Approaches

The Origins of Psychology

16th-17th century

  • Descartes = cartesian dualism (mind-body dualism)

17th-18th century

  • Locke = pre-behaviourist, instincts/senses are not inherited, empiricism (environment)

19th century

  • experimental psychology
  • Charles Darwin = evolutionary theory, pre-biological theory
  • Wundt = first psychology lab in Germany, introspection (reductionism + structualism)

20th century

  • Freud = psychodynamic approach, psychoanalysis, conflicts within the mind
  • Watson, Pavlov & Skinner = contribute to the Behaviourist approach
  • Rogers & Maslow = humanistic approach, emphasis on free will
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The Origins of Psychology

20th century

  • cognitive approach
  • Bandura = Social Learning Theory
  • biological approach

21st century

  • cognitive neuroscience
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Behaviourism

  • part of the Learning Theory
  • Locke: pre-behaviourism
  • Watson: rejected introspection as it involved too many vague concepts

Pavlov

  • neutral stimulus can cause a learned (conditioned) response
  • classical conditioning via association
  • unconditioned stimulus + neutral stimulus = unconditoned response -> conditioned response

Skinner

  • learning via active processes (operant conditioning) = positive/negative/punishment
  • increased likelihood of repeated behaviour
  • no free will = reinforcement history contols behaviour
  • Skinner's Box experiments
    • press lever/peck disc for a pellet (positive reinforcement)
    • press level/peck disc to avoid shocks (negative reinforcement)
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Behaviourism - Evaluation

For

  • scientific credibility of the processes (repeatability)
  • application to phobia therapy (counterconditioning = systematic desensitisation)

.
Against

  • other factors may be causing this response (e.g evolutionary instincts)
    • environmental determinism
  • ethical issues of using animals in experiments
  • non-generalisability of using animals in experiments
    • lack of rationality and complexity in animals
  • other approaches such as the Social Learning Theory
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Social Learning Theory

  • Bandura
  • extension of Behaviourism
  • part of the Learning Theory
  • accounts for cognitive processes (conditioning can not be generalised)
  • humans have a more active role than animals
  • people learn indirectly in a social context
  • vicarious reinforcement (imitation of someone when they are given a reward for behaviour)
  • mediational processes
    • attention
    • retention
    • motor reproduction
    • motivation
      .
  • Bobo experiment
    • film of adults interacting with Bobo the doll, shown to children
    • boys were more likely to copy aggression and their same-sex adults, than girls
    • (recreation) children copied more when adults received a reward for their behaviour
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SLT - Evaluation

For

  • accounts for cognitive processes - less reductionist and deterministic than Behaviourism
  • explains gender stereotypes
  • explains cultural differences
  • explains why children copy things off of the internet and mature TV (real-life application)

Against

  • underexplains biology, etc (incomprehensive)
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The Cognitive Approach

  • attention, creativity, language, memory, perception, problem solving, thinking
  • mind is separate from the brain, but related
  • internal mental processes studied scientifically and indirectly (inference)
  • theorectical models - info flows through cognitive systems = input, storage, output
    • Information Processing Approach
    • Computer Analogy (hardware vs. software)
      .
  • schema:
    • cognitive framework
    • developed through experience
    • perception of what will happen (short-cut)
      .
  • cognitive neuroscience
    • influence of brain structures for specific cognitive functions
    • uses EEGs and fMRIs
  • social cognition
    • areas of the brain associated with interaction
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The Cognitive Approach - Evaluation

For

  • less deterministic than other approaches (soft determinism)
  • scientific credibility
  • real life application to Eye-Witness Testimonies, robotics, education, therapy, etc
  • analogies are quite comprehensive

.
Against

  • underexplains biological factors (reductionist)
  • reductionism of computer analogy
  • schema can be explained via two-process behavioural model
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The Biological Approach

  • evolution, natural selection, selective breeding (Charles Darwin)
  • assumptions
    • genes, neurochemistry (nervous system) = thoughts/feelings/behaviours
    • phenotype is affected by environment, so behaviour must be, too
      .
  • monozygotic twins = identical twins, from the same gametes
  • dizygotic twins = non-indentical twins, 3+ gametes, 50% same genes
  • familiy studies = Galton = all abilities (including addiction and talents) are inherited
  • adoption studies = show the difference in influence of nature vs. nurture
    .
  • concordance rates 
    • probability that a pair of individuals have the same characteristics (MZ twins more likely)
  • genotype = particular set of genes possessed, including unexpressed genes -> phenotype
  • environmental factors = health products, trauma, radiation -> phenotype
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The Biological Approach - Evaluation

For

  • scientific credibility
  • psychoactive drug application (e.g to help with depression)
  • application to PKU
    • rare genetic disorder that causes learning difficulties
    • symptoms can be controlled by diet (environmental factors)
    • example of an interaction between biology and the environment
      .

