Foundations of Psychology
Foundations of Psychology Paper
As far man can recall, humans have researched and formed many reasonable and logical ideas on how a person’s mind works and the many factors that could impact one’s mental state. This intriguing field of study is known as psychology. Psychology is defined as the sum or characteristics of the mental states and processes of a person or class of persons, or of the mental states and processes involved in a field of activity (Dictionary.com, 2011).
The foundations of psychology are the basis of what many rely on when it comes to understanding various ways a person’s mind can function. The four major schools of thought consist of psychodynamic, behaviorist, cognitive, and evolutionary. The founder of the first perspective, psychodynamics, was Sigmund Freud. Freud postulated that subconscious mental processes and conscious mental processes affect one another in a complex interplay of thoughts, feelings and forces. This approach to psychology is highly predicated on clinical observations and case studies. The dependence on subjective observation, rather than reproducible experimentation force many psychologists to exhibit a level of skepticism when applying the principles of the psychodynamic approach. However, the psychodynamic perspective also allows for a more in depth study of a person's personality and behavior, rather than the fractional approach of the other perspectives.
The behavioral perspective is entirely based on a rigorous implementation of the scientific method through reproducible experimentation. The behavioral approach to psychology is concerned primarily with how environmental factors direct behavior through the mechanics of learning. The primary means by which the behavioral model states a person learns is by classical conditioning through association and operant conditioning through consequences. Psychologists such as Watson, Pavlov, Locke, and Skinner pioneered this...