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Old Wednesday, December 09, 2009
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Post Schools of thought of psychology


Wilhelm Wundt, in Germany, established the foundations of modern psychology in 1879. He wanted to study, experimentally, the conscious experience of individuals. As discussed earlier, the different schools of thought gradually emerged after psychology took this scientific turn. These schools were basically different ways of observation, description, understanding, and prediction of psychological phenomena; in the present context, mental processes and behavior
The earlier schools that paved the way for further developments in modern psychology were
STRUCTURALISM: focused on studying the conscious experience by looking into its individual parts or elements.
FUNCTIONALISM: focused on what the mind does and how it does.
GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY: focused on studying the whole experience of a person rather than breaking it into individual components.
PSYCHODYNAMIC SCHOOL: focuses on the unconscious forces that drive/ motivate human behavior.
BEHAVIORIST / BEHAVIORAL SCHOOL: focuses on studying the behavior that is observable and overt.
At present some of the earlier approaches still exist. Psychologists belonging to these sets of theories have contributed a lot to the body of psychological knowledge and practice. Today, we can see at least six approaches or models of dealing with the psychological phenomena.
The psychological model that views behavior from the perspective of biological functioning. The role of brain, genes, neurotransmitters, endocrine glands etc. How the individual nerve cells are joined together, how the inheritance of certain characteristics from parents and other ancestors influences behavior, how the functioning of the body affects hopes and fears, what behaviors are due to instincts, and so on.
Psychologists using the biological model view even more complex kinds of behaviors such as emotional responses e.g. anxiety, as having critical biological components.
The approach that concentrates on the belief that behavior is motivated by the inner forces, over which individuals have little control. Founded by the Viennese physician Sigmund Freud in early 1900s, proponents of psychodynamic perspective give importance to the inner unconscious experiences and the forces that led that behavior. Freud believed that unconscious determinants of behavior had a revolutionary effect on 20th century thinking, not just in psychology but also in related fields a well. Although many of the basic principles of psychodynamic thinking have been highly criticized, the model grown out of Freud’s work has provided a way not only for treating mental disorders but also for understanding everyday phenomena such a prejudice and aggression.
The psychological model that focuses on the overt observable behavior. The model emerged as a reaction to the earlier approaches that emphasized the significance of hidden, underlying, predetermined forces. The behaviorists suggest that observable behavior alone should be the main area of interest to psychology.

The psychological model, that suggests that people are in control of their lives. It is considered as one of the most recent approaches to psychology. This approach rejected the view that predetermined, automatic, biological forces, unconscious processes or the environment determines behavior. On the contrary, it proposes that people themselves decide about their lives. A failure in being capable of doing so leads to psychological problems. It also stresses the idea that people, by nature, tend to move towards higher levels of maturity and maximum potential.
The psychological model that focuses on how people know, understands, and thinks about the world. Main emphasis is on how people understand of the world, and their thinking, affects their responses; how it may lead to positive or negative psychological consequences, and even health-related outcomes.

According to Wundt, the subject matter of psychology is to be immediate experience, as contrasted to mediate experience. By mediate experience Wundt meant experiences used as a way to find out about something other than the experience itself. This is the way in which we use experience in gaining knowledge about the world. Immediate experience is the experience as such, and the task of psychology is to study this immediate experience. The physicists are, on the other hand, interested in studying only the mediate experience, but the Wundtian psychologists study immediate experience.
Main Presumption
• All human mental experience could be understood as the combination of simple events or elements. By analyzing the basic elements of sensations and other mental experiences, the underlying structure of the mind could be unveiled
• Task of psychology is to identify the basic elements of consciousness just like physicists could break down the basic particles of matter At Wundt’s Laboratory
• Studies and experiments were conducted on the fundamental elements that form the foundation of thinking, consciousness, emotions and other mental states
• Systematic, organized and objective procedures were used so that replication was possible
• The procedure used for studying the “structure of mind” was called “Introspection”; a method used to study the structure of the mind, in which subjects were asked to describe in detail what they were experiencing when exposed to a stimulus.
James Mckeen Cattell
Known for his work on individual differences and “Mental Tests”.
Edward Bradford Tichener
• American psychologist, who was English by birth, but German in professional and personal temperament, who spent his most productive years in Cornell University, New York.
• He was solely concerned with studying the brain, and the unconscious, and for this he believed, we should break it down into basic elements. After that, we can construct the separate elements into a whole and understand what it does.
• He believed that we can study perception, emotions and ideas through introspection, by reducing them to their elementary parts
• There are four elements in the sensation of taste: sweet, sour, salty and bitter
• Ideas and images are related: ideas were always accompanied by images
• The underlying process in emotions was affection Criticism
• Known as the formal founder of Structuralism
This school of thought has been criticized on various grounds i.e.
It was Reductionism
It reduced all complex human experience to simple sensations
It was Elementalistic
The structuraralists sought to look at individual elements first, and then combine parts into a whole, rather than study the variety of behavior directly.
It was Mentalistic
Structuralism studied only verbal reports of human conscious experience and awareness, ignoring the study of subjects who could not report their introspection.

An approach that concentrated on what the mind does, in other words the functions of mental activity, and the role of behavior in allowing people to adapt to their environments. The functionalist psychologists start with the fact that objects are perceived and “how” they are perceived. They asked “why” as well. This school became prominent in the1900s. It emerged as a reaction to Structuralism.
• Founded by William James, also known as the founder of American Psychology.
• Emphasized “function” rather than “Structure” of human consciousness i.e., what the mind does
• Focused upon the way humans adapt to their environment; what roles behavior played in allowing people to better adapt to their environment
Examined the ways in which behavior allows people to satisfy their needs
• Functionalists were especially interested in education and applied psychology
William James
He was the leading precursor of functionalist psychology. James was a Harvard University professor, primarily trained in physiology and medicine. Psychology and philosophy fascinated him, and he treated psychology as a natural science. In 1875 he offered his first course in psychology. In 1890 he published “Principles of Psychology”, a two-volume book, which became a leading psychology text in the U.S.
James wrote about the stream of consciousness, emotions, the self, habit formation, mind-body link and much more. He was also interested in will, values, religious and mystical experiences. James said: “We should study consciousness but should not reduce it into elements, content and structure”. Acts and functions of mental processes need to be focused upon, rather than contents of the mind. Consciousness was an ongoing stream, and was in continual interaction with the environment. Careful observation is important; Wundt’s rigorous laboratory methods are of little value. James believed that each individual has a uniqueness that could not be reduced to formulas or numbers
John Dewey
• Famous American educator
• One of the key founders of “Functionalism”
• Stimulus– Response phenomenon is not an automatic behavior, the goal of the person performing it has the main role in it; the stimulus and the response determine each other
• It is the function, or the goal, of the whole action that elicits response
• Dewey developed the field of ‘School Psychology’ and recommended ways for meeting student’s needs
• Teachers are strongly influenced by their psychological assumptions about children and the educational process Teachers need to understand two issues:
i. Children and adults are different; teaching/education should be in accordance with children’s developmental readiness
ii. Children are similar to adults in the sense that they perform better when they have some control over what they are to accomplish; the curriculum should be designed accordingly
Applied psychology flourished following the emergence of functionalism
i. James Mckeen Cattell began studying ways to measure intelligence
ii. Psychology entered the world of business; Frederick Taylor developed ‘scientific management’
iii. Other functionalists: James Rowland Angell, Harvey A.Carr
James Rowland Angell
• Founded the psychology department in Chicago, the most influential of its time.
• Believed that the function of consciousness is to improve the adaptive abilities of the organism and that psychology must study how mind did these kinds of adjustments with respect to the environment.

