Behaviorism And Psychoanalytic Essay

2127 words - 9 pages

Compare and contrast the behaviourist and psychoanalytic school of thought in psychologyWord Count: 1893Student ID: 1201482Behaviourism and psychoanalysis are two independent theories, however they are both concerned with the same organism (man) and what causes the behaviour that they display. They both have different views on how behaviour is created, but presumably the same ultimate laws underlie all of human behaviour. Throughout this essay we will be examining what truth lies within behaviourism and psychoanalysis.Behaviourism focuses on observable behaviour and views that learning is through association, as seen in Classical Conditioning and Operant Conditioning (Skinner 1938). Behaviourists suggest that behaviour can be measured, trained and changed and states that when we are born our minds are in the state of tabula rasa with our behaviour being acquired by the external environment (McLeod 2007). Compared to the psychoanalysis approach which views behaviour as part of the unconscious thought processes imbedded by our childhood experiences (Freud). The layers of the mind is often referred to by the iceberg analogy (Stricker & Widiger 2003) which the conscious referred to as the tip where all present awareness is, the preconscious the part just below the waterline where memories and thoughts can be accessed easily, the subconscious being the largest part of the iceberg that is immersed by the water, this is where repressed memories are held unable to be accessed by the conscious.Freud further believed that personality is devised into three major systems, ID, Ego and Superego with each system having its own function which the interaction of all three governing behaviour. The ID consists of the basic impulses every human is born with; need to eat, drink, sexual pleasure and avoid pain. The ID operates on a pleasure principle and seeks immediate gratification for the impulses. The Ego balances the needs of the ID against the demands and expectations of society; on the other hand the Superego is concerned with the values and morals of society as taught by the parents as a child. In order to deal with this conflict the ID developed a series of defence mechanisms in order to protect itself from these pressures, for example; repression, projection, rationalisation, suppression and denial. Many psychoanalysts reject Freud's tripartite structure of the psyche, one of his early followers, Carl Jung who rejected Freud's view that the unconscious was a part of the psyche. Jung believed that there was a personal part of the unconscious in which he called the 'collective unconscious' to him the unconscious was not purely biological but rather a bank of ancient wisdom. Freud's view that human beings are just another animal species that is driven by instincts and sexual desires has been found insufficient, as it suggests that even very young child suffer from sexual desire and impulses.The foundations of the Behaviourist theory is Classical...

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