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Introduction To Models And Methods Of Understanding Human Behaviour

Introduction To Models And Methods Of Understanding Human Behaviour

There are five basic models in the understanding of human behaviour. These models
include: The Biological Model, The Psychoanalytic Model, The Behaviourist Model,
The Cognitive-Behavioural Model, and The Humanistic Model.
1. Biological: Concerned with the activity of the nervous system, especially the brain,
action of hormones & genetics
2. Psychodynamic: Emphasizes internal conflicts, mostly unconscious
3. Behavioral: Concerned with learning, especially each person's experience with
rewards and punishments
4. Cognitive: Studies the mechanisms through which people receive, store, retrieve,
and otherwise process information
5. Humanistic: Emphasizes individual potential for growth and the role of unique
perceptions in guiding behavior and mental processes.
The Psychodynamic Approach
The Interpretation of Dreams was a landmark for the science of psychology. Freud's ideas
about dreaming and other mental processes were often controversial.Whether one
accepts or rejects Freud's theory, there is little doubt that psychoanalysis had significant
impact.Terms like unconsciousness, ego, defence mechanism were introduced by
Freud's Structural Models of Personality (Psychoanalysis)
Sigmund Freud's Theory is quite complex and although his writings on psychosexual
development set the groundwork for how our personalities developed, it was only one
of five parts to his overall theory of personality. He also believed that different driving
forces develop during these stages which play an important role in how we interact
with the world.
THE Id: According to Freud, we are born with our Id. In Psychoanalytical theory, it is the
part of the personality which contains our primitive impulses such as sex, anger, and
hunger. The id is an important part of our personality because as newborns, it allows us
to get our basic needs met. Freud believed that the id is based on our pleasure
principle. In other words, the id wants whatever feels good at the time, with no
consideration for the reality of the situation. When a child is hungry, the id wants food,
and therefore the child cries.
The id doesn't care about reality, about the needs of anyone else, only its own satisfaction.
If you think about it, babies are not real considerate of their parents' wishes. They have
no care for time, whether their parents are sleeping, relaxing, eating dinner, or bathing.
When the id wants something, nothing else is important.
Introduction To Models And Methods Of Understanding Human Behaviour

The Ego:
Within the next three years, as the child interacts more and more with the world, the
second part of the personality begins to develop. Freud called this part the Ego.It is the
part of the personality which maintains a balance between our impulses (id) and our
conscience (superego). The ego is based on the reality principle.
The ego understands that other people have needs and desires and that sometimes being
impulsive or selfish can hurt us in the long run. It’s the ego's job to meet the needs of
the id, while taking into consideration the reality of the situation.
The Superego
By the age of five the Superego develops. The Superego is the part of the personality that
represents the conscience. It is the moral part of us and develops due to the moral and
ethical restraints placed on us by our caregivers. Many equate the superego with the
conscience as it dictates our belief of right and wrong.
In a healthy person, according to Freud, the ego is the strongest so that it can satisfy the
needs of the id, not upset the superego, and still take into consideration the reality of
every situation. If the id gets too strong, impulses and self gratification take over the
person's life. If the superego becomes too strong, the person would be driven by rigid
morals, would be judgmental and unbending in his or her interactions with the world.
The Divisions of MIND
Freud believed that the majority of what we experience in our lives, the underlying
emotions, beliefs, feelings, and impulses are not available to us at a conscious level.
He believed that most of what drives us is buried in our Unconscious
Freud also believed that everything we are aware of is stored in our Conscious. At any
given time, we are only aware of a very small part of what makes up our personality;
most of what we are is buried and inaccessible.
The final part is the preconscious and subconscious. This is the part of us that we can
access if prompted, but is not in our active conscious. Its right below the surface, but
still buried somewhat unless we search for it. Information such as our telephone
number, some childhood memories, or the name of your best childhood friend is stored
in the preconscious. The iceberg.
Behavioral Model
Behavioral Psychology is basically interested in how our behavior results from the stimuli
both in the environment and within ourselves. Scientific Experiment: Often a
demanding process, but results have helped us learn a great deal about our behaviors,
the effect our environment has on us, how we learn new behaviors, and what motivates
us to change or remain the same. Behaviourism traces its roots to the early part of the
20th century, a time when many psychologists emphasized self-analysis of mental
processes (introspection) or the psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund Freud.
In contrast, researchers like Ivan Pavlov and John B. Watson, and B.F Skinner began to
develop a framework which emphasized observable processes (environmental stimuli
and behavioural responses). The result was a new approach, behaviourism, which grew
Introduction To Models And Methods Of Understanding Human Behaviour

in popularity for some fifty years, becoming the dominant framework for experimental
The Cognitive Approach
The cognitive approach deals with mental processes like memory and problem solving.
By emphasizing mental processes, it places itself in opposition to behaviourism, which
largely ignores mental processes. (Not measurable directly).Today, the cognitive
approach has overtaken behaviourism in terms of popularity, and is one of the
dominant approaches in contemporary psychology. (Especially in treatment)
The Humanistic Approach
The Humanistic Approach began in response to concerns by therapists against perceived
limitations of Psychodynamic theories, especially psychoanalysis. Individuals like Carl
Rogers and Abraham Maslow felt existing (psychodynamic) theories failed to
adequately address issues like the meaning of behavior, and the nature of healthy
growth. There are several factors which distinguish the Humanistic Approach from
other approaches within psychology, including: The emphasis on subjective meaning, A
rejection of determinism, A concern for positive growth rather than pathology.
Mind Body Connection
Another question which raised many controversies among scientists is the issue of the
mind body connections. Most experts in the field of psychology and biology agree that
the mind and the body are connected in more complex ways than we can even
comprehend. Research constantly shows us that the way we think affects the way we
behave, the way we feel, and the way our body’s respond. The opposite is also true,
physical illness, physical well being, exercising, insomnia all affect not only the way
we feel and behave, but also the way we think about ourselves and the world.
Understanding Development
Psychologists have also been interested in the changes that occur during our lives since the
very beginnings of the discipline. John B. Watson, in his famous statement about being
able to shape any child to achieve any career, was making an assertion about the power
of the environment to shape development. Others, from Francis Galeton onward, have
asserted that our destiny is in our genes.Neither view is likely entirely correct,
Other questions which psychologists tried to answer include:What really does shape our
personality? What makes a good parent? And what determines if someone is happy and
active in old age, or bitter and withdrawn?
While no one has complete answers to any of these questions, developmental
psychologists, drawing on all of the five approaches, are gaining an increasingly
detailed picture of the processes that influence the way we grow and change.