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Comparison and Contrast of Three Perspectives of Early Psychology

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Comparison and Contrast of Three Perspectives of Early Psychology

George Carpenter

American Intercontinental University


This paper will explore the comparisons and contrasts of three of the ten different perspectives of early psychology. The three chosen for this assignment are Behavioral, Humanistic, and Cognitive.

Comparison and Contrast of Three Perspectives of Early Psychology

As much as anything else, psychology has many different theories and methods. One theory may be helpful to one patient while it is useless on other. The trick is to find the best method for the patient being treated.

I will attempt to explore the differences and similarities between three specific theories. These are Behaviorism, Cognitive, and Humanistic. All three have important and interesting differences.

Behaviorism is the belief that behaviors occur because of conditioning. This theory does not recognize the presence of internal mental influences such as thoughts, feelings and moods, nor does it take into consideration free will. Behaviorism also fails to take into account learning that is accomplished without reinforcement and/or punishment.

Behaviorism is science based. It relies on observable behaviors only. Early on it was felt that observable events are verifiable and could be proven false.

Like Behaviorism, Cognitive perspectives acknowledge scientific research methods. This is where the similarity ends. Cognitive psychology uses scientific research to study mental processes. Unlike Behaviorism, Cognitive psychology recognizes the presence of inner mental faculties and processes.

The primary focus for this perspective is on how people process, store, and retrieve information in the mind. It also studies how people use this information to reason and solve problems. This information can be useful for educators in setting up their curriculum so that it enhances the learning process. It can also be used to improve memory and decision-making.

Unlike the previous two perspectives, Humanistic psychology places a strong emphasis on the role of the individual. In addition, Humanistic psychology takes into account personal choices that are made.

This perspectives focus is on the individual potential of the person and the importance of growth and self-actualization. This perspective also believes that people are basically good and problems result from deviations. On the other hand, this perspective is seen as subjective. It is felt that by making the individual experience so important it is difficult to study and measure humanistic phenomena.

The three perspectives cited in this paper have vastly differing beliefs and approaches. One, Behavioral, deals with primary and secondary drives and does not recognize the presence of the inner



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