Psychological Perspectives in the Understanding of Human Development
Info: 5976 words (24 pages) Dissertation
Published: 30th Sep 2021
The Behaviourist Perspective used to be a very popular method in Psychology for a majority of the 20th century and has helped Psychology a lot in terms of techniques. The key supposition of the behaviourist perspective is that all behaviour is shaped by the environment and people’s surroundings. For example, in the Bandura et al. study it is illustrated that anger is taught and formed by role models. This perspective also debates that for Psychology to be logical and scientific, it should emphasis on observable behaviour which can be accurately measured instead of cognitive processes which can be inferred with.
Significant learning theories projected by this perspective are Operant Conditioning which is by Skinner and Classical Conditioning which is by Pavlov. Classical Conditioning expresses the way we learn behaviours through association and Operant Conditioning clarifies how the consequences of behaviours (reinforces) form behaviour. A very early sample of a report into Operant Conditioning was done by Skinner in 1935. Skinner put pigeons and rats in a box whereby pressing a lever caused food to be dispensed. From unintentionally knocking the lever, the pigeons and rats soon learned and acknowledged that pressing the lever meant that they would receive food, found on the performance of diverse stimuli and was able to accomplish that behaviour is shaped by it’s consequence. But this is only true if an animal is rewarded for doing a specific behaviour (pecking at a circle) and if the animal is not, it is less likely to carry out this act in the future.
An extension of Behaviourism is the Social Learning Theory and was advanced by Albert Bandura. His early work was induced by the Behaviourist Perspective because it fixated on learning and observable behaviour but he also knew the necessity of needing to understand the cognitive procedure. There are a few resemblances and dissimilarities amid the Bandura study and other Behaviourist Perspective Studies such as some by Skinner. Both studies were in extremely measured and controlled situations. For example, Skinner made sure the conditions were the same for both the Pigeons and Rats and Bandura also carried out experiments which were highly controlled. The only variable that varied was the behaviour or gender of role models. Bandura and Skinner also looked at behaviour which is learned. Skinner found out that you could teach an animal a new behaviour that had not been acquired before in the wild and Bandura was able to illustrate that children learn aggression by using aggressive and passive role models. However, children shown an aggressive role model were more expected to behave in a negative way.
Bandura’s study used human participants and Skinner’s study was used on animals. Bandura’s experiment was set in a nursery school and he had used 72 girls and boys. Skinner used many pigeons and rats. This means we have more confidence with Bandura’s study as human being are used, rather than Skinner’s as he uses animals. The difference between Bandura and Skinner’s studies is that Bandura studied learning without a reward whereas Skinner studied learning that is forced by a reward. Bandura found out that human beings do not need a reward to mimic a role model whereas Skinner could only structure the animal’s behaviour through rewarding and punishing reinforcements.
A major asset of the Behaviour Perspective is the growth and expansion of beneficial applications. Behaviourism illustrates straight-forward methods of how to alter behaviour. A positive influence of the Behaviourist Perspective is it appearing in modern perspectives like the Cognitive Behaviour approach which is very similar but includes the importance of cognition which makes it more scientific and accurate. A problem with this perspective is the newly learned behavior is usually short-lived and it is only there for a limited amount of time.
The psychodynamic perspective was initially established by Sigmund Freud but also incorporates concepts from numerous others who have advanced Freud’s opinions. The key supposition of this perspective is the idea that all behaviour can be clarified in expressions of the inner conflicts of the mind. For instance, in the case study of Little Hans, Freud claimed that Little Hans fear of horses was triggered by a displaced terror of his father. The psychodynamic perspective highlights the part of the unconscious mind, the construction of character and the effect that childhood experiences have on future life.