An approach that focuses on the organization of perception and thinking in a ‘‘whole” sense rather than on the individual elements of perception. Instead of considering the individual parts that make up thinking, gestalt psychologists concentrated on how people consider individual elements as units or wholes. They made great contributions to the understanding of the perceptual phenomena.
• This school developed as a reaction to structuralism in the early 1900s
• In contrast to the structuralist approach of breaking down conscious experience into elements, or focusing upon the structure, the Gestalt school emphasized the significance of studying any phenomenon in its overall form.
• The word gestalt means “Configuration”
• The main concept that the Gestaltists posed was that the “WHOLE” is more than the sum of its parts, and it is different from it too.
• They concentrated on how people consider individual elements together as units or wholes
• The concept of Gestalt applies to everything, objects, ideas, thinking processes and human relationships
• Any phenomenon in its entirety may be much greater than when it is seen in a disintegrated form
• Three German psychologists Max Wertheimer, Kurt Koffka and Wolfgang Kohler were regarded as the founders of gestalt school as each one of them had done significant work in his respective field.
Max Wertheimer
• The founder of Gestalt psychology, born in Prague in 1880
• Studying at the University of Frankfurt he became aware of a form of apparent motion that was called “Phi phenomenon”
• Phi phenomenon = when two lights are in close proximity to each other, flashing alternately they appear to be one light moving back and forth; therefore the whole was different from the separate parts; movement perceived whereas it never occurred
• We perceive experiences in a way that calls for the simplest explanation, even though reality may be entirely different; this is Gestalt Law of Minimum Principle. We tend to organize our experience so that it is as simple as possible.
• Explanation of phi phenomenon led to a separate school of thought i.e., Gestalt school, that had deep rooted impact on learning, ethics, and social psychology
Gestalt Laws of Organization
We organize our experiences according to certain rules, in a simple way:
Proximity: Close or nearer objects are perceived as coherent and related.
Similarity: Tendency to perceive objects, patterns or stimuli as groups, which are similar in appearance__parts of the visual field that are similar in color, lightness, texture, shape, or any other quality
Good Continuation: Tendency to group the stimuli into smooth and continuous patterns or parts
Closure: It is the perceptual tendency to fill in the gaps and completing the contours; enables us to perceive the disconnected parts as the whole object.
Figure and Ground: Our perceptual tendency to see objects with the foreground as well as the background___ the object is being recognized with respect to its background. E.g. black board and chalk. (These will be discussed in detail in the section of perception).
Kurt Koffka
• Wrote the famous “Principles of Gestalt Psychology” (1935)
• Talked about geographical versus behavioral environment: people’s behavior is determined by how they perceive the environment rather than by the nature of the environment.
Wolfgang Kohler
• Gave the concept of “insight” and “transposition”, as a result of his observations of a caged chimpanzee and experiments with chickens
• Insight = spontaneous restructuring of the situation
• Transposition = generalization of knowledge from one situation to another
• Kohler also talked about Isomorphism; changes in the brain structure yield changes in experiences
Other major contributions
• Gestalt approach to ethics: Truth is truth when it is complete and corresponds fully to the facts of the situation
• Zeigarnik’s Effect: Bluma Zeigarnik’s experiments; we remember interrupted tasks better. The tension caused by unfinished tasks helps us in remembering
• Group Dynamics: Instead of focusing on people’s individual attributes we should see them as whole persons
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Old Wednesday, December 09, 2009
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Default Perspective/model/approach


A paradigm in psychology is a distinct way of describing, observing, understanding, and predicting any given psychological phenomena. The professionals, as well as students, in order to conceptualize and organize the available information, need a model or paradigm. Also, it is required because it is used to test hypotheses and for conducting research work in order to testify the validity of assumptions.
• Includes assumptions about what drives human behavior, how disorders develop, and treatment prescriptions
Biological /Medical Perspective
Based on the assumption of Materialism i.e., all behavior has a physiological basis
• An understanding of biochemical processes will give an understanding of psychological and social phenomena
• Physical structures and hereditary processes determine behavior or behavior potential
• Physical/physiological interventions can alter mental processes and behavior
• Root cause of abnormalities and disorders lies in biology and requires medical intervention
Historical Background
The historical roots of biological model are very old, dating back to at least the time of Hippocrates. There are a number of great names that contributed to this approach, of which the more important ones will be discussed.
Hippocrates (460-377 B.C)
• Greek physician/philosopher
• Regarded as the “Father of Medicine”
• Talked about basis for medical problems
• Believed that rational knowledge could serve a path for understanding psychological problems.
Galen (129-199 A.D)
• Born to Greek parents in Asia Minor
• Great physician with an empirical approach who rejected the old doctrine and relied on his observation and research.
• Correctly identified various parts of the nervous system and had an accurate grasp of how nervous system functions.
• Known for anatomical studies on animals and observations of human body functions
Charles Darwin: (1809-1882 Ad)
• British scientist
• Author of the revolutionary “The Origin of Species” (1859)
• According to Darwin, variations among individuals of a species would occur by chance, but could in turn be passed on to the future generations
• Gave the concept of “Survival of the Fittest” ;only those variations which helped the individuals survive long enough to breed would sustain, and be passed on
The synapse of the neuron releases special chemicals called
• Existence of neurotransmitters has been known since 1920’s; but the evidence of their relationship with psychological disorders has been found and known since 1950s
• More than 50 neurotransmitters exist in human body
Neurotransmitters and Their Role
• Acetylcholine: Learning, Memory and Muscle control
• Dopamine: Motor activity, Coordination, Emotion and Memory
• Epinephrine: Emotion, Stress
• GABA (Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid): Anxiety, Arousal, Learning
• Serotonin: Sensory Processing, Sleep, Arousal
• Glutamate: Anxiety, Mood
These glands form the body’s “slow” chemical communication system; a set of ductless glands that secrete hormones (special chemicals) into the bloodstream
Endocrine Glands and Abnormality
• Low secretions of the thyroid produce anxiety like symptoms such as irritability and tension
• Low level of pituitary secretions produces depression like symptoms—Fatigue, apathy etc.
• Abnormal secretions of hormones may cause major depression
Assumptions of Biological/Medical Model
• Abnormality is caused by some disease in the “Central Nervous System”(C.N.S).
• Disease in the C.N.S.has some biological or physical origin.
• Physicians are best able to treat diseases of the C.N.S.
• Diseases in the C.N.S. are not currently specific.

