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Positive and humanistic psychology are both interested in positive aspects of psychological health and well-being, focusing on such phenomena as creativity, free will, and positive human potential. These fields of psychology advocate the belief that all people are inherently good, and adopt a holistic approach to human existence. They often acknowledge spiritual aspiration as an integral part of the human psyche.

Positive psychology is concerned with three issues: positive emotions, positive individual traits, and positive institutions.

Finally, positive institutions are based on strengths to better a community of people. Psychodynamic theory studies the psychological forces underlying human behavior, feelings, and emotions. Psychodynamic theory is an approach to psychology that studies the psychological forces underlying human behavior, feelings, and emotions, and how they may relate to early childhood experience.

This theory is especially interested in the dynamic relations between conscious and unconscious motivation, and asserts that behavior is the product of underlying conflicts over which people often have little awareness. Psychodynamic theory was born in with the works of German scientist Ernst von Brucke, who supposed that all living organisms are energy systems governed by the principle of the conservation of energy. Sigmund Freud : Sigmund Freud developed the field of psychoanalytic psychology and the psychosexual theory of human development.

The concept of the unconscious was central: Freud postulated a cycle in which ideas are repressed but continue to operate unconsciously in the mind, and then reappear in consciousness under certain circumstances. Hysteria was an ancient diagnosis that was primarily used for women with a wide variety of symptoms, including physical symptoms and emotional disturbances with no apparent physical cause. Today many researchers believe that her illness was not psychological, as Freud suggested, but either neurological or organic.

The id is the unconscious part that is the cauldron of raw drives, such as for sex or aggression. The ego, which has conscious and unconscious elements, is the rational and reasonable part of personality.

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Its role is to maintain contact with the outside world to keep the individual in touch with society, and to do this it mediates between the conflicting tendencies of the id and the superego. Like the ego, the superego has conscious and unconscious elements. When all three parts of the personality are in dynamic equilibrium, the individual is thought to be mentally healthy. However, if the ego is unable to mediate between the id and the superego, an imbalance is believed to occur in the form of psychological distress.

The information in our unconscious affects our behavior, although we are unaware of it. Freud believed that each of us must pass through a series of stages during childhood, and that if we lack proper nurturing during a particular stage, we may become stuck or fixated in that stage. Jung focused less on infantile development and conflict between the id and superego and instead focused more on integration between different parts of the person.

Jung created some of the best-known psychological concepts, including the archetype, the collective unconscious, the complex, and synchronicity. At present, psychodynamics is an evolving multidisciplinary field that analyzes and studies human thought processes, response patterns, and influences. Research in this field focuses on areas such as:. Psychodynamic therapy, in which patients become increasingly aware of dynamic conflicts and tensions that are manifesting as a symptom or challenge in their lives, is an approach to therapy that is still commonly used today.

Behaviorism is an approach to psychology that focuses on observable behaviors that people learn from their environments. Behaviorism is an approach to psychology that emerged in the early 20th century as a reaction to the psychoanalytic theory of the time. Psychoanalytic theory often had difficulty making predictions that could be tested using rigorous experimental methods. The behaviorist school of thought maintains that behaviors can be described scientifically without recourse either to internal physiological events or to hypothetical constructs such as thoughts and beliefs.

Rather than focusing on underlying conflicts, behaviorism focuses on observable, overt behaviors that are learned from the environment. Its application to the treatment of mental problems is known as behavior modification. Learning is seen as behavior change molded by experience; it is accomplished largely through either classical or operant conditioning described below. The primary developments in behaviorism came from the work of Ivan Pavlov, John B.

Watson, Edward Lee Thorndike, and B. The Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov was widely known for describing the phenomenon now known as classical conditioning. In his famous s experiment, he trained his dogs to salivate on command by associating the ringing of a bell with the delivery of food. Watson, the idea of conditioning as an automatic form of learning became a key concept in the development of behaviorism. Ivan Pavlov : Ivan Pavlov is best known for his classical conditioning experiments with dogs.

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John B. In this experiment, he used classical conditioning to teach a nine-month-old boy to be afraid of a white toy rat by associating the rat with a sudden loud noise. This study demonstrated how emotions could become conditioned responses. Skinner, describes a form of learning in which a voluntary response is strengthened or weakened depending on its association with either positive or negative consequences.