Freud also supposed that the unconscious mind controls much of our behaviour and that we are driven by unconscious emotional drives. Freud believed that the unconscious part of our brain comprises unsettled conflicts and beholds a powerful effect on our performance and involvement. He claimed that countless of these conflicts will display in our imaginations and dreams, but the struggles are so intimidating that they emerge in masked forms, in the form of symbols. Freud projected that the adult personality has three parts the id, ego and superego. The id is the mixture of pleasure pursuing wishes and we are born with it. The ego matures later and it controls the cravings of the id. The superego is the moralistic part of personality which grows as a child interrelates with significant others such as its parents. The superego can be seen as the conscience. It is the role of the ego to uphold a stability between the id and the superego.
Freud supposed that children go through five stages of development, known as the psychosexual stages because of Freud’s importance on sexuality as the basic energy in maturity. These stages are: the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, the latency period and finally the genital stage. The phallic stage, from three to five years old was the stage where the youngster’s sexual identification was recognised. During this stage, Freud hypothesised that a young boy would experience what he called the Oedipus complex. This would deliver the child with highly disturbing conflicts, which had to be determined by the child classifying with the same-sexed parent.
A main asset of the psychodynamic perspective is the way it can be used to clarify a widespread assortment of phenomenon. In fact, some supporters of the psychodynamic perspective consider that all human life can be enlightened from a psychodynamic approach. However, you will find even more psychologists who claim that the psychodynamic theory cannot justify anything at all. Freud’s best achievement is the discovery of treatments for healing mental disorders. Freud thought that once unconscious conflicts and emotions were made aware that they could be conversed and fixed. Freud himself temporarily used hypnosis to gain access to patient’s unconscious thoughts but then established a technique of free association. However, there is considerable controversy relating to these psychoanalytic treatments regarding both their usefulness and abuse by unscrupulous therapists.
One very popular disapproval of the psychodynamic perspective is that it is extremely particular and its concepts are hard to test scientifically. For example, most of the thoughts are grounded on case studies of individuals and are not simply tested experimentally.
The Behaviourist Perspective in application to Health & Social Care
The Behaviourist Perspective argues that all forms of Behaviour are absorbed and formed through the environment. Professionals and theorists who approve of this perspective find that it aids to the enlightenment of an individual’s behaviour and produces information on the individual’s history or early years of their life and the effects of it currently and in the future. The learning of behaviour happens over time as it is Classical Conditioning which is learning a new behaviour via the process of association, which is not like Operant Conditioning which means behaviour is educated through approaches such as positive reinforcement.
Psychodynamic Perspective in application to Health & Social Care
The Psychodynamic Perspective emphases on getting inside the head of individuals in order to understand their relationships, experiences and how they perceive the world. This perspective of Psychology is used in everyday life by therapists and counsellors whether in private constitutions or in schools. The perspective helps illustrate an individual’s past and how this has affected them and what can be done to change this as it might be creating mental health issues or constant negativethinking.
The Psychodynamic perspective is used everyday in the Health & Social Care industry by being used by therapists and psychologists to explain how life has affected someone and why it is causing an individual a range of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, stress or an eating disorder. Having therapy and using the Psychodynamic Perspective, can change a person’s state of mind and improve their health dramatically so they feel more confident and able to live their life to the fullest.
Culture and Human Development
Culture effects how people dress, their diet, and the relationships we form.
When people are living in a multicultural country, e.g. England, we mature and develop differently because of our cultural effects.
Culture can also includes religion and faith. Religions can contain Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism. This gives individuals guidelines to follow such as health, lifestyle and moral matters (marriage, personal hygiene, abortion etc.)
People’s behaviour, health and relationships can also be inclined by the population they live in.
Economic and Human Development
Income is the sum of wealth in a household.
This typically comes from an individual’s job, pensions, benefits, or investments.
The amount of income and money an individual has can effect their development because it can affect the quality of life available to them.
People with a well-paid or good income are much more probable to having a better education and more general opportunities in life.
If people do not have an adequate income, then they might end up living in bad living conditions or poverty.