The approach that concentrated on the unconscious forces that drive our behavior; belief that the inner forces over which individuals have little control motivate behavior.
• Founded by Sigmund Freud, the most influential figure in the history of psychology.
• The basis of motivation and behavior lies in inner forces; forces that are predetermined, and forces over which humans have little control, which the person is not aware of i.e., unconscious determinants of behavior
• It maintained that instincts are the driving force behind individual’s personality; there are life instincts as well as death instincts that play a role in human life.
Significance of Psychodynamic Approach
• The most influential theory of the 20th century, that affected psychology and related disciplines in a revolutionary manner
• Gave an entirely new perspective to the understanding of behavior and mental processes as well as mental illness
• The first theory to raise the awareness that not all behavior is rational
• Gave an impressive, broad based, therapeutic approach
• Provided a basis to understand everyday life phenomena e.g. interpersonal relationships, aggression, prejudice
• Many other, later, approaches built their paradigms on this approach - some by refining it, some by deviating from it
• One of the main ideas is that there is an inner tension for the fulfillment of instincts, the tension leads to action for fulfillment, the fulfillment leads to reduced tension.
SIGMUND FREUD: 1856-1939
• Founder of psychoanalysis
• Austrian physician, neurologist, psychologist
• Born in Moravia (Czech Republic) in a middle class family
• Studied at Vienna University where he became interested in neurological research
• Spent three years at General Hospital Vienna and worked in nervous diseases, psychiatry, and dermatology
• 1885: Became professor of neuropathology at Vienna University
• 1885: Following a government grant went to Paris as a student of French neurologist Jean Charcot, who was treating nervous diseases through hypnotic suggestion
• Freud's interest in psychopathology was heightened as a result of his studies of hysteria, under Charcot
• 1886: Established private practice in Vienna specializing in nervous disease. His interest shifted from physiological to psychological explanation of psychopathology
• Started collaborative work with Josef Breuer
• 1895: wrote “Studies on Hysteria”; main emphasis was that uncharged emotional energy associated with forgotten psychic traumas resulted into hysterical symptoms
• Therapy, at that stage, involved putting the patient in a hypnotic state, where he recalled and reenacted the traumatic experience = Catharsis
• Hence the formal beginning of Psychoanalysis
Foundations of Psychodynamic Approach
Psychic Determinism
All behavior is determined i.e., has a cause that lies in the mind/psyche
Role of Consciousness
A significant part of our behavior is generated by unconscious forces
Continuity of Normal and Abnormal Behavior
Normal and abnormal behavior are different only in terms of degree and not in kind
Emphasis on Clinical Observation
Clinical observation/ case studies were the main source of data
Structure of Consciousness
Contains thoughts and feelings of which one is immediately aware
Mind level below the level of conscious awareness
Part of the sub conscious that can be accessed by deliberate choice
Part of the sub conscious that cannot be accessed directly although impulses, ideas, and feelings may permeate out through other sources e.g. dreams, slips of tongue etc.
Dreams in Freudian Approach
• Dreams reflect unconscious needs, desires, and impulses.
• Dreams have two levels of dream content: manifest and latent.
Manifest content
The obvious, apparent part: what a dream appears to be to the dreamer.
Latent content
The dream’s true meaning, which is usually disguised or distorted by dream work.
• The manifest content is in a symbolic form
• The latent content is converted into this form by the ‘dream censor, a mechanism that ensures that sleep is not disturbed by unconscious desires, and those desires are presented in a socially acceptable form. The manifest content is in the symbolic form of the latent content. Only the psychoanalyst can interpret it.
Psychodynamic Model of Personality
Is a three-part structure of the mind; containing id, ego and super ego.
At birth, the entire mind consists of only id. It consists of pure, unadulterated,
instinctual energy and exists entirely on the unconscious level. It is the source of
basic drives; operates under the ‘pleasure principle’ i.e., it wants immediate
gratification of needs. The id has two means of satisfying bodily needs, reflex
action and wish fulfillment.
Reflex action is responding automatically to a source of irritation .e.g. an infant
may sneeze in response to an irritant in the nose or reflexively move a confined limb, thereby freeing it. In both cases, reflex action is effective in reducing tension. Coughing and blinking are other examples of reflex action.
Wish- fulfillment is more complicated. It is the conjuring up of an image of an object or event that is capable of satisfying a biological need e.g. a hungry person thinks of food- related objects.
Mediates the link of the self with the outside world, “Real World”, as well as between the id and superego; operates under the demands of the environment. It operates under the reality principle and operates in the services of id. In other words, the ego comes into existence in order to bring the person into contact with experiences that will truly satisfy his/ her needs. When the person is hungry, the ego finds food; when the person is sexually aroused, the persons finds an appropriate sex object; and when the person is thirsty, the ego finds liquid. The ego goes through reality testing to find appropriate objects.
Super Ego
There is a third component of personality that makes things much more complicated, i.e. super ego. It is governed by the moral constraints. It develops from the internalized patterns of reward and punishment that the young child experiences i.e. Depending on the values of the parents, certain things the child does or says are rewarded and encouraged and others not liked are punished or discouraged. Opposes the id and represents the moral demands of the family and society; it is the ‘moral self’ or the ‘conscience’ of the person
Development of Personality: A Stage Approach
Psychodynamic approach proposed a stage- theory of the development of personality:
Oral stage occurs during the first year of life and the erogenous zone during this stage is the mouth. At this stage, pleasures mainly come from mouth. According to Freud, an adult who is fixated at the early oral stage will engage in abundance of oral activities such as eating, drinking, or smoking. This person also will engage in activities that are symbolically equivalent to those oral activities such as collecting things, being a good listener etc.
Anal stage starts during the second year of life, and the erogenous zone is the anus buttocks region. It is the stage when the child has to gain control over his physiological processes so that they function in accordance with the demands of the society. i.e the child must be toilet trained. Fixation at this stage may result in physical problems.
Phallic stage starts from the third year of life to about fifth year, and the erogenous area are the genital area. This is one of the most complicated and controversial of Freud’s stages. It is the stage of Oedipus and Electra complexes, the resolution of which has profound influence on an adult’s life. The male child experiences the Oedipus complex, which is named after an ancient play by Sophocles, entitled Oedipus Tyrannus, in which King Oedipus killed his father and married his mother. The male child resents the father, because he is regarded as a rival for the mother’s attention and affection. The female counter part of the Oedipus complex is Electra complex, named after another play by Sophocles entitled “Electra”, in which Electra causes her brother to kill her mother who had killed Electra’s father.
Latency stage lasts from about sixth year to about twelfth year. Here the sexual interests are displaced to substitute activities such as learning, athletics, and peer group activities.
Genital stage is the final stage of development that occurs following puberty. It is the time at which the person emerges from pre genital stages as the adults as he/ she destined to become. Now the child has become a socialized adult with heterosexual interests leading to marriage and child- rearing. If, however, the experiences during the pregenital stages cause fixation, they will manifests themselves throughout one’s adult life.
• An emotional state experienced as a result of felt threat to the self
• Anxiety arises when ego cannot cope too much of:
i. Demands of the id
ii. Demands of the ego
iii. External danger
• In order to protect itself against anxiety and threat, ego uses defense mechanism
Ego defense system, which may be distorting reality
i. Repression: Blocking unpleasant/ unacceptable thoughts by pushing them into the unconscious e.g. forgetting events of the painful childhood.
ii. Regression: Reverting back to a stage that was satisfying e.g. a boss showing temper tantrums like a child; or acting like a baby.
iii. Displacement: Redirecting the expression of unwanted desires or impulses to a substitute rather than the actual target e.g. beating children when a wife cannot express anger toward husband.
iv. Rationalization: In order to justify one’s behavior, one develops a socially acceptable explanation or reasoning e.g. going for a second marriage saying that the first wife was quarrelsome.
v. Denial: Refusing to acknowledge or accept anxiety provoking thoughts or impulses e.g. being a heavy smoker but saying ‘I am an occasional smoker’.
vi. Projection: Attributing unwanted thoughts and impulses to others e.g. a person takes bribe and blames the organization for paying him not enough salary.
vii. Sublimation: Converting unwanted impulses into socially approved thoughts, feelings and actions e.g. disliking the in-laws but behaving in a very friendly manner, or becoming a stamp collector to overcome the impulse to steal

