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Prof. Andrea B.

Department of Behavioral Sciences
UP College of Arts and Sciences
Y Behavioral Approach:
§ Observable behavior
Y Psychoanal ytic Approach:
§ The unconscious mind
Y Humanistic Approach:
§ Free will and self-actualization
Y Cognitive Approach:
§ Information processing
Y Neuroscience Approach:
§ Role of the brain, hormones and genes
Y Evolutionary Approach:
§ Natural selection and adaptation
Y Socio-cultural Approach:
§ Role of culture, ethnicity, gender and
socio-demographic factors
“Behavior is public,
Consciousness is private.”
Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed,
and my own specified world to bring them
up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at
random and train him to become any type
of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer,
artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-
man and thief, regardless of his talents,
penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations
and race of his ancestors.”
—John B. Watson (1924-1970
John Watson
Ivan Pavlov
B.F. Skinner
A. Bandura
Y Whereas Structuralism,
Functionalism, Gestalt and
Psychoanalytic perspectives looked
at non-observable mental forces,
Behavioral Approach emphasizes
objective, observable environmental
influences on overt behavior.
Y Hence, Behavioral Approach
focuses on the study of observable
behavior and its environmental
determinants .
YIt is not the “why” of
consciousness that is
important but the
“how” of behavior that
should be studied.
Y John Watson strongly objected to
the practice of introspection, the
study of mental processes, and the
influence of unconscious forces,
believing that these were unscientific
to be studied empirically.
Y Conscious thoughts and mental
processes had no place in
psychology—they lacked objectivity
and could not be measured.
Y Watson argued that preoccupation
with the study of consciousness
would prevent psychology from
being a true science.
Y He believed that learning is the
most important cause of behavior.
Y Thus, if we can control the
environment, we can create learning
experiences for the individual.
Y For psychology to become a science, its data
must be open to public inspection—its data
must be observable and measurable.
YWatson adopted Rus sian
physiologist Ivan Pavlov’s
concept of conditioning to
explain behavior as a result
of observable stimuli (in the
environment) and
observable responses
(behavioral actions).
YB.F. Skinner was
convinced that we could
use behaviorist approach
to “shape” human
behavior (such as treating
phobias, alcoholism, etc.)
Y B.F. Skinner stressed the study of
observable behaviors, the
importance of environmental
reinforcers (reward or punishment)
and the exclusion of mental
Y Behavioral approach asserts that
learning new behaviors or
modifying existing ones depends on
whether events in the environment
reward or punish the behavior.
– We do well in school because of the
rewards we experience
– We behave in a well-mannered
fashion for our parents because of the
controls they place on us
– We work hard at our jobs because of
the money we receive for our efforts
– We learn to love people because of
the warmth and comfort they give us
Y Behaviorists affirm that we
don’t do these things because
of inborn motivation to become
competent or because rewards
make us feel better about
ourselves—we do them
because of the environmental
conditions we have
experienced and are continuing
to experience.
Y Man’s conduct is not due
to consciousness but to
stimulus (environment al
determinants), hence
behaviorists modify and
re-arrange environment al
experiences to determine
their effects on the
Y Not every Behaviorist rejected the
importance of mental processes.
Y Albert Bandura proposed the
Social Cognitive Theory which
stresses that behavior is
determined not only by its
controlling environment al
conditions but also by how
thoughts modify the impact of
environment on behavior.
Y Bandura believes that many of our
complex behaviors are the result of
exposure to competent models who
display appropriate behavior in
solving problems and coping.
Y Imitation is one of the ways we
learn about our world. To reproduce
a model’s behavior, we must code
and store the information in memory
which is a mental process.
Y Social cognitive learning or observation al learning
results from watching, imitating and modeling behavior.
Y Behaviorism espoused an
environmental viewpoint
that totally denies the
influence of heredity in
shaping behavior.
Y Behaviorism is focused on
the observable behavior,
less on mental process.
“The key to understanding mind and
behavior rest ed in the unconscious
aspects of the mind—the aspects of
which we are unaware of.”
—Sigmund Freud
The year is 1904. You are lying on
an incredibly comfortable couch in
