While a few different schools of thought dominated the early years of psychology, the number of topics studied by psychologists has grown dramatically since the early 1960s. Today, few psychologists identify their outlook according to a particular school of thought. While you may still find some pure behaviorists or psychoanalysts, the majority of psychologists instead categorize their work according to their specialty area and perspective.
Every topic in psychology can be looked at in a number of different ways. For example, let’s consider the subject of aggression. Someone who emphasizes a biological perspective would look at the how the brain and nervous system impact aggressive ...view middle of the document...
While behaviorism dominated psychology early in the twentieth century, it began to lose its hold during the 1950s. Today, the behavioral perspective is still concerned with how behaviors are learned and reinforced. Behavioral principles are often applied in mental health settings, where therapists and counselors use these techniques to explain and treat a variety of illnesses.
The Cognitive Perspective
During the 1960s, a new perspective known as cognitive psychology began to take hold. This area of psychology focuses on mental processes such as memory, thinking, problem solving, language and decision-making. Influenced by psychologists such as Jean Piaget and Albert Bandura, this perspective has grown tremendously in recent decades.
The Cross-Cultural Perspective
Cross-cultural psychology is a fairly new perspective that has grown significantly in recent years. These psychologists and researchers look at human behavior across different cultures. By looking at these differences, we can learn more about how our culture influences our thinking and behavior.
The Evolutionary Perspective
Evolutionary psychology is focused on the study of how evolution explains physiological processes. Psychologists and...