• An intensive, long-term psychotherapeutic procedure.
• Requires long sessions over extended periods----- may be years.
• Better suited to intelligent individuals.
• Involves a special relationship between the therapist and the patient.
• Target: To explore unconscious motivation, conflicts, desires.
• Goal: Establishing intra psychic harmony by developing awareness of the role of the id, reducing over compliance with super ego, and by strengthening the ego.
• Understanding of ‘repression’: The therapy gives central importance to the understanding of the manner in which the person uses repression for handling conflict. Interventions used in Psychotherapy
1. Free association
• Kept in a comfortable position, the patient is asked to talk aloud and say whatever comes to his mind without considering whether or not it is relevant, rational, or sensible.
• The patient is asked to reveal even the most undesirable and strong thoughts that have been repressed. This leads to emotional release, called ‘catharsis’.
2. Analysis of Resistance
At times patient feels inhibitions, and is unable or unwilling to express some thought or feeling i.e., barriers between conscious and unconscious. The psychoanalyst aims to break down such resistances so that the patient is enabled to face the unpleasant thoughts, impulses, events.
3. Dream Analysis
The therapist tries to uncover the latent content of dreams and decipher the symbolism involved.
4. Analysis of Transference & Counter Transference
• Transference: The patient’s emotional response toward the therapist is often an indication of the patient’s relationship with a person who had been the center of the conflict. It may be negative or positive.
• Counter Transference: The therapists’ emotional reaction toward the patient is also important. He may also start having positive or negative feelings for the patient.
• Transference is analyzed and understood as part of the therapeutic process.
Criticism against Freudian Psychodynamic Theory
• There is no scientific proof that many psychodynamic constructs, e.g. unconscious, exist
• Psychic Determinism: Freudian approach is deterministic and leaves not much room for conscious, rational, decision making or personal will to act
• It ignores the external variables and the environment
• It emphasizes the early childhood experiences too much
• Mostly criticized for its interpretation of the relationship between the genders
• The therapy is too time consuming and therefore expensive

• The theorists who belonged to the Freudian school and supported it, but later digressed on some issues and differed from Freud
• They emphasized, more than Freud, the following:
i. Current social environment play an important role in one’s life.
ii. Life experiences have a continuing influence and childhood alone should not be of prime importance.
iii. Positive interpersonal relations of love and social motivation have a significant role.
iv. Ego functioning is significant rather than id.
v. Development of self-concept is important.
vi. Self-esteem is important.

ALFRED ADLER (1870-1937)
His theory is known as “individual psychology” which in many ways is the opposite of Freud’s theory. For Freud, individuals are constantly in conflict with one another and with society; Adler saw them seeking relationships and harmony, he looked upon mind as an integrated whole working to help to attain the future goals.
• Initially he was Freud’s closest friend.
• 1911: Diverted and launched his version of psychoanalytic approach.
• Differed from Freud in:
i. Freud’s negativity (e.g. Thanatos instincts)
ii. Freud’s idea that libido is the prime impulse
Adler’s Approach
Main concepts: Esteem, inferiority complex, birth order, will to power and style of life
i. We are a product of the social influences on our personality
ii. Goals and incentives drive us more than drives and instincts
iii. Our goal in life is to achieve success and superiority
Inferiority complex: the feeling of being less able than others. It affects one’s relationship with others and his achievement in many ways.
Motivating Forces of Human Life
i. Feeling of inferiority
ii. People are primarily motivated to overcome inherent feelings of inferiority
Birth Order: has effect on personality. The first- born is different from the last one, and so is the middle- born different from others.
Sibling Rivalry: Siblings feel a kind of rivalry toward each other.
Psychopathology: Compensation: i.e., Compensatory defense mechanism combined with conscious or unconscious feelings of inferiority is the main cause of psychopathological behavior.
Function of the Psychoanalyst: To discover and rationalize such feelings and break down the compensatory, neurotic will for power.

CARL GUSTAV JUNG (1875-1961)
A Swiss psychiatrist, founder of the analytical school of psychology, Jung presented a complex theory of personality.
• 1913: left the inner circle of Freud's students and colleagues, although he had chosen Jung as his successor.
• Was mystical in his understanding and description of personality.
• Had a positive approach toward one’s ability to control one’s destiny.
• His view of human nature is among the most complex ever portrayed. The human psyche is embedded in past, present, and future; it consists of conscious and unconscious elements, rational and irrational impulses, masculine and feminine tendencies, and a tendency to bring all these contradictory tendencies into harmony with each other. Self- actualization is achieved when such harmony exists, but self- actualization must be sought; it does not occur automatically.
• Believed that the spiritual side must be satisfied, which usually happens in middle age when many of the components of psyche have been discovered.
• Religion to him is the major vehicle in the journey towards self- actualization.

