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Modern psychology
• There are 5 different perspective dominate
each of them complementing the other in
explaining people thoughts & behavior.
1. Neuro-biological Perspective :
• proposes that behaviors is influenced by
physiology of the brain and nervous system
- normal behavior (state of equilibrium)
- abnormal behavior (physical pathology) .
. Neuro-biological Perspective… cont.
* Research &treatment focused on four main areas:
• A – Nervous system disorders.
• B – Structural changes to the brain (post trauma
or in degenerative disorders)
• C – Endocrine or gland dysfunction,( as in
hypothyroid may lead to depression).
• D – Genetic transmission of mental illness ( as
• Critique: Biomedical model treatments
Modern psychology (cont…)
2) Psychoanalytic Perspective :
• behavior is driven by unconscious
processes, and influenced by
childhood/developmental conflicts.
(Sigmund Freud)
• human behavior determine by:
( unconscious forces, developmental factors,
and family relationships
• Freud's theory proposes that personality
development progresses through four stages
throughout childhood.
• Psychoanalysis is the treatment of choice .
* Critique of psychoanalytic theory:
-The unconscious nature difficult to test.
Modern psychology (cont…)
3) Behaviorist perspective :
- The external environmental stimuli shape
and control the persons actions.
- Behaviors are learned depending on
whether they are rewarded or not.
** scientific approach to study behavior,
(differ from psychoanalytic theory).
• The focus is on observable behavior and
conditions that elicit and maintain the
behavior (classical conditioning) or factors
that reinforce behavior (operant
Behaviorist perspective …cont.
* Three basic assumptions underpin behavior
1. Personality is determined by prior learning
2. Human behavior is changeable throughout
the life-span.
3. Changes in behavior are caused by changes
in the environment.
(Behavioral psychotherapy is the treatment of
• Critique of behavioral theory: the first
scientifically testable theory of human
• Their explanations are less convincing
when applied to psychosis or organic brain
• Most behaviorist research has been
conducted on animals under laboratory
conditions (mechanistic) .
• mental illness can occur in a person in healthy
4) Cognitive perspective :
• Explains behavior by looking at a person’s
particular ways of reasoning and thinking
and interaction with his influencing
• proposes that people actively interpret their
* behavior is a result of the interplay of
external events (the stimuli and
reinforcements) and internal events
(perceptions and thoughts)
• Thoughts → feelings → behavior
• Albert Bandura states : that human
behavior results from the interaction of
environment with perception &thinking.
• Critique of cognitive psychology:
- The therapeutic techniques are practical and
effective, and can be self-administered by
the client under the direction of a therapist.
*Cognitive theory is criticized as:
• 1- Being unscientific (as are psychoanalytic
and humanistic theories) because mental
processes cannot objectively be observed.
• 2- The insight will not itself bring about
behavior change.
5) Humanistic Perspective: Abraham Maslow
• Focuses on the development of a concept
of self and the striving of the individual to
achieve personal goals.
• Client-centered therapy: is the counseling
model, to overcome harmful effects
• human behavior is motivated by a drive for
• Critique of humanistic psychology:
1- Theory humanistic psychology is
incomplete. (e.g. disturbed states as
• 2- Humanistic concepts difficult to define
• 3- There is little recognition of unconscious
drives in explaining behavior.
• Applying different perspectives:
• In 1989 Charles Whitman, a student in the
university of Texas, climbed a building and
proceed to fire people below and killing
thirteen and injuring thirty two, the night
before he had shot his mother and stabbed
his wife to death. Psychologists tackles the
issue from other angles and contributing
different explanations for his bizarre
aggressive behavior:
• Neurobiological perspective suggested that
he has brain tumor.
• Behavioral psychologists explained his
aggression was encouraged by rewards as
social approval .
• Cognitive psychologists explained that
Whitman think that strong man is a
aggressive, when he often seen his father
beating his mother.
• Psychoanalytic looked to unconscious
childhood conflict when Whitman's parents
separated and he lived with his poor mother.
• Humanistic psychologists focused on how
Whitman's progress to self-actualization
was blocked, and respond to frustration
with aggression.