By someone having a job, they are ensured they have a consistent income. However, all jobs vary and some provide individuals with a higher income along with better working conditions. An individual’s employment also secures their social status such as having a well-paid job will give someone a superior social class.
A job can affect people in different ways and affect an individual’s social, emotional and intellectual development because of this. For example, having poor working conditions can affect someone’s health. Working in an environment where you don’t get on well with colleagues and don’t feel positively challenged can bring on mental illness issues such as depression or anxiety.
Unemployment or Not in Education
NEETs is used to describe 16-24 year olds who are currently not at school so they have no education or employment. The term NEETs is also linked to teenage pregnancies and crime history, and this is exposed predominantly by the media.
Children who rarely attend education or are excluded frequently from school are more than likely to become NEETs and statistics show that if they did leave school with no education then they would struggle with long-term unemployment, and are likely to suffer from low self-esteem and struggle with other mental health problems.
Not being able to earn money means people are less likely to provide themselves with adequate housing and can become homeless very easily. Housing is very important as it provides individuals with protection and physical shelter. Having a decent house with thick walls and shelter with no leaking from rain is very important as not having this can affect someone’s physical health and development. This can be caused from not having heating, damp and too many people in a small household which can create stress and trouble with breathing.
Living in an overcrowded household can also create a higher rate of accidents, especially for children as they are vulnerable because of their age.
People who struggle with money and don’t earn enough to support themselves or their family usually have to choose between heating and food. As individuals typically pick food, a lack of heating in a household can lead to hypothermia. A home is also an environment for people to feel safe and a sense of security and overall emotional wellbeing and this can affect someone’s emotional development.
Pollution is created through the release of high concentrations of dangerous substances such as chemicals which go into the environment.
Some places have levels of high pollution for decades and people have to move away so their health is not affected.
Factories can release smoke which is bad for pollution but there is also pollution we cannot see such as acid rain and this can lead to asthma.
Factories often give off smoke as pollution. But some pollution you cannot see, e.g. acid rain (which can lead to asthma). There are also additional types of pollution such as noise which can be produced from machines such as aircraft and long-term exposure means individuals can get tinnitus, higher stress levels, less sleep and even hearing loss in severe circumstances.
Relationships with Family Members
Family is important because…
1. Provides people with an education and socialisation.
2. Emotionally and financially supported
3. Health and wellbeing is protected from having guidance and care
Having difficulties with relationships and frequent feuds can affect an individual’s environmental and social development. Also, if a child’s parents argue frequently then this can lead to stress and trouble when it comes to their education from having distractions at home.
Growing up in Care
Children who grow up in care are much more at risk of being vulnerable and suffering from mental illness issues. They have to deal with popular issues in their adolescence such as peer pressures from society, puberty and their sexuality without having family or parental role models to guide them through this.
Friendship Patterns and Relationships with Partners
Friends are crucial in childhood because they can guide each other through problems they can relate to together and this can make them feel less insecure and more confident about themselves. Friends help create new opinions and identities which can help a child discover themselves and develop their own personality. When children get older, friendships help develop a social life outside of their household.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a therapy which done through talking that assists an individual on how to cope and solve their complications and problems which is done through changing how they act and reflect.
How it Works
This form of therapy is all about an individual’s moods and what they think about being related to their movements and negative which can cause an individual to go into a repeat cycle. The main outcome for CBT is to solve the way an individual deals with problems which they may find overwhelming or difficult by breaking them up into pieces. Patterns that may have occurred negatively when dealing with problems are shown how to be changed differently.
Compared to other treatments which use the format of talking, CBT is all existing problems instead of looking at the past. It is practical in the way it is all about each day being different and how to improve an individual’s state of mind on a daily.
Uses for CBT
- OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
- Eating disorders (e.g. anorexia and bulimia)
- Various phobias
- PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Sleep disorders (e.g. insomnia)
What occurs during CBT Sessions?
