Psychological Theories Essays

The social psychological theory of self-handicap.

Pettijohn (1998) defines self-handicapping as “a strategy that people use to prepare for failure; people behave in ways that produce obstacles to success so that when they do fail they can place the blame on the obstacle.” According to this theory of self-handicapping, I decided to spend the night out as opposed to studying in preparation for failure. In the event that I did fail, my excuse would have been the obstacle I had produced for myself the night

Psychological Egoism Theory

The theory of psychological egoism is indeed plausible. The meaning of plausible in the context of this paper refers to the validity or the conceivability of the theory in question, to explain the nature and motivation of human behavior (Hinman, 2007). Human actions are motivated by the satisfaction obtained after completing a task that they are involved in. For example, Mother Teresa was satisfied by her benevolent actions and activities that she spent her life doing. As Hinman (2007) points out

Psychological Theories Of Personality

Personality is under evaluation in Psychology. These traits make each individual different and significant and lead to the theories of personality which are the psychological theories of personality. Q1) Psychoanalytical theory of personality is based on the researches by Sigmund Freud according to whom a personality is a result of progressive psychosexual changes (Theories of Personality, p. 73). He has divided a personality into three traits: ID which drives our sexual emotions and aggression collectively

The Psychological Theories Of Attachment

The attachment theory is a psychological theory that centers on the relationships and connections between humans, especially among a parent and child (Schwartz, 2015). Principally, attachment is dependent on a child’s ability to develop trust in their parents because the parents provide nourishment and loving care. This theory was first developed by John Bowlby and Mary Salter Ainsworth (Zir, 2015). Bowlby had a developing interest in understanding the connection between maternal loss or denial and

Ethical Theories: Egoistic Theories and Psychological Egoism

What I want to do in this paper is to present the 3 different egoistic theories, explain them in brief , and then focus on psychological egoism, presenting its argument, responding to the different criticisms and see in the end if its thesis begs the question or not. The human actions and motivations have been an issue which philosophers argued on. Several ethical theories were proposed in order to justify or explain the human actions. We can justify the human actions by claiming normativity “what

Psychological Theories of Behaviour

Hence, his decision to destroy the present and future politicians of government. Allport (1920), in his theory of Social Facilitation, fleshes out the impression that the presence of others (the social group) can facilitate certain behaviour (McLeod, 2007). Albert Bandura (1977), in his social learning theory, indicates that individuals learn violence and aggression through the behavioral marlin (Theory of Development, n.d., p. 52). Breivik was somewhat moralling the ideologies of the terror organization

Psychological Theories Of Child Abuse

children can lead to many problems in their life. One important problem that an individual may face due to child abuse is personality disorders. Personality disorders are an important topic of discussion when thinking about child abuse. According to psychological research, much of an individual’s personality comes from their parents or whoever has raised them. In this case many children will learn the negative behavior that they observed in their parents, and this can lead to negative traits in their personality

Psychological Theories Of Personality Essay

People are different in more ways than one, but one of the most obvious examples lies in personalities. An individual’s personality consists of a combination of their psychological character, making them unique in almost every other aspect. Their psychological differences are what causes specific reactions to things and the reasons interactions and communication are set in environments. Each personality has its own set of traits originated in genetics that come together to make a combination of

The Psychological Theory Of James Bowlby's Influencement Theory

James Bowlby came up with attachment theory as an explanation of the mother child bond that had been the craze in the 1980’s. He believed that a child was normal and well adjusted if she was assured of her ‘caretakers’ support in her emotional state. If so then the child would have the ‘secure base’ needed to branch out and develop securely. (Ainsworth et al, 1978). His theory mainly stated that there is a critical period of time in which a child must bond with a caretaker in order to form stable

Social Psychological Theories Of Compuul Buying Behavior

Theories defining compulsive buying behavior In literature compulsive buying behavior is studied under individual social psychological perspective and individual psychological prospective mainly. Socio-cultural theory, social learning theory, social cognitive theory, social comparison theory, Affluenza falls in social psychological perspective while as Symbolic self-completion theory and other psychological theories belongs to individual psychological prospective. Symbolic Self-Completion Theory

