The Perspectives And Concepts Of Cognitive Psychology
This essay will give a clear understanding and explore in detail the perspectives and concepts of psychology. It will also explain their strengths and weaknesses and how useful and effective it is, in studying human minds and behaviours. It will examine the following perspective, cognitive, psychodynamic and behavioural approaches. Different academic sources such as books, journal articles and websites will be explored in explaining in the depth of what psychologists hope to achieve. And how relevant it is in real life.
Behavioural psychology supports the ideal that all behaviours are acquired through conditioning, that human respond to environmental stimuli and this shape their actions. Regardless of the person mental state behaviour can be studied through observation, feeling, desire, emotions, and cognitions. (Cherry 2019)
Watson was known as the father of behaviourism redefined psychology as the science of behaviour and not just the study of the mind. He believes it was the study of natural science through observable actions. He strongly advocates a radical view of psychology by opposing the idea of introspection, he proposes that all references to consciousness should be rejected, which means consciousness had no place in the discipline or in human life. This belief has already been established by Pavlov when he used the classical conditioning to carry out experiment on a dog (Watts 2010:38)
Skinner a renowned psychologist and human behaviourist, called Watson transformation of psychology from mind to behaviour, methodological behaviour. “Methodological behaviourist often accepts the existence of feelings and states of mind but do not deal with them because they are not public and hence statements about them are not subject of confirmation by more than one person” (Gross 2017:16). From the statement above Skinner argued that it is not what come before a behaviour that influenced it, rather, it is been influenced by the principle of reinforcement. He demonstrated this by using the rat and pigeons to carry out reinforcement experiments. This is known as the operant conditioning.
Conditioning is divided into two parts. First is classical conditioning and second is operant conditioning. “Classical conditioning is a reflexive or unconscious type of learning in which a stimulus acquires the capacity to arouse a response that was originally aroused by another stimulus”. (David 2014). Example could be phobias of a snake, in which the sight of a snake could make you run or frightened because you have been bitten by a snake before. On the other hand, operant conditioning according to Skinner is the best way to learn through behaviour by observing the cause of an action and its consequences. These can be through positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment and extinction. (McLeod, 2015).
One of the major advantage is that, they have been able to provide many useful applications that have proven effect in day to day life. Such as treatment for those suffering behavioural disturbances, systematic desensitisation for phobias, behaviour shaping for autism. (Hill 2001:61)
One of their weakness, they ignore the important of mental process involve in learning, rejection of consciousness in mental experience. And equalising both human and animals as the same. (Hill 2001:61)
Cognitive perspective: cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes such as language, memory, thinking, learning, recognition, perception, attention, decision-making and problem solving. It compares the human mind to a computer memory chip, just as computer processes, interprets, and respond to information. Likewise, human brain. Cognitive psychology believed to understand human behaviour the study of mental processes cannot be overly emphasis. (Hill: 2009). Cognitive used assumption such as computer model and schema. Firstly, computer model. The computer has information stream, where massages are passed on between different components in the system, obviously, same way do human information flows in dual memory. (Gross 2017:25). Computer have central processing unit, just the way the central processing unit handle information and breaks it down to understand. It might take a sequence of numbers and combining them according to the predefine algorithm to compute an average. Cognitive psychology believes human could also carried out this assignment same way. Computer data base is compared to our long-term memory, information buffer in computer sometime hold information for some period, while other task is being perform, this is similar to human attention. (Gross 2017:25). Secondly, Schema, this was used by Piaget to explain how cognitive developed. He describes it as a behavioural attitude learned by experience, a young child or adult learned, adapt and react to a situation based on their past experiences or a situation to rely on because of the little development in brain. He used the term assimilation and accommodation, which are both responsible for growth and development (Legge et. al., 2005: 24). This was criticised by other psychologist, whom stated that he underrated the development of young children, as well as his operational term about the change in a child. not stating exactly what has changed and these make it difficult for research to link between behavioural changes and changes in the mind. (Massey 2019)
Cognitive psychology does not take culture into consideration.it has helped and influenced in many areas of study such as complex behaviour as depression, social learning, artificial intelligence and neuropsychology. The negative aspect, it is quite narrow. Omitting the emotional life of human consciousness, assuming all human behaviour is as a result of information processing. No use of free will (Legge et. al., 2005: 14)
Freud initiated the psychodynamic approach in psychology when he had a patience with strange symptoms with no obvious physical cause. He was convinced that unconscious mental causes could be accountable for such disorders. This moved him to develop a psychodynamic theory of the mind, with the assumption that all normal and abnormal behaviour is influenced by unconscious power or force with no direct awareness. Secondly, the event or past experiences of a person in childhood have a lasting effect on their adulthood. Lastly, he focuses on the entire person rather than a particular behaviour of the person such as personality and aggression. (Hill 2009 :12). Freud came up with three ways to look at human mind. First the conscious is the little activity we are directly aware of. Second, the pre-conscious is the things we could quickly recall such as person name or your home address. Lastly the unconscious is part of mind that contains our deepest thought, it constantly influences our behaviour. (Journal Psyche 2018).” the methods employed by Freud have been found dissatisfactory. The fixed symbolism method has been viewed as worthless in scientific psychology. It was discovered to be narrow and one-sided” (Woodworth 2019) “The unconscious is a pre-theoretic term with a variety of problems. It has multiple and unsettled meanings null reports need not signify null awareness the conscious- unconscious dichotomy implied by the limen may not exist even absolute” (Erdelyi 1992:787).
Strength. attention was given to mental disorder through the development of psychodynamic therapy. Weakness his approach was bias using just a child and Austrian women alone, which means his samples and methods were not fully objective. (Hill 2009:12).
In conclusion, the three approaches are deterministic. Behaviourists believe all events are determined by past experiences and controlled by external power in the environment through reinforcement. On the other hand, psychodynamic suggests that the unconscious is driving behaviour. And lastly cognitive believe in internal mental