Jung’s disagreements with Freud
• The understanding and description of the genders.
• The nature of unconscious.
The main Jungian concepts
Major goal of life: Unification of all aspect of our personality:
• Conscious and Unconscious
• Introversion (Inner Directed), Extroverted (Outer Directed)
• Energy for personal growth and development
Types of Unconscious
• Personal unconscious: Similar to Freudian view
• Collective unconscious: ideas beyond personal experience, inherited from ancestors’ all generations, and common to all of humanity.
• Part of collected unconscious, universal forms and patterns of thought: These include themes that can be seen in myths e.g. masculinity, femininity, good, evil opposites, motherhood.

KAREN HORNEY (1885-1952)
• German- American psychologist
• Trained as a psychoanalyst in Germany who later shifted to the US.
• She agreed with Freud on the levels of unconscious, anxiety, and repression.
• She emphasized childhood experiences, social interaction and personal growth.
Disagreement with Freud
• Differed from Freud on primary impulses; impulses are not the main motivating force.
• Disagreed on Freudian position regarding the biological basis of differences between genders.
Main Concepts in Horney’s Theory:
Basic Anxiety
• A Major Concept: If The Environment Is Hostile And The Child Feels Lonely And Isolated, Then This Anxiety Develops. It Can Be Overcome By Proper Parental Nurturing
Basic Hostility
• Children develop such hostility if parents are over strict, punishing, indifferent, or inconsistent.
• Children feel very aggressive and hostile but cannot express it. Repressed hostility leads to anxiety.
Social Interaction and Interpersonal Styles
She talked about the ways in which people interact with each other, and these were thought to have an impact upon the personality of an n individual:
• Moving away from others: seeking self sufficiency and independence
• Moving toward others: being compliant and dependant
• Moving against others: trying to gain control, power, and independence
Arise from emotional conflicts that arise from childhood experiences, and disturbances in interpersonal relationships in later life
Relationship with the real self and the ideal self
Horney maintained that the real self includes those things that are true about us at any particular time. The ideal self reflects what we would like to become. For normal people, the ideal self is the goal that they would like to reach in the future; it is something around which they can organize their lives and to which they can aspire. For the neurotic person, according to her, the relationship between the real and the ideal self is a problem. In the first place, the neurotic’s impression of the real self is distorted. For him, the ideal self is a wish instead of reality and idealized self is an unrealistic, immutable dream
Goal of the therapy
For her, the goal is to create a realistic relationship between the real self and the ideal self. Horney was optimistic about human nature and the ability to change. Human interactions caused problem and human interactions solved problems also.

The psychological model that focuses on the overt, observable, behavior. The model grew out of the rejection of psychology’s early emphasis on the inner working of the mind, suggesting instead that observable behavior should be the focus of the field. John B. Watson was the first person that advocated the behavioral approach. This is a psychological approach that considers the relationship between behavior and environmental stimuli as the focus of study; observable behavior is what psychology should be studying, understanding, and explaining.
This approach dominated psychology for most of the 20th century What do the Behaviorists Study?
They specifically study:
• Observable/ overt behavior
• Specific measurable responses
• How particular types of behaviors are controlled by particular types of environmental stimuli
Method of investigation: Data are typically collected under controlled laboratory conditions, employing technological assistance
What the Behaviorists Are Not Interested in:
They are not interested in:
• Unconscious
• Inner motivation
• Biochemical processes
• These and all other states, which are not being observed with the naked eye or cannot be evaluated.
Behaviorist Analysis
Behaviorist Analysis is done for seeing and establishing the relationship between the stimulus and response/ behavior.
Three step approach
• The antecedent environmental conditions: are analyzed. i.e., the conditions preceding the action/ response/ behavior, and that lay a ground for it.
• The behavioral response is studied: study of the action or behavior that is to be understood, described, predicted, and controlled.
• Observable consequences are explored: the impact resulting from the target behavior i.e. how it affects the environment or other people.
Basic Terminology
• Stimulus: A physical energy source that has an effect on a sense organ, thus producing a response.
• Response: The action, behavior, or reaction triggered by a stimulus.
• Environment: External factors, variables, conditions, influences, or circumstance affecting one’s development or behavior.
• Variable: A behavior, factor, setting, or event that can change / vary in amount or kind.
• Learning: A relatively permanent change in behavior that takes place as a result of practice and/ or experience.
EDWIN L.THORNDIKE: (1874- 1949)
Edwin L.Thorndike, was an American psychologist, who’s thinking is thoroughly associationistic. He was a functionalist in his emphasis on the utilitarian aspect of psychology. According to him, psychology is about the stimulus- response connections. He was of the view that behavior can be analyzed into associations. He said that the behavioral processes are quantifiable. Believed that behavior was explicable on the basis of nothing but stimulus- response connections inherited and acquired.
Initial work: in1898 (published dissertation) studied problem solving in animals. Tried to analyze the conditions under which animals learn.
Focus of the study: the relationship between the animals’ response and their consequences.
Main finding: The consequence of any response determines if the response will be repeated in future or not: “The Law of Effect”
The Law of Effect: Any response that leads to an outcome that is satisfying for the organism is likely to be repeated; a response leading to an outcome that is not satisfying is not likely to be repeated
Association by Contiguity
• The organism forms an association or connection between the response and its consequences. For it to be effective, the response and the outcome have to be closely linked -- both in time and space
• The theory drew attention towards the significance of reward and punishment in learning new behaviors


JOHN.B.WATSON: (1878- 1958):
The founder of the behavioristic school of thought.
• American psychologist with a remarkable career.
• Initially trained in introspection at the University of Chicago but found it extremely vague and mentalistic.
• He became interested in experimental research with animals.
• He completed his Ph.D. on that in three years, being the youngest such graduate.
• Taught at the University of Chicago for four years, joined John Hopkins as full professor and soon became chairperson of the psychology department.
• Gave a revolutionary, pragmatic approach often known as ‘Radical Behaviorism’.
• He and his followers believed and advocated that psychology should depart from the study of unconscious and the mind because they could not be verified or tested scientifically.
• Observable behavior is all that psychology should be looking at.
• Environment and external world (environmental stimuli) is what shapes and determines behavior.
• Learning is what matters in what a person is, and not the inborn instincts, impulses, drive, id, or unconscious motivation. An understanding of learning will encompass all aspects of personality.
• Mentalist concepts, not grounded in reality, should be rejected.
Impact of Learning Experience
“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”. (Watson, 1924)
Learned Fear: The Case of “Little Albert”
1920: Developing Fear; Watson and Rosalie Rayne Eleven month old Albert who enjoyed playing with a cute white rat was made afraid of it by linking a loud frightening sound with the appearance of the rat. The experiment was further expanded and Watson and Rayner demonstrated that the fear of the rat could be generalized to all sorts of stimuli: a dog, a cotton ball and a Santa Clause.
Watson and Rayner could not get a chance to undo the learning as the child’s mother removed him from the hospital.
Issues stemming from little Albert’s Experiment
• Unethical treatment of Albert, that too without the advised consent of his mother.
• Watson contradicted his own earlier assertion that early childhood emotional experiences can affect a person for a lifetime.

