becoming conscious. 

Denial- This is when events or thoughts are ignored or blocked e.g denying you have a addiction problem 

Displacement- Happens when a negative impulse is redirected onto something else- a person or object e.g kicking a door etc. 

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psychodynamic

Oral- 0-18months , Sucking behviour 

Anal- 18months-3.5 years, keeping or discarding faeces

Phallic- 3.5 years- 6 years, genital fixation, oedipus complex and electra

Latent- 6years- puberty, repressed sexual urges

Genital- puberty-adult, awakened sexual urges 

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psychodynamic

Method- Freud carried out a case study of a child called Hans who had a phobia of horses. Hans was observed by his father, who made notes of Han's dreams and stuff he said, and passed them on to Freud for analysis 

Results- Hans was afraifd of horses has he thought they might bite him. During this study he develpoped an interest for his widdler(penis). Mum threatned to cut it off if he din't stop playing with it and Hans told his dad about a dream where he was married to her nd the dad was the grandfather.

Conclusions-  Hans had reached the Phallic stage of development and showed evidence of the oedipus complex. The horse represented his father as they both had big penises and Hans used dispalcement to protect him from his real fear of his father. Hans Suffered from Castration anxiety as he was afriad his father would catstrate him if he found out how he felt towards his mother.

Evaluation- Provided lots of detailed data, However it can't be generalised. The results were based entirely on observation and interpretation - cause and effect can't be established. 

Results could also be biased as infomation was observed from Han's father

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psychodynamic

Strengths

  • Was the first theory to focus on psychological causes of disorders. 
  • One of the first approaches to suggest that mental health disorders may be linked to unresolved conflicts related to biological  needs. 
  • Patients can resolve anxiety via therapy such as psychoanalysis 
  • Places importance on early childhood exeprinces affecting later life exprinces

Weaknesses

  • Frued claims are biased and subjective interpretations of his patinet's dreams etc- unreliable
  • Theories are unfalsifiable as can't access the unconscious mind.
  • Psychoanalysis can take long and be expensive
  • Focus is to much on the past
  • Findings can't be generalised. 
  • Can't establish cause and effect.
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humanistic

Focus is on the individual

  • They believe that all people are inherently good and they're driven to achieve their full potential
  • It takes into account feelings , treats every perosn as unique.
  • Idiographic approach- focus on person as a whole rather than a set of rules from a group of people - nomothetic
  • Assume peoples behaviour is caused by their subjective feelings and their thoughts about themselves (Self-concept)
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humanistic

Maslow Hierachy of needs

  • 1) physiological needs related to survival- at this level you spurce the food , water , shelter and sleep you neeed to stay alive 
  • 2) Need for safety- At this level you strive to feel safe physically, psychologically and econmically. 
  • 3) Need for love and belonging- At this level you consider affection, acceptance and belonging to be most important .
  • 4) Need for esteem- At this level you're focused on achievement and gaining respect from others
  • 5) Self- Actualisation- At this level you have reached full potential- best your capbable of being.
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humanistic

Self actualised people may show these characteristics

Self actulised people have certain characterisitcs

  • A strong sense of self awareness
  • A fully accepting view of themselves and others for who they are
  • The ability to deal with uncertainty and the unknown
  • A strong sense of creativity
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humanistic

Aronoff (1967)- Job demands and the hierachy of needs

Method-Aronoff compared people in two jobs in the British West indies- Fishermen and cane cutters. Cane cutters got paid according to how much was cut by the whole group, even when they were off sick, So they had high job security although wages were low. In contrast fishermen worked alone and done more challenging work. So they were less secure in their job, although they earned more overall. Both groups were assesed to see which level they were on on the heirachy of needs.

Results- More cane cutters were at lower needs of the herachy still trying to achieve safety and securtity thn fisherman, many of whom had satisifed the lower levels. 

Conclusion- Only those men who had satisifed lower levels of the pyramid would choose to become fishermen, allowing them to develop high self-esteem. This suggests people cannot reach high levles until they have satisifed the lower.

Evaluation- The study supports Maslow hierachy of needs thoery, Has ecological validity as was studied in a natural environment. However only studied one culture- Can't be generalised.

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humanistic

Rogers also believed in self-actualisation however he wasn't as strict as the hierachy of needs he believed it's reached through thoughts on themselves and how they are treated by others. 

Rogers outlined a differences between their self concept ( how they see themselves) and ideal self ( how they want to be seen) 

He suggested that unconditional positive regard and conditions are worth are crucial in the way their self-concept develops. 

Unconditional positve regard

  • Person gets affection & support no matter the behaviour- gives us a positve self concept 

Conditions of Worth

  • approval and affection is given as a result of behaving in a certain way
  • people may focus on keeping others happy rather than themselves and developing their own personality
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humanistic

Rogers developed a form a therapy

  • 1) believed incongruence was the cause of psychological problems
  • 2) there is a mis match between someone's self concept and thier ideal self. His therapy aimed to remove this incongreunce by makingit possible for the person to become their ideal self
  • 3) His therapy was known as Client centered therapy also known as Person- centered therapy. 
  • 4) This therapy focus on the client - they are in charged of what is talked about 
  • 5) the therapists job is to try and make the client aware of thier thoughts, actions and behaviours, they can do this by rephrasing the cleints sentences. 

Client:  i find my parents really annoying. They're always going on at me and won't let me do what i want 

Therapist: so you're feeling quite frustrated. Your parents treat you like you're a child not a adult.

  • uncondtional positive regard-  Empathy and Genuineness  is really important in person- centered therapy. The therapsits are supportive of the client no matter what. 
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humanistic

Therapy seems to work as Gibbard and Hanley (2008) studied over 700 people over five years and 70% showed  improvement. 

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humanistic

Strengths

  • 1) Very positive approach which states people are striving to be better
  • 2) Free will allows less restrictions and they believe deterministic approach is no good for understanding humans complex nature of human behaviour.
  • 3) the approach treats people as individuals and takes whole person into account rather than a section. 
  • 4) Research in this approach produce detailed Qualitative data- Many therapy sessions were recorded so could be analysed

Weaknesses

  • 1) The approach places less emphasis on factors such as role of genes, etc than the biological approach.
  • 2) The humanistic approach lacks objectivity- it's largely based on feelings and subjectives reports, and so it's hard to test in a scientific way- also fetures things which are hard to measure like self-actualisation
  • 3) The approach is Idiographic, which means it doesn't create genralised laws which canbe applied to everyone , making it less scientifc 
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