Against

  • under-explains environmental factors
    • uncertainty over nature and nurture
  • concordance rates are never 100%
  • deterministic (no free will)
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The Psychodynamic Approach - Dynamics

Id

  • primative part of the psyche
  • demands instant gratification
  • acts on the pleasure principle
  • unconscious

Ego

  • conscious
  • forms at 2-3 years of age
  • logical and rational
  • acts on the reality principle to satisfy the Id, reasonably

Super-Ego

  • Ego ideal vs. Conscience (should do vs. should not do)
  • acts on the same-sex parents morality principle
  • forms at 5-6 years
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The Psychodynamic Approach - Consciousness

Defense Mechanisms

  • denial, repression, displacement [from the ego, as a mediator]

Conscious

  • mind that we are aware of
  • covers some of the ego and the super-ego

Pre-Conscious

  • just below the conscious
  • awareness during dreams and parapraxes

Unconscious

  • biological drives
  • repressed memories
  • all three forces are included in the unconscious
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The Psychodynamic Approach - Psychosexual Stages

Oral

  • 0-1 years, success = solid food, fixation = smoking

Anal

  • 1-3 years, sucess = potty training, fixation = anal retentive/expulsive = tidy/messy

Phallic

  • 3-5 years, success = supass oedipus stage, fixation = 'abnormal' sexual tendencies

Latency

  • 5-puberty, no sexual development, libido channeled into schoolwork

Genital

  • puberty, success = start of 'normal' sexual relationships
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The Psychodynamic Approach - Evaluation

For

  • case studies of Anno O and Little Hans
  • application to effective anxiety/depression treatment (psychoanalysis)
  • comprehensive stages

Against

  • gender bias towards males (oedipus complex)
  • culture bias to the West (not tested in Collectivist cultures)
  • untestable psychosexual stages
  • controversial and outdated
  • deterministic (no free will)
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The Humanistic Approach

  • 'third force' = replaces and challenges behaviourism and psychoanalysis
  • free will = subjective experience = significant personal choices
    • within biological/social constraints

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

  • innate tendency to achieve full potential (self-actualisation)
  • deficiency needs, before self-actualisation (levels of progression, based on motivation)
    • physiological needs
    • safety
    • belongingness and love
    • self-esteem

Rogers

  • congruence of self to ideal self
  • need unconditional positive regard and self-worth as a child
  • combat negativity from childhood with defense mechanisms for incogruence
  • conditions of worth = acceptance by others is based on meeting perceived expectations
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The Humanistic Approach - Evaluation

For

  • not deterministic (free will)
  • not reductionist (holism)
  • application to Rogers' Client-Centred Therapy (empathy, unconditional regard, anaylsis)
  • promotes positivity, self-actualisation

.
Against

  • culture bias to individualist cultures, as personal growth is limited in collectivist cultures
  • untestable concepts (anti-scientific)
  • limited application
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Comparison of Approaches

Development

  • psychodynamic = psychosexual stages
  • biological = maturation
  • cognitive = development of complex schemas
  • humanistic = self-development (congruence)
  • learning = no coherent stages


Nature Vs. Nurture

  • biological = nature, with nurture influence
  • psychodynamic = fundamentaly nature, with nurture elements
  • cognitive = nature of schema, vs. nurture of experience
  • humanistic = nurture of self-concept
  • learning = nurture of association
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Comparison of Approaches

Reductionism Vs. Holism

  • biological = genetic/neuronic reductionism
  • learning = reduction to stimulus-response units, and reduced modelling/imitation
  • psychodynamic = reduced to psychosexual stages, but holistic personality
  • cognitive = machine reductionism
  • humanistic = holistic

.
Determinism Vs. Free Will

  • biological = hard genetic determinism
  • psychodynamic = hard psychic determinism
  • behaviourism = hard environmental determinism
  • cognitive = soft cognitive determinism (choose our thoughts and behaviours)
  • social learning theory = soft reciprocal determinism
  • humanistic = soft free will
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Comparison of Approaches

Treatment

  • biological = drug therapy
  • cognitive = CBT for depression
  • psychodynamic = psychoanalysis for anxiety/depression
  • behaviourism = systematic desensitisation
  • humanistic = humanistic therapy/counselling (Client-Centred Therapy)
  • social learning theory = none
    .

Nomothetic Vs. Idiographic [laws v.s no laws]

  • biological = nomothetic
  • psychodynamic = nomothetic
  • learning = nomothetic general laws
  • cognitive = some idiography
  • humanistic = unique idiography and nomothetic Maslow hierarchy
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