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Behaviourism Essay

654 words - 3 pages

Differences between Psychodynamic and Behaviourist Approaches
Assumptions - The Psychodynamic Approach assumes that it is our unconscious mind, that we have no direct control of, that produces our behaviour. The Behaviourist Approach assumes that it is our past learning history that determines our behaviour, as Behaviourism assumes that all our behaviour is learned.
Methodology - The Psychodynamic Approach tends to use Case Studies to investigate the cause of our behaviour. The Behaviourist Approach tends to use Experiments, but has the tendency to gather data using Observation, this is because of the importance Behaviourism places on observable behaviour.
Scientific Approach - The ...view middle of the document...

Does it help us understand the nature/nurture debate? - The Psychodynamic Approach is on the nurture side of the argument, as the development of the whole personality is a result of interaction with parents and reality. The ID is present from birth, but the EGO and SUPEREGO develop as the child grows. The Behaviourist Approach is on the nurture side of the argument as it says that our personality develops as a response to the things that we have learned as we grow up.
The main similarity is that they are both deterministic, i.e., based on the premise that something other than the organism is responsible for its behavior. In the case of behaviorism, it's the consequences of previous behaviors, i.e., punishments, reinforcements, etc. In psychodynamic theories it's typically tension between conflicting forces, e.g., sex and death or id and superego. Freud leaned toward these types of dichotomous "energy systems", and most if not all psychodynamic theories are derived from his psychoanalytic theory.

A major difference between them is the source of their material....

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