The strengthening of a response occurs through reinforcement. Skinner described two types of reinforcement: positive reinforcement, which is the introduction of a positive consequence such as food, pleasurable activities, or attention from others, and negative reinforcement, which is the removal of a negative consequence such as pain or a loud noise. Skinner saw human behavior as shaped by trial and error through reinforcement and punishment, without any reference to inner conflicts or perceptions. In his theory, mental disorders represented maladaptive behaviors that were learned and could be unlearned through behavior modification.

In the second half of the 20th century, behaviorism was expanded through advances in cognitive theories. While behaviorism and cognitive schools of psychological thought may not agree theoretically, they have complemented each other in practical therapeutic applications like cognitive-behavioral therapy CBT , which has been used widely in the treatment of many different mental disorders, such as phobias, PTSD, and addiction.

This later gave rise to applied behavior analysis ABA , in which operant conditioning techniques are used to reinforce positive behaviors and punish unwanted behaviors. Cognitive psychology examines internal mental processes such as problem-solving, memory, and language. Cognitive psychology is the school of psychology that examines internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language. Much of the work derived from cognitive psychology has been integrated into various other modern disciplines of psychological study, including social psychology, personality psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, and behavioral economics.

Cognitive psychology is radically different from previous psychological approaches in that it is characterized by both of the following:. Cognitive theory contends that solutions to problems take the form of algorithms, heuristics, or insights. Major areas of research in cognitive psychology include perception, memory, categorization, knowledge representation, numerical cognition, language, and thinking. Cognitive psychology is one of the more recent additions to psychological research.

Though there are examples of cognitive approaches from earlier researchers, cognitive psychology really developed as a subfield within psychology in the late s and early s. The development of the field was heavily influenced by contemporary advancements in technology and computer science. Jean Piaget : Piaget is best known for his stage theory of cognitive development.

In , Donald Broadbent integrated concepts from human-performance research and the recently developed information theory in his book Perception and Communication, which paved the way for the information-processing model of cognition. Although no one person is entirely responsible for starting the cognitive revolution, Noam Chomsky was very influential in the early days of this movement. Chomsky — , an American linguist, was dissatisfied with the influence that behaviorism had had on psychology.

He is most widely known for his stage theory of cognitive development, which outlines how children become able to think logically and scientifically over time. As they progress to a new stage, there is a distinct shift in how they think and reason. Humanistic psychology adopts a holistic view of human existence through explorations of meaning, human potential, and self-actualization. Humanistic psychology is a psychological perspective that rose to prominence in the midth century, drawing on the philosophies of existentialism and phenomenology, as well as Eastern philosophy.

It adopts a holistic approach to human existence through investigations of concepts such as meaning, values, freedom, tragedy, personal responsibility, human potential, spirituality, and self-actualization. The humanistic perspective is a holistic psychological perspective that attributes human characteristics and actions to free will and an innate drive for self-actualization.

This approach focuses on maximum human potential and achievement rather than psychoses and symptoms of disorder. It emphasizes that people are inherently good and pays special attention to personal experiences and creativity. This perspective has led to advances in positive, educational, and industrial psychology, and has been applauded for its successful application to psychotherapy and social issues. Despite its great influence, humanistic psychology has also been criticized for its subjectivity and lack of evidence.

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In the late s, a group of psychologists convened in Detroit, Michigan, to discuss their interest in a psychology that focused on uniquely human issues, such as the self, self-actualization, health, hope, love, creativity, nature, being, becoming, individuality, and meaning. Abraham Maslow — is considered the founder of humanistic psychology, and is noted for his conceptualization of a hierarchy of human needs.

Self-actualized people, he believed, have more of these peak experiences throughout a given day than others. At the bottom of the pyramid are the basic physiological needs of a human being, such as food and water. The next level is safety, which includes shelter and needs paramount to physical survival. The third level, love and belonging, is the psychological need to share oneself with others. The fourth level, esteem, focuses on success, status, and accomplishments. The top of the pyramid is self-actualization, in which a person is believed to have reached a state of harmony and understanding.

