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Five Schools of Thought in Psychology

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    Psychology, which means the ‘study of the mind’ is an enormous field. Several schools of thought in psychology were established by the early psychologists according to their respective modes of research and study. These include several approaches to this social science. The prime focus of this page is the psychology schools of thought. Read on. Although different schools of thought in psychology have disputed for a particular model to be used as a guiding theory, so as to explain the human behavior, some psychologists tend to adhere to a particular school of thought and reject the others.

    But almost all psychologists consider each as an approach to understanding the mind. Here are some major schools of thought in psychology: Biological perspective The psychological model behind this school of thought in psychology studies the role of biological functioning to shape the behavior, thus pronouncing the realm of the biological perspective. Psychodynamic perspective Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychodynamic approach. This psychological model believes that human behavior is controlled by inner forces over which the individual has little power and has little awareness.

    This school of thought in psychology lay emphasis on the influence of the unconscious mind on behavior. Cognitive perspective This school of thought in psychology is based on the notion that behavior is controlled by the way we know, comprehend and reflect the world. This branch of psychology studies mental processes including how people think, recognize, remember, and learn. Behavioral perspective This model believes that the external surroundings and environmental causes is the major factor in shaping the behavior of an individual. Behaviorism became the main school of thought in psychology during the 1950s.

    Humanistic perspective Under to this school of thought in psychology, people have full control over their lives and are solely accountable for shaping their thoughts, ideas, behavior and attitude. This perspective developed as a response to psychoanalysis and behaviorism. Gestalt perspective This approach to psychology has its origin in Germany and Austria during the late 19th century. According to the gestalt thinkers, the whole is much bigger and superior than the sum of its parts and one must look at the whole of experience, rather that splitting down the thoughts and behavior to their smallest units.

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