Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Psychologist seek to understand thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Psychology emerged as a separate field of study when William Wundt established the first experimental psychology lab. Through time various branches and sub-disciplines emerged covering the studies of conscious/unconscious thought, behavior, the brain, etc. Each perspective of psychology focuses on a particular area of studay. The following is a list of the five major perspectives: Psychodynamic, Behavioral, Cognitive, Humanistic, and Biological. Each perspective provides their own reasoning as to why we do certain things
Core Assumptions
The branch of psychodynamic claims behavior is driven by basic instincts and the unconscious thoughts and desires. Behavioral states that external forces, such that environmental factors can affect your behavior and that you can be conditioned to act a certain way. Cognitive is centered on how people process and respond to information. Humanistic believes you are motivated to become a better you. Then Biological looks at your brain and genetics and believe that they play a role in how you think, feel, and act.
Similarities and Differences
Between the five major perspectives there are some notable similarities and differences. In the perspectives of psychodynamic, biological and behavioral, all three are considered deterministic. Determinism meaning that behavior is caused by external factors that make behavior predictable. On the other hand, cognitive and humanistic follow the idea that we have our free-will. Which means that we are able to have some choice in how we behave and we are self-determined. In psychology, there has been a lifelong debate over whether genetics influence our behavior (Nature) or that the environment impacts our behavior (Nurture). In the big Nature v Nurture debate, the behavioral and humanistic tend to focus on the nurture aspect and psychodynamic and biological corresponds with both sides of the debate. However, for the cognitive perspective, it is not addressed much
Perspective for understanding
I chose the biological perspective when trying to understand the people I most interact with. The biological perspective focuses on the psychological processes, behavior, and learning abilities. I picked this perspective because personality disorders and moods are largely studied under this perspective. Theories such as heredity, a person’s ancestry. As well as, natural selection, where an organism adapts to the environment and transmits their genetics to future generations. Both theories help show that genetics and the environment have an effect on a person’s behavior. Both theories help prove that not only are born with certain traits, but those traits can be developed, or changed over the course of our lifetime.