Individuals progress from lower to higher stages throughout their lives, and cannot reach higher stages without first meeting the lower needs that come before them.

Social psychology and dysfunctional behavior : origins, diagnosis and treatment

Carl Rogers — is best known for his person-centered approach, in which the relationship between therapist and client is used to help the patient reach a state of realization, so that they can then help themselves. Instead, the therapist uses the skills of active listening and mirroring to help patients explore and understand their feelings for themselves.

Carl Rogers : Carl Rogers was one of the early pioneers of humanistic psychology, and is best known for his person-centered approach to therapy. He believed that those raised in an environment of unconditional positive regard have the opportunity to fully actualize themselves, while those raised in an environment of conditional positive regard only feel worthy if they match conditions that have been laid down by others. Rollo May — was the best known American existential psychologist, and differed from other humanistic psychologists by showing a sharper awareness of the tragic dimensions of human existence.

May was influenced by American humanism, and emphasized the importance of human choice. Humanistic psychology is holistic in nature: it takes whole persons into account rather than their separate traits or processes. In this way, people are not reduced to one particular attribute or set of characteristics, but instead are appreciated for the complex beings that they are.

Humanistic psychology allows for a personality concept that is dynamic and fluid and accounts for much of the change a person experiences over a lifetime. It stresses the importance of free will and personal responsibility for decision-making; this view gives the conscious human being some necessary autonomy and frees them from deterministic principles.

Perhaps most importantly, the humanistic perspective emphasizes the need to strive for positive goals and explains human potential in a way that other theories cannot. However, critics have taken issue with many of the early tenets of humanism, such as its lack of empirical evidence as was the case with most early psychological approaches. Because of the inherent subjective nature of the humanistic approach, psychologists worry that this perspective does not identify enough constant variables in order to be researched with consistency and accuracy.

Psychologists also worry that such an extreme focus on the subjective experience of the individual does little to explain or appreciate the impact of external societal factors on personality development. In addition, The major tenet of humanistic personality psychology—namely, that people are innately good and intuitively seek positive goals—does not account for the presence of deviance in the world within normal, functioning personalities.

Personality psychology studies the long-standing traits and patterns that propel individuals to consistently think, feel, and behave in specific ways. Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and its variation among individuals. Its areas of focus include:.


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Personality refers to the long-standing traits and patterns that propel individuals to consistently think, feel, and behave in specific ways. Our personality is what makes us unique individuals. Each person has an idiosyncratic pattern of enduring, long-term characteristics, and a manner in which they interact with other individuals and the world around them. Our personalities are thought to be long-term, stable, and not easily changed. Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist whose psychodynamic theory holds that personality is formed through early childhood experiences. Freud also developed the psychosexual theory of development, in which personality develops during childhood through a series of psychosexual stages.

Failure to resolve a stage can result in a person becoming fixated in that stage, leading to unhealthy personality traits; successful resolution of the stages leads to a healthy adult. Freud attracted many followers who modified his ideas to create new theories about personality. These theorists, referred to as neo-Freudians, generally agreed with Freud that childhood experiences matter, but de-emphasized sex, focusing more on the effects of social environment and culture on personality.

Adler is known for proposing the concept of the inferiority complex; Erikson proposed the psychosocial theory of development; Jung introduced the concepts of the collective unconscious and the persona; and Horney focused on the role of unconscious anxiety related to early childhood needs. In contrast to the psychodynamic approaches, the learning approaches to personality focus only on observable behavior. Behavioral theorists view personality as significantly shaped and impacted by the reinforcements and consequences outside of the organism; essentially, people behave in a consistent manner based on prior learning.

Notable behaviorists that made advancements in theories of personality include B. Humanistic psychologists Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers focused on the growth potential of healthy individuals. They believed that people strive to become self-actualized—each individual desiring to become the best person they can become—and they emphasized free will and self-determination. Psychologists who favor the biological approach believe that inherited predispositions as well as physiological processes can be used to explain differences in our personalities.

Trait theorists believe personality can be understood through the idea that all people have certain traits, or characteristic ways of behaving. These theorists have identified many important dimensions of personality. The five-factor model is the most widely accepted trait theory today: it includes the five factors of openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, which each occur along a continuum.

