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Psychology Essay

  • Submitted by: Saffiyaruby
  • on January 26, 2013
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 1,810 words

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Below is an essay on "Psychology" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Strengths and weaknesses in psychology
The aim of this assignment is to evaluate and describe the weaknesses and strengths of four out of the five psychological approaches.   I will discuss in detail the definition of each approach referring to case studies to support my explanations. The four perspectives I have chosen to discuss are Humanism, Cognitivism, Psychodynamic and Behaviourism.
Firstly I will cover behaviourism which consists of the belief that behaviours can be controlled by means of measuring, changing and studying them without involving the internal body I.e. emotions and feelings. It is also a theory which mainly focuses on an idea that all behaviours are attained through conditioning. This happens with influences from the environment around us. There are 3 main theories in this approach; these are classical conditioning which involves the autonomic nervous system, operative conditioning and social learning theory. One of the strengths of the behaviourist approach is that it is easy to observe which makes it simple to carry out scientific experiments. An example of this would be Skinner’s box experiment with rats (operant conditioning). Skinner controlled the behaviour of the rats by using rewards and reinforcement. When the rats pressed a lever in the box they were rewarded with food and when they made a mistake they were punished. Another example would be the Watson’s, Little Albert experiment in which he was able to make an 11 month old baby afraid of white rats by using a loud metal sound to scare the baby whilst showing him the rats. While both these experiments were accurate and scientific the downfall of them both is that the subjects are left in distress due to the harsh way in which they were experimented on. Another weakness of the behaviourist perspective is that many of the experiments were animal based resulting in inaccurate results in regards with human behaviour. For e.g. Pavlov’s dogs were conditioned to salivate when they noticed...

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