Psychology has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the late 19th century. Some schools, such as behaviorism and psychoanalysis, have undergone many changes but are still popular and have a large number of followers.
Contemporary or today’s psychology is a combination of the best ideas that come from the contributions of all of its founders. Some new ideas or perspectives were also added.
Psychology perspectives refer to how psychology approaches or views various issues in its field. Modern psychology looks at the various problems related to human behavior from five perspectives. These five main perspectives discussed in the Teachers Training Program are:
1. The biological perspectives.
2. The behavioral perspectives.
3. The cognitive perspectives.
4. The psychoanalytic perspectives.
5. The subjectivist perspectives.
The biological perspectives
Psychologists have long been interested in studying the relationship between our biological (body) systems and our behavior. They were particularly interested in knowing the role of the brain in relation to human behavior. The brain, containing over 10 billion nerve cells with infinite connections between them, is perhaps the most complex structure in the universe.
The biological approach is concerned with understanding the role our brain plays in various psychological processes such as emotions, reasoning, learning, motivation, etc. It attempts to describe the neurological process that underpins behavior and mental processes. For example, the biological perspective would try to understand depression in terms of what chemicals are produced in the brain and whether they are abnormal changes in neurotransmitter levels. It would also examine face recognition in terms of the role played by specific regions of the brain, such as the left or right hemisphere.
So the biological approach tries to find out which specific areas of the brain affect or influence our behavior and how the nervous system, the hormones secreted by the various glands and other changes in our body affect the way we think, feel and behave.
The behavioral perspective
The behavioral approach focuses on explaining almost all behavior in terms of stimuli and responses and as a result of conditioning and reinforcement. For example, a psychologist with a behavioral perspective would attempt to explain obesity as a result of people’s tendency to overeat (a specific response) in the presence of a specific stimulus (like television).
According to the behavioral approach, rewarded or reinforced human behaviors are likely to be repeated in the future. An example from Pre Primary Teachers Training: If a child hits another child (aggressive behavior) and is able to get the other child’s toy (rewarding behavior), then the child is more likely to act aggressively in the future.
The cognitive perspective
The cognitive approach focuses on mental processes such as perception, memory, reasoning, decision-making, and problem-solving.
The cognitive approach recognizes that to fully understand human behavior it is very important to study the role played by mental processes. If we completely ignored the mental processes, as the behaviorists did, we would be taking a very narrow approach and getting an incomplete picture of the dynamics of human behavior.
Cognitive psychologists believe that it is possible to study mental processes objectively. According to her, the human mind is similar to a computer and reacts to information just like the computer.
The psychoanalytic perspective
The psychoanalytic approach is based on the ideas of Sigmund Freud. This perspective emphasizes that unconscious processes influence our behavior. These unconscious processes consist of beliefs, fears, and desires that a person is unaware of, but which nonetheless influence their behavior.
According to the psychoanalytic approach, we are born with certain aggressive and sexual impulses, the expression of which is forbidden by our parents and society. As a result, they merely move out of the conscious into the unconscious. However, these impulses do not disappear, but express themselves through socially accepted behavior or in the form of mental illness and emotional problems. For example, a person may express their aggressive instincts by participating in violent sports like boxing and wrestling.
The subjectivist perspective
The subjectivist perspective emphasizes the importance of perception. According to this approach, human behavior does not depend on the objective world, but is a function of the perceived world.
The objective world is what really exists in the real world. The perceived world is what the individual experiences and the meaning they give to those experiences. How a person perceives the world or a situation depends on their culture, personal history, and current motives.
According to the subjectivist approach, perceptions are very important for understanding behavior because an individual’s behavior at any given time is partly based on perceptions of the situation. Our reactions to the various stimuli in the environment are based on our perceptions. We define reality based on our perceptions. For example, studies have found that people tend to overestimate the physical size of higher denomination coins than lower denomination coins.
An interesting psychological phenomenon that this approach highlights is native realism—people’s tendency to see their subjective construction of the world as a true and accurate picture of the objective world.
According to Early Childhood Education Training, the influence of the subjectivist approach in social and personality psychology has been strong. How people interpret the behavior of others, for example, depends on their perception.
The different perspectives discussed above represent the different modern approaches to the study of psychology. They are not mutually exclusive, but merely draw attention to different aspects of the same topic. In other words, the different approaches are just different ways of studying the same phenomenon. Many psychologists take an electrical approach. They take the best of each approach and use it to examine complex psychological problems.
Of the five perspectives discussed, with the exception of the biological perspective, all other approaches (behavioural, cognitive, psychoanalytic and subjectivist) are purely psychological in nature. However, the biological approach enlists help from other fields such as physiology and other branches of biology.
The biological approach has often been referred to as reductionism. In reductionism, psychological concepts (ideas) are reduced to biological ones. That is, various psychological problems are explained with biological reasons.
However, it should be noted that the reductionist path cannot be followed for all psychological questions. Psychological explanations are also very important. Psychological concepts, insights and principles serve life scientists as a starting point for their research. For example, psychological insights into memory will guide biological research to look at the different areas of the brain involved. Also, any explanation of various psychological phenomena would be incomplete without considering our past and present environment.
Thanks to Lizzie R Milan | #Contemporary #modern #perspectives #psychology