an office in Vienna, Austria. A
gentleman with a stern look on his
face walks and sits down near you.
He asks you to close your eyes and
to disclose everything that goes
inside your mind. Then he inquires
about your childhood experiences.
The man asking the questions is
Sigmund Freud. The method he used
is psychotherapy.
Y Unlike many pioneer
psychologists, Sigmund
Freud was intrigued by
the abnormal aspects of
the people’s lives.
Y His focus of study is on
the case and cure of
personality disorders,
using case studies as
method of investigation.
Y Freud believe that all human
actions have a cause, but that
cause is often some
unconscious motive rather than
the rational reason.
Y For Freud, the key to
understanding mind and
behavior rested in the
unconscious aspects of the
mind—the part of the mind that
is outside of our awareness.
Y Unconscious processes—are
thoughts, fears, desires and wishes
that a person is unaware of but
nevertheless influence behavior.
The human mind is like
an iceberg—the
conscious mind is only
the tip of the iceberg,
whereas the unconscious
mind is the huge bulk of
the iceberg submerged
beyond our awareness.
Man is driven by two
basic instincts: 1. Life instinct—in the
form of (a) self-
2. Death instinct— preservation and (b)
in the form of (a) sexual instinct (called
aggression and libido)
(b) self-inflicted
pain (e.g. suicide)
Y These unlearned biological
instincts are located in the
unconscious mind and
influence the way individuals
think, feel and behave.
Y These instincts, especially
sexual and aggressive
impulses, often conflict with
acceptable social behavior.
Y Many of the impulses that are
forbidden or punished by
parents and society during
childhood are derived from
innate instincts.
Y These thoughts or feelings that
make us feel fearful or guilty
and threaten our self-esteem
are automatically sent deep
into our unconscious.
Y These unconscious,
threatening thoughts and
feelings give rise to
anxiety, fear and other
psychological problems .
YUnconscious impulses
are expressed through:
– Dreams
– Slips of the tongue
– Mannerisms
– Symptoms of mental illness
– Socially-approved behavior like
artistic or literary activities
Y Techniques to uncover the
– Dream interpretati on—dreams
have latent and manif est
– Free association—the patient
freely associates his thoughts
and experiences with the help of
the psychiatrist who analyzes the
cause of difficulties.
Y Although Freud saw much of
psychological development as
instinctually based, he argued that
our early relationships with our
parents were the chief
environmental contribution to our
Y The first five years of life (or early
childhood experiences) has a
profound effect on adult personality
development and the formation of
other psychological problems.
Y To sum, psychoanalytic
approach emphasizes:
– The unconscious aspect s of the
– The human nature being driven by
the same basic instincts as animals
(primarily sex and aggression)
– The conflict between biological
instincts and society’s demands that
give rise to anxiety
– Importance of early family
experiences and relationship with
parents in personality development
Y Freud’s non-scientific
approach and emphasis
on sexual and aggressive
impulses have caus ed a
great deal of controvers y.
Y However, his approach has
a profound impact on
psychotherapy, psychiatry
and modern psychodynamic
Y The Humanistic Approach
officially began in the early
1960’s, started by Abraham
Maslow and Carl Rogers.
Y The Humanistic Approach
believes that the human
person is characterized by:
1. capacity for growth
2. Freedom
3. enormous positive qualities or
intrinsic worth.
Y Humanistic approach asserts
that an individual’s principal
motivational force is a
tendency toward growth and
self-actualization—the state
of self-fulfillment in which we
realize our highest potential.
Y We may have to struggle to
reach our potential, but we
have control of our fate to
become whatever we are
capable of being (as against
being manipulat ed by instinct
or by environmental
Y Humanists emphasize our unique
ability to make voluntary choices—
through our free will—about our
behavior and life.
Y There is a positive side of
human nature with its creative
tendencies and its inclination to
build caring relationships.
Y Humanists believe that we have
a natural tendency to be loving
toward each other and that
each of us has the capacity to
be a loving person if we would
recognize it.
Y Humanists stress that our
subjective, personal perception of
ourselves and the world is more
important than behavior itself .
Y They believe that we have a
tremendous potential f or self-
understanding and that we can
help others achieve this self -
understanding by providing a
nurturant, warm social climate —by
being supportive.
To sum, the concept
of human nature—
