Seven Modern Perspectives in Psychology
Brittney Gallardo, Department of Psychology, Navarro College
Seven Modern Perspectives in Psychology
This paper explores the seven modern perspectives in
psychology. These perspectives help to understand how a human behaves, think,
and feel. Each perspective emphasizes different aspects of the human mind. The
perspectives divide the human mind in how they are and what they do, this helps
to understand the mental and physical process. For many decades, psychologists
have studied and have been able to develop each perspective differently. Either
to help improve what a previous psychologist has already applied to the subject
or even perform an experiment to prove the theory. “Since the early 1960s, the
field of psychology has flourished and continued to grow at a rapid pace, and
so has the depth and breadth of subjects studied by psychologists.” (Cherry, Perspectives in Modern Psychology, 2017) Still today many psychologists are knowing
more about each perspective and how today’s people many think, react, and even
feel differently than from people from centuries before.
The first modern perspective is psychodynamic, Sigmund Freud
was the first to develop the theory of the original psychodynamic but it does
have other theories that were based off on his ideas e.g. Jung (1964), Alder
(1927), and Erikson (1950). “Freud developed his idea when he began with his
patients during therapy talking about how they are dealing with depression and
anxiety.” (Sigmund, 1915) Freud concluded that
the personality is composed of three elements: id, ego, and superego. The id is
composed of the inherited components of the personality that is presented at
birth. The ego develops mediate between the id and the real world, it is the
decision making component of personality. Superego incorporates values and morals
of society learned from other or one’s parents.
Behavioral is the perspective
that focuses on learned behavior, it isn’t like other perspectives that
emphasize the internal states but instead focus more on observable behaviors. It
is the understanding the behavior of humans and other animals. John B Watson began
the movement in 1913 when he wrote an article entitled ‘Psychology as the
behaviorist views it’. In his article, he described the experimental branch of
natural science and the dividing line between man and brute. Later, a new form
was behaviorism was discovered by B.F Skinner, he founded radical behaviorism. Skinner,
just as Watson, recognized the role of the internal mental events occurring. Watson’s
methodological behaviorism asserts the mind is blank at birth while radical behaviorism
accepts the view that organisms are born with innate behaviors, recognizing the
role of genes and biological components in behavior. Through all the discovery,
many studies have been performed to show that these factors are in fact true
such as ‘Little Albert’, ‘Bobo Doll Study’, and ‘Pavlov’s Dogs”.
By the late 1950’s a “Third Force” was beginning
to form. They discussed several themes – such as self, self-actualization,
health, creativity, intrinsic nature, being, becoming, individuality, and
meaning – which they believed likely to become central concerns of such an
approach to psychology. Often called the “the third force”, humanistic is the
reaction to both psychoanalytic theory and behaviorism. This method focuses on
a person’s ability to direct their own life. “Central to the humanistic
theories of Rogers (1959) and Maslow (1943) are the subjective, conscious
experiences of the individual.
Humanistic psychologists argue that objective reality is less important
than a person’s subjective perception and understanding of the world.” (Mcleod,
During the 1960s, the new perspective
cognitive was developed into psychology. This area focuses on mental processes
such as memory, problem-solving, thinking, language, and decision-making. “There is some dispute as to who created
the cognitive approach, but some sources attribute the term to the 1950s and
1960s, with Ulric Neisser’s book Cognitive Psychology, which made
allusions of the human mind working in a similar fashion to computers.”
(Cognitive Approach, 2017) Through this approach the perspective grew
thanks to later psychologist Jean Piaget and Albert Bandura within the decades.
Cognitive psychologists study how information is acquired, processed, stored,
and utilized in the human mind.
“Sociocultural combines two areas of study: social psychology,
which is the study of groups, social roles, and rules of social actions and
relationships, and cultural psychology, which is the study of cultural norms,
values, and expectations.” (Ciccarelli & White, 2017, p. 13) This perspective shows the relationship
between social behavior and culture to a person. The first notable book was
published by McDougall in 1908 (An Introduction to Social Psychology), it
included chapters on emotion and sentiment, morality, character, and religion.
He believed that social behavior was innate/instinctive. Other had other
thoughts such as Allport, he acknowledged that social behavior results from
interactions between people. Neither one is wrong, sociocultural is how we act
an do in groups, with people, and ideas of today’s culture.
This method is known for human and animal behavior to
biological events occurring to in the body. “How genetics influence different
behaviors or how damage to specific areas of the brain influence behavior and
personality. Things like the nervous system, genetics, the brain, the immune
system and the endocrine systems.” (Cherry, Perspectives in Modern Psychology, 2017). Through this
process and today’s evolved technology, many doctors and psychologists can tell
effects on internal factors such as effects of brain damage, drugs, and disease
in any way. This perspective plays a big role in all internal events occurring
in the human body.
The evolutionary perspective focuses on biological bases for
universal mental characteristics that all many and all humans share together.
Charles Darwin (1859) helped picture this when he theorized natural selection; it
is designed the same as how the mind has a set information-processing machines.
Evolutionary consists of different traits which in include perception, memory, and
language. Through many shared characteristics of humans passed down from
generations before and soon enough it became part of the gene, such as why
humans don’t like the bitter taste. It evolved over time from learning and experience
from their ancestors. Many factors are studied in this area such as
relationships, many people share common characteristics and that’s why
psychologists look at in this area.
Cherry, K. (2017, October 7). Perspectives in
Modern Psychology. Retrieved from Verywell:
Ciccarelli, S. K., & White, j. N. (2017). Psychology
(5th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
Cognitive Approach. (2017). Retrieved from Psychologist Wordl: https://www.psychologistworld.com/cognitive/approach
Mcleod, S. (2007-2015). Humanism. Retrieved
from SimplyPsychology: https://www.simplypsychology.org/humanistic.html
Sigmund, F. (1915).
The Unconscious. 159-204.