A CBT session is usually a session which happens either every week or every two weeks with a therapist. The length of course depends on the severity of the treatment the client needs but this usually between five to fifteen sessions and these last normally an hour.
A session typically consists of looking at the problems in the client’s life and putting them into individual areas which would be their actions, physical feelings and actions. These areas are then individually looked at and analysed in order to work out the effect they have on the client and their life.
The therapist will then suggest how the client can change these areas of problems and make sure these are practiced throughout everyday life.
The main goal of these CBT sessions is to practice and apply the skills from treatment and transfer these into the client’s life. The end result should be that the problems in the client’s life are now being managed and there are no more harmful and negative impacts on their daily life.
Pros and cons of CBT
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is known to be just as successful as medication when it comes to treating a client with mental health issues.
Advantages of CBT:
- beneficial if medicine hasn’t worked
- a course of CBT can be completed in a small amount of time compared to other methods of therapy
- CBT has been around for a long time which means it is greatly structured and there are various versions of CBT for different individuals including books and computer programs
Disadvantages of CBT to consider include:
- this form of therapy requires the individual to make sure they are committed to the therapy and can make time for it each week which may not be good for people with busy lifestyles
- anxiety is seen in a lot of CBT sessions due to individuals becoming scared of confronting their problems and feelings and this is something people may not want to go through
Psychotherapy is a therapy which can treat emotional problems and mental health illnesses.
It consists of speaking to a therapist and gives an individual the advantage to look into their problems and treat bad habits and mental health disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.
Psychotherapy is usually consisted of talking, but some individuals prefer other approaches which might be – drama, art and music.
Psychotherapy can help an individual express their feelings they may have about themselves and others, especially family and people who are stand out in their life. The client typically meets with their therapist each week and this can be for up to a year.
A therapist always makes sure that sessions are kept private. This means that individuals, especially ones who become paranoid and nervous can trust them with information that may be private or humiliating.
What is Psychotherapy used to treat?
Psychotherapy can be used to treat an extensive variety of mental health illnesses, containing:
- Eating disorders (e.g. bulimia and anorexia)
- BPD (Borderline personality disorder)
- Chronic illnesses
- Drug abuse
Types of Psychotherapy
There are several different types of psychotherapy:
- psychodynamic (psychoanalytic) psychotherapy – a psychoanalytic therapist reassures an individual to say anything which is going through their mind. This can help a client become conscious of concealed connotations or patterns in what they do or say that may be causative to their difficulties.
- cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – a form of psychotherapy that inspects how opinions and views are related to behaviour and moods. It exhibits abilities that retrain an individual’s behaviour and way of thinking to help them learn how to deal with worrying circumstances.
- cognitive analytical therapy (CAT) – uses approaches from both psychodynamic psychotherapy and CBT to work out how a person’s behaviour causes difficulties, and how to recover it through self-help.
- interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) – looks at the way an illness can be activated by actions or events concerning relationships with people, such as bereavements, quarrels or relocation. It helps people learn how to manage with the manners involved, as well as learning coping strategies.
- humanistic therapies – inspires individuals to think about themselves more optimistically and aim to increase their self-awareness.
- couples and family (systemic) therapy – therapy which is with other members of an individual’s family or life that intends to help them fix or solve problems together.
The Behaviourist Perspective in Relation to Understanding and Development
The Behaviourist Perspective is very helpful as it is science based. The approach’s main goal is to look at behaviour that is apparent and openly assessable. This is done as opinions and thoughts from our minds are operationalised and this makes it achievable to examine and compare behaviours.
But there is also a lot of stress and importance on nurture as it emphases on the affects of the environment and how it can shape and form behaviour. However, this means that the role of nature is overlooked because behaviourists typically disregard that genetic-make up could have an influence on the way we may behave. There are also internal aspects which rule behaviour, for example, the drive of enthusiasm and emotional factors are not taken into relation in the behaviourist perspective.