Evaluation of a Social Psychological Theory of Aggression

Evaluation of a Social Psychological Theory of Aggression One of the most influential approaches to aggression is the social learning theory approach, put forward by Albert Bandura. According to this approach, most behaviour including aggressive behaviour is learned. Albert Bandura believed that aggression is learned through a process called behaviour modelling. He argued that individuals, especially children learn aggressive responses from observing others, either personality or through

Psychological Theories Of Delinquency

biological theories hold the answer, some believe it is merely a routine theory. There are some however who believe in a psychological approach. The psychological theories of delinquency is exactly what it sounds like. Most delinquents have some sort of psychological defect or problem that causes them to act out in a devious way. It is thought that youth in lower classes or who come from unstructured and abusive families have odd personality traits that they will carry into adulthood. This theory is not

Psychological Theories Of Ageing

PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORIES OF AGING: The basic premise of the psychological theories of aging is that development is a lifelong process and does not reach the end point, it occurs over the life span. There is a constant change in; life roles, abilities, perspectives, and belief systems. Some psychological and psychosocial changes include memory, learning capacity, feelings, intellectual functioning, and motivations. (Birren, Cunningham, 1985). The question now arises is that whether, psychological theories

Psychological and Christian Theories

techniques that come from psychological theories. They key here is to evaluate these psychological theories while using the truth of the bible as a guide. Doing so will help determine what may be helpful to use in certain situations and what will be opposed to God. Considering psychology is such a vast field, a Christian counselor will have to research many varieties of these psychological theories. The purpose of this essay is to examine and decide which psychological theory for counseling coincides

The Psychological Theory of Bullying

The psychoanalytic perspective (Erikson’s psychosocial stages), Sigmund Freud Ego or psychological defense mechanism, and behaviorism and social learning theory, are important to understanding adolescent bullying. In the psychoanalytic approach, development is discontinuous and as such occurs in stages where “people move through a series of stages in which they confront conflicts between biological drives and social expectations, and how these conflicts are resolved depends on the person’s ability

Psychological Theories Of Criminology

complex explanations that are used to understand the phenomenon that is violent crime. Psychological perspectives are widely used throughout the world of criminology in order to help comprehend why crime is committed and the patterns that occur between the type of offender and type of crime. There perspectives are broken down into four main areas within psychology; Biological/Evolutionary, Social/Learning theory, Psychoanalytical/Psychodynamic and finally

Psychological Theories of Prejudice

Psychological Theories of Prejudice The first experiment I would like to look at is Adorno et al (1950). In this experiment Adorno hypothesised that a child's personality especially their level of prejudice came from the way in which they were raised by their parents. Adorno argued that if children were brought up in an authoritarian environment, where the children were not allowed to express themselves they would aim there anger towards other parties. Adorno calculated that the most likely

Psychological Theories Of Attachment

Attachment is a complex evolutionary behavioral system that is intertwined with three other behavioral systems: exploratory, affiliative, and wariness. The behavioral systems that are involved with attachment behavior can be activated or terminated in different circumstances. The function of attachment is survival. Attachment can be found in many children’s books, although the two books examined in this essay are I love you all day long by Francesca Rusackas, and The kissing hand by…. These books

Karl Popper's Falsifiability

was very thought provoking concerning "where to draw the line." Unlike most people, the validity of the theory was not his concern as much as how that validity is determined. This is an issue that really does not get the attention that it deserves. Popper's claims concerning, "When should a theory be ranked as scientific?" and "Is there a criterion for the scientific character or status of a theory?" seems to be put together in the following summary. At first Popper seems to just be criticizing the

Literary Criticism Of Matthew Lewis The Monk

Elliot B. Gose's essay "The Monk," from Imagination Indulged: The Irrational in the Nineteenth-Century Novel, is a psychological survey of Matthew Lewis' novel The Monk. Gose uses Freud's and Jung's psychological theories in his analysis of The Monk's author and characters. To understand Gose's ideas, we must first contextualize his conception of Freud's and Jung's theories. According to Gose: According to Freud we must look behind conscious daydreaming, as well as behind unconscious sleep


Psychological Theories Paper

Piaget 's theory of cognitive development theory.