The culture in which we live is one of the most important environmental factors that shapes our personalities. Western ideas about personality are not necessarily applicable to other cultures, and there is evidence that the strength of personality traits varies across cultures. Individualist cultures and collectivist cultures place emphasis on different basic values: people who live in individualist cultures tend to believe that independence, competition, and personal achievement are important, while people who live in collectivist cultures tend to value social harmony, respectfulness, and group needs over individual needs.

There are three approaches that can be used to study personality in a cultural context: the cultural-comparative approach, the indigenous approach, and the combined approach, which incorporates both elements of both views. Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn within an educational setting. It examines the effectiveness of various educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social aspect of schools.

Educational psychology : Educational psychology aims to provide the best education for all students, regardless of ability, by studying how humans learn in educational settings. School psychology is essentially the application of educational psychology in schools. The practice is based on the belief that every child has an individual capacity and style of learning that results from predisposition, experience, and development. Each looks at how children progress through learning stages as they age.

Educational and school psychologists can use these stages to assess how children learn and what interventions are necessary to help them progress most effectively. Educational psychology dates back to the early 20th century. Lightner Witmer, considered the founder of school psychology, opened the first psychological and guidance clinic in in Pennsylvania.

Arnold Gesell is noted as being the first official school psychologist; he evaluated children and made recommendations for the special education of exceptional children. Social psychology studies individuals in a social context and examines how situational variables influence behavior. This subfield of psychology is concerned with the way such feelings, thoughts, beliefs, intentions, and goals are constructed, and how these psychological factors, in turn, influence our interactions with others.

Social psychology typically explains human behavior as a result of the interaction of mental states and immediate social situations. Social psychologists, therefore, examine the factors that lead us to behave in a given way in the presence of others, as well as the conditions under which certain behaviors, actions, and feelings occur. Thus, social psychology studies individuals in a social context and how situational variables interact to influence behavior.

Essentially, people will change their behavior to align with the social situation at hand. If we are in a new situation or are unsure how to behave, we will take our cues from other individuals. The field of social psychology studies topics at both the intrapersonal level pertaining to the individual , such as emotions and attitudes, and the interpersonal level pertaining to groups , such as aggression and attraction. The field is also concerned with common cognitive biases—such as the fundamental attribution error, the actor-observer bias, the self-serving bias, and the just-world hypothesis—that influence our behavior and our perceptions of events.

Trayvon Martin : Trayvon Martin, a year-old African American youth, was shot to death at the hands of George Zimmerman, a white volunteer neighborhood watchman, in His death sparked a heated debate around the country about the effects of racism in the United States. The discipline of social psychology began in the United States in the early 20th century. The first published study in this area was an experiment in by Norman Triplett on the phenomenon of social facilitation. During the s, Gestalt psychologists such as Kurt Lewin were instrumental in developing the field as something separate from the behavioral and psychoanalytic schools that were dominant during that time.

During World War II, social psychologists studied the concepts of persuasion and propaganda for the U. After the war, researchers became interested in a variety of social problems including gender issues, racial prejudice, cognitive dissonance, bystander intervention, aggression, and obedience to authority. During the years immediately following World War II there was frequent collaboration between psychologists and sociologists; however, the two disciplines have become increasingly specialized and isolated from each other in recent years, with sociologists focusing more on macro-level variables such as social structure.

Sociocultural factors are the larger-scale forces within cultures and societies that affect the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individuals. These include forces such as attitudes, child-rearing practices, discrimination and prejudice, ethnic and racial identity, gender roles and norms, family and kinship structures, power dynamics, regional differences, religious beliefs and practices, rituals, and taboos. Several subfields within psychology seek to examine these sociocultural factors that influence human mental states and behavior; among these are social psychology discussed in another section , cultural psychology, and cultural-historical psychology.

Cultural psychology is the study of how psychological and behavioral tendencies are rooted and embedded within culture. The main tenet of cultural psychology is that mind and culture are inseparable and mutually constitutive, meaning that people are shaped by their culture and their culture is also shaped by them.

A major goal of cultural psychology is to expand the number and variation of cultures that contribute to basic psychological theories, so that these theories become more relevant to the predictions, descriptions, and explanations of all human behaviors—not just Western ones. The evidence that social values, logical reasoning, and basic cognitive and motivational processes vary across populations has become increasingly difficult to ignore.

