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Ap Psychology on the Psychological Perspectives

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The Major Psychological Perspectives

Behaviorism is a highly deterministic view that declares there is no free will, defines psychology as the science of behavior. Pavlov, Watson, Thorndike and Skinner are the four major psychologists that help develop and enhance this view. They studied behavioral responses and the ways those responses are influenced by stimuli in the environment. .

The psychoanalytic view largely focuses on the unconscious influencing human behavior. Developed by Sigmund Freud and his followers (the neoFreudians), the main idea was that humans are born with unconscious drives that seek some kind of outlet or expression from the very start. This deterministic viewpoint says that there is no such thing as free will.

The humanistic view emphasizes "the whole person and the importance of each person's subjective experience," the central concept being the need for self-actualization. Humanists believe that of all the motives that people have the need to develop to our full potential is the most important one. This view focuses on the free will of people, instead of the deterministic view where we are only powered by conditioned responses and the unconscious mind. The two important people involved with the humanists are Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, Rogers with his "client centered therapy," and Maslow with his self-actualization.

The cognitive perspective is primarily concerned with mental processes. Having its roots in Wundt's introspection and Aristotle's ancient writings on images and experience the cognitive approach developed as a reaction to the behaviorists exclusion of mental life and consciousness. Cognitive thinkers view humans as extremely active processors of information, and their most recent concern is how people overcome familiar ways of thinking and devise creative solutions to new problems.

The biological perspective is that "for every behavior, feeling, and thought, a corresponding physical event takes place in the brain." Neuroscientists study the changes that occur in the brain during certain behaviors. Roger Sperry was one of the main neuroscientists who won the Nobel Prize for his split brain research that suggests that the two halves of the brain perform different functions.

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