Presentation on theme: "How psychologists explain human behaviour"— Presentation transcript:
1How psychologists explain human behaviour Why do people behave the way they do?An introductionHow psychologists explain human behaviour
2Biological approach to understanding human behaviour All behaviour is determined by genetic, physiological and neurological factorsThe central nervous system and the ‘brain’ is a major influenceNormality is a properly functioning nervous system
3Biological approach to understanding human behaviour The nature of psychological developmentStages of behavioural & psychological development are based on changes in brain growth which are genetically determined (maturation)Preferred method of studyExperiment (on animals often ratsand humans)
4Biological approach to understanding human behaviour Major causes of abnormal behaviourgenetic disordersorganic (bodily) disordersbrain disease or injurychemical imbalance / allergiesmental illness
5Biological approach to understanding human behaviour Preferred methods of treatmentchemotherapy( drugs)electroconvulsive therapy; psychosurgeryGoals of treatmentTo alleviate symptoms or to reverse the underlying cause (s) of the illnessKey StudiesMaguire et al : Brains of London Taxi DriversSperry: The split brain studies
6Psychodynamic approach (perspective) to understanding human behaviour (Freud) Behaviour determined by unconscious forcesThe individual experiences unconscious conflict due to opposing demands made by different parts of the personality (id, ego, superego)NormalityA reasonable balance between id, ego, superego but there is always some conflict
7Psychodynamic approach (perspective) to understanding human behaviour (Freud) The nature of psychologicaldevelopmentFive psychosexual stages whose sequence is determined by maturationAn individual is shaped by early childhood experiences
8Psychodynamic approach (perspective) to understanding human behaviour (Freud) Preferred method of study is case studyKey Studies:Freud, S. (1909) Analysis of a phobia in a five-year-old boy. Pelican Freud Library, Vol. 8, Case HistoriesThigpen, C.H. & Cleckley, H.(1954)A case of multiple personality.
9Psychodynamic approach (perspective) to understanding human behaviour (Freud) Major causes of abnormal behaviourEmotional disturbance / neurosis caused by unresolved conflicts stemming from childhoodPreferred methods of treatmentPsychoanalysis in which the unconscious is revealedGoals of treatmentTo uncover unconscious conflict and to achieve balance between id, ego, superego
10Behaviourist approach (perspective) to understanding human behaviour All human behaviour shaped by environmental forcesbehaviour is learned byclassical & operant conditioning(Pavlov’s dogs)NormalityThe possession of an adequately large repertoire of learned responses
11Behaviourist approach (perspective) to understanding human behaviour Major causes of abnormal behaviourlearned maladaptive responsesno distinction between symptoms and behaviour disorderKey Study:Little Albert:J Watson & R Rayner (1926)Conditioned emotional responses
12Behaviourist approach (perspective) to understanding human behaviour Preferred methods of treatmentbehaviour therapysystematic desensitisationaversion therapy, flooding therapyGoals of treatmentTo eliminate maladaptive responses (phobias etc) and to acquire new ones
13Behaviourist approach (perspective) to understanding human behaviour Classical conditioningWith care & patience, it is possible to demonstrate the conditioning of the eye-blink reflex in humans. In pairs choose who will be the experimenter and the learnerExperimenter - blow carefully (use a drinking straw ) across the eyeball. Now pair the puff of air with a gentle tap on the back of the participants hand. Record the number of pairings required to produce the eye-blink to the tap on the hand alone.
14Cognitive approach to understanding human behaviour The human mind is compared to a computer (information processor) as cognitive processes select, code, store and retrieve informationKey Study Areas: Memory, Perception, LanguageNormalityThe proper functioning of cognitive processes & ability to use them to monitor & control behaviour
15Cognitive approach to understanding human behaviour The nature of psychological developmentStages of cognitive development (Key Names: Jean Piaget, L Vygotsky)Preferred methods of studyexperiment (mainly humans)artificial intelligence
16Cognitive approach to understanding human behaviour The major causes of abnormal behaviourunrealistic/irrational ideas about self & othersthe inability to monitor behaviour through cognitive processesKey studies: Loftus & Palmer – how leading questions reconstruct memorySamuel & Bryant: Asking only one question in the conservation tasks
17Cognitive approach to understanding human behaviour Preferred methods of treatmentRational Emotive TherapyCognitive Behaviour Therapye.g. Pain clinics / depression clinicsThe goals of treatmentTo correct unrealistic ideas so that thinking becomes an effective means of controlling behaviour
18Key questions to ask about human behaviour Do people behave the way they dobecause of the sort of ‘person’ they arethe dispositional explanationorbecause of the situation they are in?the situational explanationor ‘a bit of both’
19Key questions to ask about human behaviour Do people behave the way they dobecause of biological (nature) reasonsorbecause of their environmental (nurture) experiences?or ‘a bit of both’
20Key questions to ask about human behaviour How can metaphysical mental processes cause behaviour?The ghost in the machine!
21Psychology of why people behave the way they do !