Key points

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Shiree
  • Created on: 07-01-13 20:30

The Biological approach

Basic assumptions:

  • Behaviour and thought processes have an innate, biological basis.
  • The mind and brain are one.
  • Human genes have evolved to adapt behaviour to the environment.
  • Human characteristics, e.g. Intelligence are due to our genetic makeup.

Key points:

  • The biological approach stresses the importance of nature in the nature-nurture debate.
  • The principles of biology are applies to psychology in order to understand behaviours such as imprinting.
  • we are able to manipulate a species' genetic makeup in order to investigate the genetic basis of behaviour.
  • Darwin's theory of evolution shows how strongest genes survive and are passed onto the next generation, whilst maladaptive genes die out.
  • We can observe many examples of evolutionary behaviour in non-human species, for example sexual selection and in humans the rooting reflex.
1 of 6

The behaviourist approach

Basic assumptions:

  • Behaviourism is learned from the environment .
  • Behaviour is determined by reinforcement or punishment of past learning experiences.
  • Observable behaviour, not minds should be studied.
  • Psychology should investigate the laws of learning.

Key points:

  • Psychology should focus on observable behaviour, not minds, if it is to be regarded as a scientific discipline.
  • All behaviour is learnt, or determined by, interactions and experiences in our environment.
  • Operant conditioning is concerned with the use of consequences or reinforcements to modify and shape behaviour.
  • Classical conditioning demonstrates how a new association can be made between a neutral stimulus and an already existing response.
  • There are many practical applications of the behaviourist approach, for example the modification of speech in autistic children.
2 of 6

Social learning theory

Basic assumptions:

  • Meditational processes, which lie between stimulus and response, influence our behaviour.
  • Observational learning has four conditions: attention, retention, motor reproduction, motivation.
  • Learning can occur by observing role models in the environment.
  • Learning can be a result of direct reinforcement and indirect, or vicarious reinforcement.

Key points:

  • Social learning theory takes into account the cognitive processes involved in learning.
  • we learn by observing others (role models) in our environment.
  • There are four conditions necessary for effective modelling to occur: attention, retention, motor reproduction, motivation.
  • Social learning theory has been applied to many areas of psychology, for example gender development.
3 of 6

The cognitive approach

Basic assumptions:

  • Mental processes lie between stimulus and response.
  • Humans are information-processors.
  • Humans actively organise and manipulate information from the environment.
  • The mind operates in the same way as a computer - both encode, store and output data.

Key points:

  • Cognitive psychologists focus on internal mental processes that lie between stimulus and response.
  • Humans are like computer in which both encode, store and retrieve information.
  • Many models, for example connectionist, have been used to explain internal metal processes.
  • The approach has provided many useful applications, for example improving reliability of eyewitness accounts.
4 of 6

The psychodynamic approach

Basic assumptions:

  • Unconscious processes, of which we are unaware, determine our behaviour.
  • Instincts, our drives, motivate our behaviour and energise the mind.
  • Childhood experiences determine adult personality.
  • Personality has three parts: the id, ego and superego.

Key points:

  • The unconscious mind contains instinctive drives, needs and psychic actions of which we are unaware.
  • The way in which we progress through the five psychosexual stages of development as a child will determine our adult behaviour.
  • Our personality is structured by the interactions of the id, ego and superego.
  • The ego employs defence mechanisms, such as denial, to protect us from feelings of guilt and anxiety.
5 of 6

The humanistic approach

Basic assumptions:

  • Humans should be viewed as a whole and not reduced to component parts.
  • Humans are active agents - able to control and determine their own development.
  • Humans strive towards achieving self-actualisation.
  • To be psychologically healthy, the real self and the ideal self must be congruent.

Key points:

  • Human beings are active agents who have free will to control and determine Their own development.
  • Rogers stated that that to be psychologically healthy, a person's ideal self and real self must be congruent.
  • Maslow stated that all individuals strive towards self-actualisation - the ability to realise one's potential.
  • Person centred therapy is still used in counselling today as an effective tool to achieve personal growth and psychological health.
6 of 6

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all resources »