characterized by
freedom, potential,
creativity—is the
most distinctive
feature of
approach and sets
it apart from the
Behavioral and
approaches .
Criticisms Against
Humanistic Approach
Y Because of its free will
concept of human
nature and its lack of
rigorous experimental
methods, many
behaviorists regard the
humanistic approach
as more of philosophy
of life than the science
of human behavior.
Y Critics may call the Humanistic Approach
unscientific, but it has been applauded for
helping us reach our human potential and
cope more effectively with out problems.
Y Maslow called the Humanistic Psychology
the “third force in psycholog y,” believing
it also deserves the attention that
Behaviorism and Psychoanalysis get.
Y The Behavioral
Neuroscience approach
seeks to specify the
neurobiological processes
and structures that underlie
behavior and mental events.
Y Rather than study only
thoughts—as cognitive
psychologists do—
neurobiologists believe that
thoughts have physical basis
in the brain.
Y The Neurobiological
Approach examines how our
genes, hormones and the
nervous system, especially
the brain, interact with our
environment to influence
learning, personality,
memory, motivation,
emotion, coping techniques
and other traits and abilities.
Y This approach asserts that all
psychological events as well
as behavior are represented
in some manner by the
activity of the brain and the
nervous system.
Y Examples of biological
§ Identifying changes that
take place in the brain
because of memory
§ Showing patterns of brain
activities when making
quick decisions
Y Examples of biological
§ Researchers found out that
autistic children share a
genetic defect in
regulating a chemical
known as seratonin that
has an important role in
brain functioning.
Y For psychobiologists, the
brain and the nervous system
are central to understanding
behavior, thought and
Y Our remarkable capabilities
as human beings would not
be possible without our
Y Roger Sperry, the major
proponent of Neurobiological
Approach, conducted extensive
research on the brain’s two
Y Sperry made remarkable
discovery when he revealed that
some aspects of our behavior are
controlled by one side of the
brain than by the other side.
Y The human brain is only a
three-pound lump of matter,
but in this lump are more
than 100 billion
interconnected nerve cells.
Electrical impulses zoom
throughout our brain cells
and chemical substances are
released as we think, feel
and act.
Y In sum, the Neurobiological
Approach examines how our
genes, hormones and the
nervous system, especially
the brain, interact with our
environment to influence
learning, personality,
memory, motivation,
emotion, coping techniques
and other traits and abilities.
How the mind works
Y Cognitive Psychology is the
scientific study of cognition,
the goal of which is to
explain how mental
processes are organized and
how they function.
Y Cognition—refers to the
mental process of
perception, memory and
information processing by
which individuals acquire
knowledge, solve problems,
and plan for the future.
Y Cognitive Psychology is
concerned primarily with
how individuals perceive
events and code, categorize
and represent information in
Y It seeks to develop a theory
on how the mind works so
as to predict behavior.
It emphasizes the
mental processes
involved in knowing—
how we process,
store, and use
information and how
this information
influences what we
attend to, perceive,
learn, remember,
believe, feel, etc.
Y Examples:
– How do we solve algebraic equations?
– How do we memorize a poem?
– How do we use imagery to plan for the future?
– Why do we remember some things only for a short
period of time but remember others for a lifetime?
Y Human beings are not passive
receptors of stimuli—the mind
actively processes the
information it receives and
transforms it into new forms and
Y Hence, an individual’s mental
perception, imaging, thinking—
are in control of behavior.
Comparison with other approaches:
Y Cognitive Psychology: The mind is an
active and aware problem-solving
system. Hence, an individual’s mental
processes are in control of behavior.
Y Psychodynamic Approach: The
individual is controlled by instincts.
Y Behavioral Approach: Behavior is
controlled by external environmental
Y Kenneth Craik, a British
psychologist, proposed that
the brain is like a computer
capable of modeling or
paralleling external events.
Y Herbert Simon, pioneered
the Information Processing
Approach, who asserted that
the human mind is best
understood by comparing it
to how a computer processes
Y According to Information
Processing Approach, we
gather information from our
environment and then process
it in a series of stages.
Y Like computers, we first take
in information, process it, and
then produce a response.
Comparing the human mi nd
with how the computer w orks:

Data entry Sensory and perceptual

Systems as input channel

Software program Mental processes act on

acts on data Information input

Data storage / save Memory

Data search / find Retrieval of information

From memory

Print out Behavior

Information Processi ng Model:
Y This is the most widely adopted
cognitive approach which studies
how individuals process
– How do we attend to
– How do we perceive information?
– How do we store information?
– How do we think about the
– How do we retrieve the
information for future use?
YThe evolutionary perspective
derives from a focus on natural
selection or survival of the fittest,
adaptation and evolution of
behavior and mental processes.
Y In this view, the
evolutionary process of
natural selection
favors behaviors that
increase organism’s
reproductive success
and their ability to pass
their genes to the next
Y Evolutionists see
natural selection
operating at the level of
Y Genes that result in
characteristics and
behaviors that are
adaptive and useful in
certain environment will
enable the creature to
survive and reproduce.
Y That is, humans and
other animals
exhibiting behaviors
that contribute to
survival will pass
them on through their
genes to the next
Y Hence, evolution favors organisms that are best
adapted to survive and reproduce in a particular
Y David Buss believes that
just as evolution shapes
our physical features , such
as body shape and height,
it also pervasively
influences how we make
decisions, how aggres sive
we are, our fears and our
mating patterns.
Y Steven Pinker argued that “how
the mind works” can be
summarized by three main points:
(1) The mind computes;
(2) The mind was designed to
compute by evolution;
(3) These computations are
performed by specialized brain
systems that natural selection
has designed to achieve
specific kinds of goal such as
Y Thus, minds that understood causes and effects,
built tools, set traps and avoided poisonous
mushrooms in primitive times had the best
chance of surviving and having offspring that in,
modern times, invented mathematics, design
computers and make robots.
Y For instance, in analyzing
aggressive behavior:
Y Behaviorists argue that
aggressiveness is learned.
Y Cognitive psychologists would
emphasize how thoughts
contribute to aggression.
Y Biopsychologists might point to the
role of hormones and structures of
the brain in aggression.
Y Evolutionary psychologists would
argue that people behave
aggressively because aggression
conveys a survival or reproductive
Y The Socio-cultural Approach, also called the Cross-
cultural Approach, emphasizes that culture, ethnicity,
gender and other socio-cultural and economic traits are
essential in understanding behavior.
Socio-cultural psychology
has shown that factors
such as ethnicity,
religion, occupation and
socio-economic class
have an enormous
psychological impact on
all of us.
Y It is the pattern of
behavior, beliefs,
practices, values, music,
diet, rituals and other
products of a particular
group of people that are
passed on from
generation to generation.
Y It is the way of life of
the people, influencing
the identity, learning and
social behavior of
members of a particular
cultural group.
Y It is based on cultural
heritage, nationality
characteristics, race,
religion and language of
the people.
Y It involves descent from
common ancestors, usually
in a specifiable part of the
Y Given this common
descent, people often
make inferences about
someone’s ethnicity based
on physical features
believed to be typical of an
ethnic group.
Examples of ethnic
issues addressed by
Socio--cultural Approach:

YWhat traits are

commonly associated or
stereotyped behaviors
of Westerners and
YAre Filipinos naturally
indolent people?
It is the socio-
socio-cultural dimension
of being male or female, as
against sex which is the
biological dimension of being
male or female.
Examples of gender i ssues addressed
by Socio-
Socio-cultural Approach:

Y Is there a limit to how

much society can
determine what is
appropriate behavior
for males and females?
Y What are the emerging
gender roles of males
and females in various
social behavior?
Relevance of
Socio--cultural Approach
Y As the future brings
increasing contact
between people
from different
cultural background,
the cross-cultural
approach will help
expand the role of
psychology as a
relevant discipline.