By studying only a narrow range of culture within human populations, psychologists fail to account for a substantial amount of diversity. White American culture : Populations that are Western, educated, and industrialized tend to be overrepresented in psychological research. By studying only a narrow range of human culture, psychologists fail to account for a substantial amount of variation.

Cultural psychology is often confused with cross-cultural psychology ; however, it is distinct in that cross-cultural psychologists generally use culture as a means of testing the universality of psychological processes, rather than determining how local cultural practices shape psychological processes. Cultural-historical psychology is a psychological theory formed by Lev Vygotsky in the late s and further developed by his students and followers in Eastern Europe and worldwide.

This theory focuses on how aspects of culture, such as values, beliefs, customs, and skills, are transmitted from one generation to the next. The growth that children experience as a result of these interactions differs greatly between cultures; this variance allows children to become competent in tasks that are considered important or necessary in their particular society.

Biopsychology is the application of the principles of biology to the study of mental processes and physical behavior. Biopsychology—also known as biological psychology or psychobiology—is the application of the principles of biology to the study of mental processes and behavior.

The fields of behavioral neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, and neuropsychology are all subfields of biological psychology. Because all behavior is controlled by the central nervous system, biopsychologists seek to understand how the brain functions in order to understand behavior. Key areas of focus include sensation and perception, motivated behavior such as hunger, thirst, and sex , control of movement, learning and memory, sleep and biological rhythms, and emotion. As technical sophistication leads to advancements in research methods, more advanced topics, such as language, reasoning, decision-making, and consciousness, are now being studied.

Brain-imaging techniques : Different brain-imaging techniques provide scientists with insight into different aspects of how the human brain functions. Three types of scans include left to right PET scan positron emission tomography , CT scan computed tomography , and fMRI functional magnetic resonance imaging. Behavioral neuroscience has a strong history of contributing to the understanding of medical disorders, including those that fall into the realm of clinical psychology.


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Neuropsychologists are often employed as scientists to advance scientific or medical knowledge, and neuropsychology is particularly concerned with understanding brain injuries in an attempt to learn about normal psychological functioning. Neuroimaging tools, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI scans, are often used to observe which areas of the brain are active during particular tasks in order to help psychologists understand the link between brain and behavior. MRI of the human brain : Magnetic resonance imaging MRI scans of the head are often used to help psychologists understand the links between brain and behavior.


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Biopsychology as a scientific discipline emerged from a variety of scientific and philosophical traditions in the 18th and 19th centuries. Philosophers like Rene Descartes proposed physical models to explain animal and human behavior. Descartes suggested, for example, that the pineal gland, a midline unpaired structure in the brain of many organisms, was the point of contact between mind and body.

In The Principles of Psychology , William James argued that the scientific study of psychology should be grounded in an understanding of biology. Pineal gland : Descartes suggested that the pineal gland was the point of contact between mind and body. Developmental psychologists study the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development of humans from conception through adulthood. Developmental psychologists study how humans change and grow from conception through childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and death.

Du kanske gillar. Lifespan David Sinclair Inbunden. Spara som favorit. Skickas inom vardagar. Laddas ned direkt. A colleague recently recounted a conversation she had had with a group of graduate students. For reasons that she cannot recall, the discussion had turned to the topic of "old-fashioned" ideas in psychology-perspectives and beliefs that had once enjoyed widespread support but that are now regarded as quaint curiosities. The students racked their brains to outdo one ofthe historical trivia of psychology: Le Bon's another with their knowledge fascination with the "group mind," Mesmer's theory of animal magnetism, the short-lived popularity of "moral therapy," Descartes' belief that erec- tions are maintained by air from the lungs, and so on.

When it came his tum to contribute to the discussion, one student brought up an enigmatic journal he had seen in the library stacks: the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. He thought that the inclusion of abnormal and social psychology within the covers of a single journal seemed an odd combination, and he wondered aloud what sort of historical quirk had led psychologists of an earlier generation to regard these two fields as somehow related. Our colleague then asked her students if they had any ideas about how such an odd combination had found its way into a single journal.

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