Why are children scared of darkness?
Why some children jump with joy at the sight of a bear and some start screaming in fright? Why does one coming from abroad start feeling happy at the very sight of his parents’ home? Why does one start feeling bad at the thought of going to a dentist?
The answers to all these questions can be found in the classical conditioning approach
Classical Conditioning: The History
• Ivan Pavlov 1849-1936: Russian physiologist and pioneer of classical conditioning.
• In the later years of the 19th century studied the basic process of digestion and won Nobel Prize for that in 1904.
• The focal point was the salivation reflex in dogs.
• It was already known that the dogs would salivate if food powder were led into their mouths, as it was a ‘reflex’.
• The dogs salivated every time the food powder was presented.
• He observed that after some time, the dogs at times salivated just before food was put into their mouths. They also salivated at the sight of the food, and even at the sight of the lab assistant who brought food for them.
• This is where the concept of classical conditioning emerged. Classical Conditioning: The Theory
Is a type of learning in which a previously neutral stimulus starts eliciting a response that was originally attached to a natural stimulus, because the neutral stimulus has been closely associated with the other stimulus.
Basic Terminology in Classical Conditioning
• Reflex
An automatic, unlearned response resulting from a specific stimulus.
• Un-Conditioned Stimulus (UCS)
A stimulus that elicits a response reflexively and reliably.
• Un-Conditioned Response (UCR)
A natural, reflexive, reliable, response of the UCS.
• Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
A primarily neutral stimulus which, when paired with the UCS, starts evoking a response (different from its natural response) and the same as UCR.
• Conditioned Response (CR)
After conditioning, the CS begins to elicit a new, learned response. i.e. CR.

Pavlovian Classical Conditioning
The following diagram explains the classical conditioning model:
Extensions of the Main Classical Conditioning Model
There are a number of other variations and extensions of this model, which will be discussed in detail in the section on learning. Here, we will just name them:
• Extinction
• Spontaneous recovery
• Stimulus generalization
• Stimulus discrimination
Applications of Classical Conditioning in Everyday Life
• Negative emotional responses: fears, phobias-----fear of lizards, dark places, school phobia
• Positive emotional responses: Feelings of relaxation, and happiness --- thinking of going on a holiday
• Advertising: Associating model with the product
• Psychotherapy: Systematic desensitization, aversive therapy
Operant Conditioning
• Why do teachers give stars on children’s workbooks?
• Why do parents clap happily when their child utters the first words that nobody else can decipher?
• Why do manufacturers of products announce prize schemes for the consumers of their products?
The answers to all these questions can be found in the “Operant Conditioning” approach.

• Type of learning in which a voluntary response becomes stronger or weaker, depending on its positive or negative consequences
• The organism plays an active role and “Operates” on environment to produce the desired outcome
• American Psychologist and the founder of Operant Conditioning.
• 1931: Received his Ph.D. from Harvard.
• During World War II, he conducted research on teaching pigeons to direct missiles to targets while flying in nose- cone. However the idea did not materialize.
• 1947: Went back to Harvard to deliver ‘William James’ lectures.
• 1948: Appointed as full professor at Harvard.
• While a graduate student at Harvard he started thinking on Operant Conditioning lines.
• His theory is somewhat similar to Thorndike’s, but it was actually Watson who impressed him.
The Typical Skinnerian procedure
• A special apparatus usually known as skinner’s box is used.
• Laboratory animals learn to press a lever so that food is delivered to them.
• The environment is controlled.
• The animal operates on the environment and as a result of its behavior it may be rewarded or punished. Food is the reward
• The consequence determines if the response will be repeated or not.
Successive approximations of a required / desired response are reinforced until that response is fully learnt:
• In the beginning each and every success is reinforced with a reward, no matter how small the success.
• Once the desired response is learnt the rein forcer immediately follows it, every time it happens.
• Once learnt the behavior, in many cases, the organism may not need reinforcement any more, since many behaviors are self-reinforcing e.g. learning to play a musical instrument.
Acquisition: Initially the response rate following reinforcement may be slow but at one stage it increases to the maximum. This is acquisition.
Extinction: If reinforcement is withheld the response rate decreases and finally no response is shown. This is extinction.

Increasing the probability that preceding behavior will be repeated through a stimulus.
Positive Reinforcer: A stimulus whose introduction brings about an increase in the preceding response.
Negative Reinforcer: A stimulus whose removal reinforces and leads to a higher likelihood that the response bringing about this removal will be repeated.
Punishment: An unpleasant or painful stimulus whose introduction following a certain behavior decreases likelihood that the behavior will occur again.
Applications of Operant Conditioning in Everyday Life
• Child rearing
• Classroom management
• Teaching of skills
• Animal taming
• Advertising
• Psychological intervention and Psycho- therapy: behavior modification, assertiveness training, token economy

The approaches that focus upon the thought processes underlying learning. Latent Learning and cognitive maps (Edward Tolman); Tolman talked about the ‘cognitive maps’; it is not necessary to have an association between stimulus and response, a person can learn without showing any apparent response; in other words learning and performance are not the same
Social learning / Observational learning and Modeling (Albert Bandura): a major portion of our learning is based upon learning by observation.
Faced with a choice between psychoanalysis and behaviorism, many psychologists in the 1950s and 1960s sensed a void in psychology’s conception of human nature. Freud had drawn attention to the darker forces of the unconscious, and Skinner was interested only in the effects of reinforcement on observable behavior.
Humanistic psychology emerged out of a desire to understand the conscious mind, free will, human dignity, and the capacity for self-reflection and growth. An alternative to psychoanalysis and behaviorism, humanistic psychology became known as “the third force.”
It is the approach that focused on:
• The idea that people are in control of their life.
• The person or the self and personal growth and development are to be emphasized.
The humanistic approach includes a number of other theories with the same or similar orientation e.g., ‘existential’ and ‘phenomenological’ psychology.
Basic Assumptions of the Humanistic Approach
i. In order to understand behavior we must consider the subjective experience of the person.
ii. Neither past experience nor current circumstances constrain the behavior of the person.
Humanistic Vs Psychodynamic & behaviorist Approaches
• Humanistic approach emphasizes the person, the psychodynamic stresses unconscious determinants, and the behaviorists focus upon external determinants.
• Humanistic approach is more optimistic than the other two in the sense that it believes in the person’s ability and will.
• According to the humanistic thinkers, limiting ourselves to observable behavior and external stimuli alone is ignoring the thinking-feeling person, and that is dehumanizing.
Free will: Humans possess the ability to make decisions about their life
Central Themes of Humanistic Approach
• Human beings are capable of shaping their own destiny.
• They can think and design their course of action and can follow it in the way they like.
• People can overcome or minimize the environmental and intrinsic influences
• “Here and now” is important.
• “Wholeness” or “completeness” of the personality is important rather than its separate, disintegrated, structural parts.
Humanistic approach emphasizes:
• Individual’s freedom in directing his future
• Capacity for personal growth
• Intrinsic worth
• Potential for self-fulfillment
Emergence of the Humanistic Approach
Emerged in reaction to the perceived limitations of psychodynamic theories, especially
Psychoanalysis, as well as the staunch behaviorist way of understanding and interpreting behavior. Individuals like Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow strongly felt that the approaches prevalent at that time could not adequately address issues like the meaning of behavior, and the nature of healthy growth. The founders of humanistic psychology asserted that people need a value system----a system of understanding, or frame of orientation----due to which life gets a meaning and purpose

