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Comparison of Behaviorist and Psychoanalysts on Obesity, Lack of Interest in Study

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Both the Psychoanalysts and the Behaviorist believe that all humans have needs. They also believe that humans (organisms) work to satisfy their needs. One such need is food. Hull a behaviorist theorist "acknowledged that people do not just have needs they have what he called cravings, which are desires for reinforcement even when they do not satisfy a need." (Funder, pg.412)

Taking this into consideration, it is possible for one to say that a person becomes obese because they are continually eating, not because they are hungry but because they are craving a specific food and they want to satisfy that craving. Every time a person has a craving they will eat, thus they will become obese.

The psychoanalysts according to DR. C George Boeree in his e-text "Personality Theory", believes that "although a wish for food, might be enough to satisfy the id, it isn't enough to satisfy the organism." This need becomes stronger and stronger and continues to demand more and more of your attention. This continuous demand continues until there comes a point called the wish or drive breaking into consciousness where you can't think of anything else. Thus the individual will eat until the demand for food ceases. If the person continually eats that person will become obese.

Freud believed that all human behavior was motivated by drives or instincts, which are neurological representations of physical needs. These drives or instincts he referred to as life instincts. These instincts affect the life of the individual, by motivating him or her to seek food and water and the life of the species by motivating him or her to have sex.

If a person is always motivated or driven to eat, and they always give into this motivation, they will become obese, especially when they are eating things that are not healthy.

" Anna Freud believes that stress often causes people to abandon mature coping strategies and instead use patterns of the stages in which they are fixated." (Carver& Scheier, pg 228). She believes that because of stress an individual regresses. This means that they move from a mature way of dealing with things to an infantile way. Therefore you might find that an individual who is stressed may eat more than usual. The more stresses they are the more they will eat, and thus they will become obese.

There are some individuals who become fixated at the oral stage. Freud believes that when an individual becomes fixated at this stage they carry over from infancy. That is to say that they enjoy oral activities such as eating, chewing and drinking. These individuals will continue to eat because they are still in their oral stage.

There are individuals who become obese because of their self-perception. "Women are much more likely to be concerned about their body image, to express dissatisfaction about their bodies and about physical appearance in general to develop eating disorders, and to become depressed."(Baron& Byrne, pg 186). When males reject women because they are overweight, they become depressed and they eat more. This is one of the causes of obesity.

When looking at both psychoanalysts and the behaviorist, it is clear to see that they both believe that in most cases individuals eat to satisfy needs. The Psychoanalysts however, go further to show that as the demand gets greater and greater, the individual has no choice to eat as that is the only thing that they can think of.

Rotter, a behaviorist theorist believes that there are cases when an individual wants something desperately but believes that no matter what they do they will never be able to get what they want. He "was particularly concerned with one particular by-product of low expectancy, that of "lack of competency." If people do no think that the efforts to get what they want will be successful, they will avoid any activity in that area, and they will fail to perform the practice necessary to get better at the activity.

When looking at this statement, one can apply it to studying or a lack of interest in studying. If a student begins to feel that they are not "bright" enough or that they will fail a course, that student will not have any interest in studying. In fact that student will not see the reason why they should study.

Eric Erickson believes that the reason a child lacks interest in study has a lot to do with those around them and the type of encouragement they get. He believes that children go through a stage where they will either be industrious or inferior. Once a child believes that it can do anything and both its parents and teachers are encouraging it, that child will work very hard to attain its goals. However if that child is led to believe hat because or its skin color or gender that it will not be able to succeed that child will not be interested in studying.

Furthermore if the child is being told by teachers or even peers that (s) he is a failure then the child will not see the need to study nor will that child have an interest in studying. In this case it is highly likely that the child becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Alfred Adler another psychoanalyst believed that there were people who suffered from inferiority complex. He believed that many individuals who try to be perfect, fulfilled and self-actualized end up being failures. They are unfulfilled, imperfect and far from self-actualized. This happens not because they lack social interest but because they are too self interested.

Adler believes that when an individual becomes overwhelmed by inferiority, life gets the best of them and their attention becomes focused on themselves and nothing else. Thus this individual will have no interest in studying.

Adler also believed that individuals have psychological inferiorities. Some people are told they are dumb, weak and even ugly and they believe it. In school when a test is given, and students receive the results, there is a probability that the grades will show that your grades are not as good as another student's. In this case there are two things a student can do, they can try harder and get good grades, or they can feel inferior and not try harder or even worst they can give up and loose interest in studying.

Both the psychoanalysts and behaviorist see that there are cases when an individual will want something but something or someone will come along and discourage them. They also see that there will be times when an individual will lack interest in studying because they feel inferior. However while the psychoanalysts see it as a stage in the developmental process the behaviorists do not.

Both Freud and Adler saw personality as something developed very early in life. According to Norbeck et al, in their book " The Study of Personality: An Interdisciplinary



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