The behaviourist approach has had many positive applications which have been successful in the real work and this is especially when it comes to mental disorders. Pavlov’s studies into Classical conditioning has been applied to aversion therapy which is able to help individuals who suffer with addictions.
Although this approach has been thought to be excessively deterministic because it proposes that behaviours are taught through associations made with environmental stimuli or the reaction that we get (reinforcement). This states that the environment may have power and control over our behaviour and that it is not our conscious thought and processes that governs behaviour but more likely our sub-conscious mind.
This perspective is in relation to service users because it can apply to mental health disorders and also disorders found in people with disabilities. This means it can easily be applied to people who may have Down Syndrome or Autism too, having a disability does not stop you from having treatment with this perspective which means it can help a wide range of people and is more applicable.
The Psychodynamic Perspective in Relation to Understanding and Development
The Psychodynamic Perspective is beneficial to individuals because it is able to provide an explanation for human behaviour based off of childhood experiences and the unconscious. It’s largely accepted today that your childhood has an effect on who you are in your adulthood because of this theory and this was a notion that psychotherapists have been talking about for years.
The psychodynamic approach is considered to aid individuals with a variety of difficulties but usually tends to be most effective in treating more specific issues such as anxiety disorders (i.e. phobias and obsessive compulsive disorders). This means it is largely not available for people who have disabilities such as Autism because the individual needs to be able to fully interact and communicate by themselves with the therapist for this type of treatment to work. But this would be good for someone who has difficulty leaving their house or a disorder which gives the individual difficulty to live their life and this would be good for service users in care that have anxiety and find it hard to be around new people in new places.
Economy in Relation to Human Development and Behaviour
Economy is important in relation to behaviour as it can explain why an individual might be feeling stressed or suffering from mental health issues. This is because if someone is living in poverty or having a financial crisis, there could be stress created from this and that can lead to other mental illnesses such as anxiety. If an individual is earning a low income, it can affect their quality of life and therefore also their human development. Behaviour can come into this as well because having a low-status job can affect your self-concept, intellectual, emotional and social development. If an individual isn’t earning enough to keep their home, then they may also turn to committing crimes in order to not become homeless or lose the lifestyle they have.
Psychological in Relation to Human Development and Behaviour
Having unsteady relationships with family members and partners can create stress and anxiety around an individual as it may become a fixture or obsession to achieve gratification and fulfilment from them in order to be liked. If an individual has also grown up in care as a child, then they may always feel separate from other people and unwanted. Developing mental health issues as a child may mean that they struggle to relax around people and make friends. Making friends is a crucial part of creating identity and making us who we are, so if this is corrupted then it can lead to an individual becoming depressed as they do not have a sense of personalisation. It can also cause detachment around people and this can mean that they can struggle with getting a job in the future or getting a good education.
Physical Environment in Relation to Human Development and Behaviour
If there is a high amount of pollution in an area, then it is more likely for individuals to develop illnesses which could be long-term. This could come from noise or air pollution. If it is noise pollution, then an individual could become deaf or have trouble sleeping and this cam lead to stress which could also put a strain on the heart. Also if an individual lives in poor housing conditions, then they could develop illnesses such as hypothermia from a lack of heating and if a child lives in a busy environment then there is a higher chance of there being an accident involving them. This means that the development of an Individual may find that having home is not about being warm and secure and instead, just being a shelter. It can also mean that they are more likely to live in an unclean environment and develop bad habits which they have always been used to.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Humanistic Approach and how it Relates to Understanding Human Development and Behaviour
This approach is all about the focus being on the individual and their personality instead of their genes and unconscious mind which means it is very personalised and centred on the individual. It also uses qualitative data which means there is an honest insight and more rounded evidence into behaviour. A positive of the Humanistic Approach is that it expresses that the individual is completely in control of their actions and accountable. This can come into clear contrast with ideas behind Psychoanalysis. The theory proposes the idea of setting realistic visible goals that are achievable in order to make progress slowly and this can make results in treatments such as Psychoanalysis easily obtained.