CARL ROGERS: (1902 – 1987)
• Born in 1902 in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, he underwent a strict upbringing as a child who later turned out to be rather isolated, independent, and self disciplined.
• Initially went to the University of Wisconsin for Agriculture major but later became interested in the study of religion. From there he switched on to the clinical psychology program of Columbia University, and received his Ph.D. in 1931.
• One of the founders of the humanistic approach, Rogers was one of the most influential therapists in the 20th century.
• Research, even that conducted after his death, revealed that Rogers was cited by more therapists as a major influence on their thinking and clinical practice than any other person in psychology -----including Freud.
Rogers’ Approach
• Primarily a clinical theory, based on years of Rogers’ experience dealing with his clients
• In its richness and maturity his theory matches that of Freud; a theory well thought-out and logical having broad application.
• The theory emphasizes on a single factor “force of life” which he calls the actualizing tendency i.e. built-in motivation present in every life form to develop its potentials to the fullest extent possible.
• Rogers had the person-centered approach since the ‘person’ was the main figure of importance,
• He believed that the most powerful human drive is the one to become “fully functioning”,
• Fully functioning = a person becomes all that he or she is capable of
To be fully functioning means experiencing:
i. Optimal psychological adjustment
ii. Optimal psychological maturity
iii. Complete congruence (a feeling of integration when the self and the ideal self match; incongruence is a feeling of conflict or unease experienced in case of a mismatch between the two)
iv. Complete openness to experience
Main Concepts
i. Self: a fluid perceptual structure based on one’s experience of one‘s own being,
ii. Ideal self: an Individual’s goals and aspirations,
iii. Phenomenal field: an Individual’s unique perception of the world,
iv. Actualizing tendency: an innate drive reflecting the desire to grow, to develop, and to enhance one’s capacities,
v. Need for positive regard: a need for positive social contacts like love,
vi. Conditions of worth: restrictions imposed on self –expression in order to earn positive regard,
Defenses: In case of an incongruity between one's the ideal and the real self-defenses develop. Rogers’s talks about only two defenses: Denial and Perceptual Distortion
i. Denial: Blocking out the threatening situation altogether. Denial also includes what Freud called repression.
ii. Perceptual distortion: Reinterpreting the situation so that it appears less threatening, just like Freud's rationalization.
Neurotics: are apart from the real and the ideal. Becoming more incongruous, they find themselves in more and more threatening situations, levels of anxiety become greater, and they use more and more defenses.... It becomes a vicious cycle that the person eventually is unable to get out of, at least on his own
Psychosis: Psychosis occurs when a person's defenses are overwhelmed, and their sense of self becomes "shattered" into little disconnected pieces. His behavior lacks consistency.

Carl Roger’s Psychotherapy
• Carl Rogers is best known for his contributions to therapy known as “person centered/ Client- centered therapy/ Non- directive therapy. Also known as the Rogerian Therapy”.
• His main technique is “Reflection”__ mirroring of emotional experiences.
• Aim of the therapy: to help a person grow and self-actualize.
• Rogers maintained that the therapist must possess the following qualities:
i. Congruence -- genuineness, honesty, with the client
ii. Empathy -- the ability to feel what the client feels.
iii. Respect -- acceptance, unconditional positive regard towards the client.

• American psychologist, and leading exponent of humanistic approach.
• Gave comprehensive theory of motivation.
• Found the prevalent psychology to be too pessimistic and negatively oriented.
Key Points of Maslow’s Theory
• Psychology and the psychologist should look at the positive side of the human beings.
• There must be more to living than just being battered by a hostile environment, or by depraved instincts----which may actually be leading to self-destruction.
• People’s needs are not low level and base. We have positive needs that may become neutral in the worst cases, but will not turn negative or base.
• Human behavior does respond to needs but we will be wrong in saying that all our needs are only physiological in nature
• Needs motivate human action; such needs are very few in number.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
• Basically a stage theory.
• The needs at one level have to be met in order for one to move on to higher order.
• The needs at the lowest/primary/base level are the physiological needs, whereas the highest order needs are the self-actualization needs.
Interactions and needs of Behavior
• Physiological needs: Fulfilled through = hunger/food: Pathology associated = Over-eating, Anorexia.
• Safety needs: Fulfilled through = profession, job; Pathology associated = Phobias.
• Love and belongingness: Fulfilled through = Marriage, Friendship: Pathology associated = Antisocial personality.
• Esteem needs: Fulfilled through = Awards, Honors, Scholarships; Pathology associated = Depression.
• Self-actualization needs: Fulfilled through = Painting, writing, singing: Pathology associated = Isolation, Alienation, Cynicism.
Criticism against Maslow’s theory
• Although a comprehensive and well formed theory, it has been criticized at some points
• Can we actually, for all case, distribute and neatly order these needs? There is little empirical evidence to support Maslow’s way of ranking needs
Extensions of Humanistic Approach
• Existential Psychology (Jean Paul Sartre, Rollo May)
• Frankl’s Logotherapy
• Positive Psychology (Martin Seligman)

