- Term Papers and Free Essays

Psych Final

Essay by   •  November 8, 2010  •  5,064 Words (21 Pages)  •  1,282 Views

Essay Preview: Psych Final

Report this essay
Page 1 of 21

Psychology Final

Accumulation of Lessons 1 - 8

Desireй Y Parrish


Psychology Final - Lessons 1 - 8

Ivan Pavlov (1849 to 1936), a Russian psychologist, is the founding father of the behaviorist school. The behaviorist perspective focuses on observable behaviors rather than mental processes, such as thinking and consciousness. The underlying principle of behavior is and is all behaviorisms, both adaptive and now adaptive, is acquired through learning. One study that Pavlov undertook was that digestive pattern of dogs when he came across an interesting phenomenon. Pavlov learned during the study that the dogs would salivate at the sound of keys are being jingled as the unlocked the doors to the rooms where they were being kept in. John B. Watson (1878 to 1958) is another pioneer in the field of behaviorism, who read of Pavlov's work with dogs and decided to expand on his theories. Watson believed that psychology should not concern itself with the mind or consciousness but rather with observable behaviors. Building on Pavlov's early work Watson applied the concept of stimulus response theory to laboratory experiments in a strictly controlled environment using animals and then later, humans.

B.F. Skinner, often referred to as the greatest contemporary psychologist, continued the work of behaviorism. Skinner's approach to psychology was that he believed that all behavior changes will continue to change as a result of its consequences. Skinner also believed that environmental consequences shape human behavior rather than free will. One way that he applied his theories was by treating patients with schizophrenia. In his treatment of schizophrenia patients he was able to get them to speak after being mute for many years. Skinner also applied his theories by improving safety and manufacturing plants, also in teaching basic skills to mentally retarded people. B.F. Skinner's principles can be seen in amusement parks or circuses, for their trainers have surely used Skinner's techniques to teach the animals tricks.

Humanistic psychology concentrates predominantly on the positive view of human nature. There were many critics who questioned both the psychodynamic and behaviorist perspectives. Psychologists found that the behaviorist approach left no room for personal freedom and that the approach was cold and unappealing. Many revolted against the notion that environment determined all behavior. Critics of behaviorist perspective believed it was negative, avoided all unique and positive qualities of the human spirit, such as creativity and love. As a result of the many criticisms the sub field of humanistic psychology was born. Humanist often referred to themselves as the "third force of psychology" because of their alternative approach to behaviorist and psychodynamic perspectives. Carl Rogers (1902 to 1987) and Abraham Maslow (1908 to 1970) were key humanists who focused on the cornerstones of humanistic psychology; the aspects of personal freedom and choice. The humanist perspective focus is on the understanding that each person is a unique individual who has the ability to reach his or her fullest potential. The humanists' major contributions to the field have been to change the views of human nature and to develop a variety of psychotherapeutic techniques.

The behaviorist perspective focuses on human behavior. The humanistic perspective focuses on each human as an individual person, believing that each person is unique. While behaviorists believe that environment plays a role in human behavior, those that believe in the humanistic approach believe that environment in fact does not play a role. If those who believe in the humanistic approach believe that each person is a unique individual, then why can they not believe that each person's behavior can be attributed to each unique environment? Humanists' believes that the behaviorist approach is negative and falls short by way of studying the unique qualities in a person, such as creativity or love. When in fact that is where human behavior lies. Each person is an individual, and each person is unique, this is something our parents try endlessly to make us understand. Knowing that, that is indeed true, then if a person falls in love and suddenly something should happen to that person, by way of death or otherwise, the person's behavior changes. Not only did the environment play a part in the person's behavior but the behavior was contributed by that person being in love and losing the one they love. Another way to look at is like this. You are a teenager who gets a new puppy. At first glance you fall immediately in love with everything around that puppy. And your behavior of how you are with other's concerning that puppy is portrayed. Since the puppy was brought into your world or environment, your behavior went from perhaps being a sad lonely individual, to seeing things in a new light and being happy. If that puppy were taken from you or removed from your environment; you would go back to the person you were before the puppy was brought into your world. Now not everyone is a dog lover, so this type of behavior will not be the same for everyone. Why? Because each person is unique and each person's behavior is unique to each situation, thereby creating a unique human behavior that is brought on by environment changes.

Chapter 16 of the provided reading material is entitled, Social Psychology. One behavior that is touched upon is altruism. They define altruism as a voluntary performed behavior that will benefit another person with no anticipation of reward. There are some theorists who believe that altruism is hard to determine because there is no way to truly know if the person was not rewarded for her or her actions. The receipt of the reward might not always be obvious. The reward could be extrinsic (such as receiving a medal of honor for an act) or intrinsic (feeling good about yourself). Many researchers believe that the only genuine form of altruism might be when a soldier was to cover a comrade to protect them from shrapnel or a grenade. In my opinion altruism would fall under both humanistic and behaviorist theories. Remember that the humanist perspective focuses on each person as an individual that is unique. While the behaviorist perspective focuses on human behavior. Altruism is a form of both. The



Download as:   txt (29.7 Kb)   pdf (280.6 Kb)   docx (20.4 Kb)  
Continue for 20 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 11). Psych Final. Retrieved 11, 2010, from

"Psych Final" 11 2010. 2010. 11 2010 <>.

"Psych Final.", 11 2010. Web. 11 2010. <>.

"Psych Final." 11, 2010. Accessed 11, 2010.