Behaviorism, Cognitive, and Humanistic Essay

Behaviorism, Cognitive and Humanistic All Summed Up Janice M. Brown Aspects of Psychology Professor Trego November 8, 2012 Behaviorism, Cognitive, and Humanistic Behaviorism, cognitive and humanistic are all perspectives (or theories) of psychology. Behaviorism is a perspective that suggests that all behaviors are learned. What I mean by that is according to John B. Watson who founded the school of psychology, suggests the behaviors can be measured, trained, and changed. (Cherry, 2012) ] Based on article written by Kendra Cherry, behaviorism is a theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning and there are two major types of conditioning which are Classical conditioning and Operant conditioning. “Classical conditioning is a technique used in behavioral training in which a naturally occurring stimulus is paired with a response” [ (Cherry, 2012) ] Operant conditioning is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. (Cherry, 2012) ] Behaviorism is not used as much as it was during the middle of the 20th-century, but it remains an influential force in psychology. Animal trainers, parents, teachers, and many others make use of basic behavioral principles to help teach new behaviors and discourage unwanted ones. An example of a behavioral approach in psychology is when one sets up an incentive system in order for a child to do chores. They do a chore they get a reward. Once they reach a certain amount they can turn their reward in form something larger.

The good thing about behaviorism is that it is based upon observable behaviors, so it is easier to quantify and collect data and information when conducting research, but is criticized for being a one- dimensional approach to understanding human behavior. Cognitive perspective also known as cognitive psychology focuses on mental processes such as a memory, thinking, problem solving, language and decision-making. [ (Cherry, Perspectives in Modern Psychology) ] In other words, the cognitive perspective studies how people perceive, remember, reason, decide, and solve problems to find the cause of ental illnesses. Cognitive psychology is a pure science based mainly on laboratory experiments and began to revolutionize psychology in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s and became the dominant approach in psychology by the late 1970’s [ (McLeod, 2007) ] according to Saul McLeod. An example of the cognitive perspective would be when one learns to take blood pressure. First you must learn how to manipulate the blood pressure manometer, learn how to hear blood pressure sounds and understand the meaning of the sounds.

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As each time you practice these activity, you will gain more confidence and competence in performing the task. The strong point of this perspective is that it mostly uses rigorous scientific methods and the approach has had many practical applications. The weakness of this perspective is that it is to simplistic. It ignores the complexity of the human function, biological influences of the human function and it ignores the emotions, conscious experience and free will.

Humanistic perspective is a psychological perspective popularized by Carlo Rogers and Abraham Maslow that emphasizes the human capacity for choice and growth. This perspective offers a very positive viewpoint of human nature and potential. It suggests that we are each responsible for our own happiness and well-being as humans. “The humanistic approach emphasizes the personal worth of the individual, the centrality of human values, and the creative, active nature of human beings. ” [ (McLeod, Humanism, 2007) ] The goal of humanistic is as relevant today as it were in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Maureen O’Hara, former president of the Association of Humanistic Psychology, explained it best in this statement, “As the world’s people demand freedom and self-determination, it is urgent that we learn how diverse communities of empowered individuals, with freedom to construct their own stories and identities, might live together in mutual peace. Perhaps it is not a vain hope that is life in such communities might lead to the advance in human consciousness beyond anything we have yet experienced. [ (Cherry, Archive for the ‘Psychology of Education’ Category, 2012) ] Humanistic psychology remains quite popular today and has had major influence on other areas of psychology. One of the strong points of the humanistic perspective is that it take it takes environmental influences into account. Rather than focusing solely on our internal thoughts and desires. The downfall of this perspective is that the importance of individual experience makes it difficult to objectively study and measure humanistic. What we can rely on is the individuals own assessment of their experience. (Cherry, Archive for the ‘Psychology of Education’ Category, 2012) ] What it all boils down to is this, behaviorism, cognitive, and humanistic all contributed to the understanding of the human mind and behavior. Each one deals with specific subtopics within the study of the mind, brain and behavior. Without these different branches of psychology we wouldn’t come to close to understand each other or ourselves. References Cherry, K. (2012, July 24). Archive for the ‘Psychology of Education’ Category. Retrieved from teo-education. com: http://www. teo-education. com/teo/? at=70 Cherry, K. (2012). What is Behaviorism? Retrieved from psychology. about. com: http://psychology. about. com/od/behavioralpsychology/f/behaviorism. htm Cherry, K. (n. d. ). Perspectives in Modern Psychology. Retrieved from psychology. about. com: http://psychology. about. com/od/psychology101/a/perspectives. htm McLeod, S. (2007). Cognitive Psychology. Retrieved from simplypsychology. org: http://www. simplypsychology. org/cognitive. html McLeod, S. (2007). Humanism. Retrieved from simplypsychology. org: http://www. simplypsychology. org/humanistic. html

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