From the 1920s through the 1960s, behaviorism dominated psychology in the United States. Eventually, however, psychologists began to move away from strict behaviorism. Many became increasingly interested in cognition, a term used to describe all the mental processes involved in acquiring, storing, and using knowledge. Such processes include perception, memory, thinking, problem solving, imagining, and language. This shift in emphasis toward cognition had such a profound influence on psychology that it has often been called the cognitive revolution. The psychological study of cognition became known as cognitive psychology.
Cognitive processes vs. computer
One reason for psychologists’ renewed interest in mental processes was the invention of the computer, which provided an intriguing metaphor for the human mind. The hardware of the computer was likened to the brain, and computer programs provided a step-by-step model of how information from the environment is put in, stored, and retrieved to produce a response. Based on the computer metaphor, psychologists began to formulate information-processing models of human thought and behavior.
The pioneering work of Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget also inspired psychologists to study cognition. During the 1920s, while administering intelligence tests in schools, Piaget became interested in how children think. He designed various tasks and interview questions to reveal how children of different ages reason
about time, nature, numbers, causality, morality, and other concepts. Based on his many studies, Piaget theorized that from infancy to adolescence, children advance through a predictable series of cognitive stages.
The cognitive revolution also gained momentum from developments in the study of language. Behaviorist B. F. Skinner had claimed that language is acquired according to the laws of operant conditioning, in much the same way that rats learn to press a bar for food pellets. In 1959, however, American linguist Noam Chomsky charged that Skinner's account of language development was wrong. Chomsky noted that children all over the world start to speak at roughly the same age and proceed through roughly the same stages without being explicitly taught or rewarded for the effort. According to Chomsky, the human capacity for learning language is innate. He theorized that the human brain is “hardwired” for language as a product of evolution. By pointing to the primary importance of biological dispositions in the development of language, Chomsky’s theory dealt a serious blow to the behaviorist assumption that all human behaviors are formed
and maintained by reinforcement.
Cognition means “the known”, “knowledge”, or “the process of knowing”
Cognitive approach emphasizes on:
• Thoughts
• Feelings
• Thinking
• Values
• Expectations etc; factors that determine the personality of the individual
Main Emphasis
• For a proper understanding of behavior, the cognitive approach emphasizes the role of mediating processes in human behavior i.e., the processes that lie between the Environmental stimuli and the behavioral response
• Focused on how we ‘remember’, how information processing takes place, how decision making appraisals are done
• Unlike the behaviorist approach, this theory gives same importance to both the internal state of the person as well as the environmental events
• Internal events are referred as “Mediators” or “Meditation Processes”
Areas of Special Interest
Cognitive approach mainly focuses on:
• Emotions
• Social behavior
• Behavior modification
Cognitive approach includes the elements of psychology, linguistics, computer science and physiology-- thus called a ‘hybrid science’.
Experiments on apes by German scientist Wolfgang Kohler, discovered the use of insight by them in problem situations.
Tolman talked about the ‘cognitive maps’ (relationship between stimulus) __it is not necessary to have an association between stimulus and response, a person can learn without showing any apparent response
o Both Kohler and Tolman played a vital role in laying the foundation of cognitive approach
Emotions and Cognitive Approach
• Pioneer: Stanley Schacter (1971)
• According to him, emotions result from the physiological arousal as well as the cognitive appraisal (evaluation) of the situation
• Arousal comes first and is general in nature
• In order to understand what one is feeling i.e., the title/label of the emotion, and the meaning of one’s reaction in a particular setting the arousal is appraised cognitively Richard Lazarus (1984) maintains that emotional experience cannot be understood unless we understand how what goes on in the environment is be evaluated. Emotion leads to cognition and cognition in turn leads to emotional experience.
Cognitive Approach to Social Behavior
John Dollard and Neal Miller (1950) first ever emphasized the importance of cognitive processes in determining behavior
Kelly’s Personal Construct Theory
• Developed by George Kelly (1955.)
• Emphasis on how a person cognitively constructs his world
• Persons develop their behavior cognitively towards their world and develop attitudes and opinions accordingly known as’ personal constructs’.
• The constructs then develop into a ‘belief system’ of a person.
Mischel’s Cognitive Social personality Theory
• Walter Mischel was a student of George Kelly.
• According to him, how a person responds to the environmental stimulus depends on the following variables:
i. Competencies
• What the person knows
• What the person can do
• How well the person generate the cognitive/ behavioral outcome
ii. Encoding Strategies: Ways of processing information
iii. Expectations: Anticipating the likely outcome (mainly positive)
iv. Personal Values: Importance of one’s belief, also stimulus, people, events etc
v. Self regulatory system: maintaining rules for better performance
• Setting goals
• Evaluating performances
Bandura’s Cognitive-Social Learning Theory
• Given by Albert Bandura (1986).
• By combining the rules of learning, it emphasizes the complex human interactions in social settings.
Observational Learning
• Main component of social-learning theory in which the person makes changes in his own behavior by watching/or imitating others i.e., a model/ a super star/favorite personality or cartoon character.
• Effective in acquiring skills, attitudes, beliefs simply by watching others.
Cantor’s Social Intelligence Theory
• Given by Nancy Cantor and her colleagues (1987).
• Refers to the expertise, which a person uses in different life situations/ tasks.
• The theory explains several types of individual differences.
i. Choice of Life Goal: Giving priority/ importance to the most important goal at a particular point of life. i.e., student -- ’Good grades’
ii. Use of ‘knowledge’ in social interactions.
Use of life experiences and expertise in problem solving.
Cognitive Approach in Behavior Modification
• Negative and unacceptable behavior is modified through constructive strategies.
• According to this approach, person’s beliefs and attitudes effect the motivation and behavior of a person
• In order to modify the behavior, reinforcement techniques are used.
• For attaining the desired goal, realistic strategies are used with continuous feedback.
Altering the Belief System
• Psychologists are of the view that psychological problems arise due to the way people perceive themselves in relation with the people they interact with.
• Main focus of the therapist is to alter the irrational belief system of a person.
Cognitive Theory for Depression
• Aaron Beck formulated the therapy for depression patients.
• Therapist helps the depressive person to change the faulty patterns of thinking through problem- solving techniques
• Believed that depression reoccurs in depressive patients because the negative thoughts occur automatically of which they are not aware.
The therapist uses four tactics
• Challenging the patient’s ill beliefs
• Evaluating the cause of depression
• Attributing the cause to the environmental situation/ event not to the person’s in competencies
• Finding the alternative and effective solutions for the complex problems

• Developed by Albert Ellis (1962, 1977).
• Focused on altering the irrational beliefs into more acceptable ways.
• Clients are forbidden to use “should”, “must”,” ought” etc.
• Confrontation techniques are used which focus on changing the attitudes through rational reasoning.
• Task is to protect the self worth, potential to be self-actualized, by blocking the irrational thinking patterns.
In short, in the last few decades, researchers have made significant breakthroughs in understanding the
brain, nervous system, mental processes such as the nature of consciousness, memory distortions, competence and rationality, genetic influences on behavior, infancy, the nature of intelligence, human motivation, prejudice and discrimination, the benefits of psychotherapy, and the psychological influences on the immune system.
Sarfraz Mayo
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