Another strength is that it gives an individual space to freely express how they are feeling and what is on their mind without the need of looking back at the past which they may not be relaxed on speaking about. This theory also finds that free-will is associated with change and this can come into contrast with Freud’s theory and the Biological Approach which looks at the lack of power we have over ourselves, Maslow finds that the individual themselves are very potent. Lastly, a lot of the aspects of this perspective fit in well with other approaches and this means that in many treatments, therapists can adopt a humanistic connotation in their work with individuals. Although a lot of professionals argue that the humanistic theory does not go far enough, they find that it can be a main mechanism in helping people change.
A main weakness in this theory is the large lack of experimental evidence to support the claims. Maslow as been largely criticized for having an absence of scientific observed evidence such as case studies. Another criticism of this theory is the unsuitability to be used in hypothetical situation. Whilst other theorists such as Freud have been able to look towards morals and ethics even still with a lack of evidence, Humanistic theories have still not looked into this.
A negative of this perspective is also lack of solid treatment approaches towards precise matters. Many people also find that this theory falls short in its ability to individuals with more severe personality or mental health pathology. Even though there are many positive benefits for a minor issue, using the approach of Roger’s to treat schizophrenia would seem ludicrous. It also ignores biology such as the hormone testosterone. It is also unscientific as you cannot measure self-actualisation. Qualitative data can be problematic to link and this study is biased towards western culture. It also ignores the unconscious mind.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Behaviourist Approach and how it Relates to Understanding Human Development and Behaviour
Firstly, the Behaviourist Approach is focused and based on observing behaviour which means it is much easier to collect information and data when taking out research. Therapeutic techniques such as behavioural analysis and intensive intervention are both rooted in behaviourism. This means they go well with the approach but also are very beneficial in changing detrimental behaviours in both children and adults. This perspective is one of the best for aiding in learning new things as it uses the values of punishment and reward. This theory is scientific which means it is much more accurate and believable. Many experiments have also been conducted and completed which help support the theories behind the approach. There are also identified contrasts between animals (Pavlov) and humans (Watson & Rayner – Little Albert). The approach is scientific which makes it more accurate. For example, Pavlov’s work has been used to create objective. The approach emphases on studying on behaviour which is directly measurable and evident. This is done as thoughts and judgments are operationalised and this makes it achievable to examine and compare behaviours.
This approach also has various applications in real work which has been successful, especially when comes to treatment of mental disorders. Pavlov’s studies into classical conditioning have been applied to aversion therapy and this is helping individuals with addictions such as drug problems. It has also been beneficial to systematic desensitisation which can help individuals who suffer from phobias.
When it comes to the weaknesses of the Behaviourist Approach, it focuses very much on nurture and how the environment can shape and form our behaviour. This means that the side of nature is overlooked as theorists who vouch for this approach typically ignore genetics which may have an influence on how we behave. Internal factors are also not taken into consideration and a lot of internal factors can rule behaviour, an example of this is the role of emotion and motivation. A lot of theorists criticise that the approach is one sided when it comes to understanding how human behaviour works and that behavioural theories do not account for free-will and internal influences which might be thoughts, feelings and moods. Behaviourism can come across as artificial when it comes to explaining behaviour and knowledge. It only focuses on what is measurable and can be evident but there can also be many hidden characteristics of an individual that may be crucial when it comes to their learning competences.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Psychodynamic Approach and how it Relates to Understanding Human Development and Behaviour
Positives of this approach is that it has caused the case study method to become very common in Psychology. It also explains and highlights the significance of childhood and past experiences. This perspective also speaks of defence mechanisms and free association. Negatives of this perspective is that the case studies make it difficult to generalize results as every individual is different. It has a lack of scientific support and disregards mediational processes such as thinking and memory. It also rejects free-will (humanism believe free will exists).
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