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Contemporary Perspectives. What is a “perspective”? What do you think???

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Presentation on theme: "Contemporary Perspectives. What is a “perspective”? What do you think???"— Presentation transcript:

1 Contemporary Perspectives

2 What is a “perspective”? What do you think???

3 A Perspective: is a conceptual framework to examine a given phenomenon. has a set of basic assumptions. Determines which methods (data collection, analysis) will be used to study a given phenomenon. Can also be referred to as an “approach” in psychology

4 Perspectives in Psychology Biological Psychodynamic (Psychoanalytical) Behavioral Cognitive Humanistic Evolutionary Social-Cultural Biopsychosocial

5 1. Biological Perspective Basic assumptions: 1. Biology plays a role in behavior. 2. The physical body affects behavior and thought.

6 Flaws with Biological 1. Factors unrelated to biology may influence thoughts and behaviors. E.g., environmental factors (life-style, abuse) may play role in some mental disorders (depression). 2. Multiple factors may influence thoughts and behaviors.

7 2. Psychodynamic Perspective: Argues that our behavior results from unconscious internal drives and conflicts. Conflicts are outside of our awareness (iceberg theory).

8 Criticism of Psychodynamic: 1. Freud had no scientific data to support his theories. 2. Freud’s theories (unconscious, libido, etc.) cannot be observed. 3. Theory explains behavior (post-hoc) after the fact. 4. Observations not representative of population.

9 3. Behavior Perspective Focuses on observable behaviors. Premise—abnormal behavior is learned!! Learning (classical & operant conditioning, modeling)

10 Criticisms of Behavior: 1. Abnormal behavior not connected to particular learning experiences (schizophrenia). 2. Simplistic circular reasoning (Description as explanation). 3. Useful for treatment, but not as cause for most mental disorders.

11 4. Evolutionary Perspective Focuses on the possible role of evolved psychological mechanisms (inherited tendencies shaped by evolution) in human behavior Looks at the way the mind works and why it works as it does. Behavior is seen as having an adaptive or survival value.

12 Criticism of Evolutionary Too much attention paid to “adaptations” It is argued that this isn’t really psychology, just an extension of biology This is a new theory and still fairly controversial

13 5. Cognitive Perspective : Premise- how our minds organize and interpret information Focuses on memory, intelligence, perception, problem solving, and learning

14 Criticisms of Cognitive Depends on “controlled” experiments rather than “real world” Doesn’t account for genetic factors like heredity

15 6. Humanistic Perspective: Theorists argue we are driven to self- actualize, that is, to fulfill our potential for goodness and growth. How we meet our needs for love and acceptance and achieve self-fulfillment. More from early roots of psychology in the field of philosophy.

16 Criticism of Humanistic Concepts are too vague Subjective ideas are too hard to objectify (e.g. an experience that is real for one individual may not be real for another person) Not a “real science” because it’s too much “common sense” and not enough objectivity

17 7. Social-cultural Perspective Focuses on the relationship between social behavior and culture. Social and cultural factors that can influence behavior

18 8. Biopsychosocial (not a “perspective” but a merging of several) Integrated approach using 3 main levels of analysis

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