Piaget also hypothesised four different stages – sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational- in which children develop (Woolfolk & Margetts 2013, p.83). It was thought that every person passes through the stages in the exact same order, never skipping a stage. The stages are often categorised by age, from birth to adulthood. However, it was stated that people may experience long periods between stages, and others may show characteristics from different stages at different times. The sensorimotor stage is approximately from ages zero to two years old and involves the development of thinking and understanding through the five senses, and movement. Object permanence, which is the understanding that objects exist whether they are seen or not, and goal-oriented actions are

Piaget's Developmental Stages Essay

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The preoperational stage is when infants become older, young children and they are able to think in a more symbolic way. In this stage children start to learn the difference between real and make believe, past and future. They tend to have more of an imagination as they grow older. Children in the preoperational stage still are not completely logical with their thinking. They go more off intuition. Do more of what they want to do, not what is the best thing to do. They are still too young to grasp the concept of cause and effect. They also do not understand time and comparison yet.

Early Childhood Education Essay examples

Children develop cognition through two main stages that Jean Piaget theorized. The stages run from birth and infancy to school age children. Sensorimotor is the first stage and goes from birth to about the age of two. This stage implies that the children learn about the environment they live in and they learn this through the reflexes and movements they produce. They also learn that they are separate people from their parents and they can say goodbye to them and know they will come back. The second stage is called the preoperational stage. During this stage of development, children will learn how to incorporate symbols to represent objects. This is also the beginning of learning the alphabet and speech. The child is still very much egocentric at this point in time, but with the help of understanding educators, the child will grow appropriately onto the next stages of development. Finally, the children need to develop emotionally/socially.

Infant and Toddler Classroom

THE PREOPERATIONAL STAGE: GROWTH OF SYMBOLIC ACTIVITY Some time between the ages of 18 and 24 months, According to Piaget, children develop the ability to form mental representations of objects and events. At the same time, language develops, as well as the beginning of thinking in words. These developments mark the transition into the preoperational stage. During this stage, which lasts up until about age seven, children are capable of doing many task they could not perform earlier. For example, they begin make-believe play which includes enacting familiar routines.

The Play Years

Early childhood is often characterized by endless make-believe and sociodramatic play which indicates the development of mental representation. Sociodramtic play differs from simple make-believe play in that it involves play with peers. This stage of play is often referred to as the Preoperational Stage. This is the stage immediately after Piaget’s Sensorimotor Stage. The Preoperational Stage spans from two to about five or six years of age. At this stage, according to Piaget, children acquire skills in the area of mental imagery, and especially language. They are very self-oriented, and have an egocentric view; that is, preoperational children can use these representational skills only to view the world from their

Compare And Contrast The Major Perspectives In Psychology

Psychology is the study of the behavior and mind of all living organisms. Perspectives are made in psychology in order for us to be able to have a better understanding of human behavior. These “theories” help contribute to studying how people think, feel, and behave. Three of the main perspectives include behaviorism, which is the study of people’s behavior, humanistic, which is the study of the potential good in everyone, and cognitive, the study of mental processes.

Essay about The No Child Left Behind Act

1.     Sensor motor Stage (birth – 2 years) – The child, through physical interaction with his or her environment, builds a set of concepts about reality and how it works. In this stage a child still do not know that physical objects remain in existence even when out of sight. They haven’t developed object permanence.

Jean Piaget and the Four Major Stages of Cognitive Theory Essay

For example, pretending a broom is a horse or an orange is a ball. This is also the stage where role playing first takes place, children begin to believe they are mommy daddy or even doctor. The Preoperational stage lasts from age two up until age six.

Three Perspectives Of Psychology Paper

There are many perspectives in psychology which involves certain beliefs about human behavior. For instance, psychodynamic, psychosocial, and behaviorism and where psychologists like John B Watson and Erik Erikson developed theories of human behavior. Erikson identified 8 stages and that our personality is developed throughout lifespan. While Feud divided our brain into 3 parts the id, the ego and

Four Perspectives Of Psychology Research Paper

The different perspectives of psychology that allow us to create a complete picture have different approaches toward explaining behaviors. A Biological psychologist may attempt to explain aggressive behavior by explaining the neural pathways involved in transferring neurotransmitters that cause anger. According to Biological Psychology the brain is full of neurons that transfer the information around our brains; this allows humans to influence those by tampering with the genes that effect neuron transmission, or heredity temperament.

Piaget Cognitive Stage: Preoperal

During this stage the child is beginning to use languages, and their imagination is developing. One technique of teaching during this stage would be to use imagery, props, and have short instruction. The teacher would need to use a kinesthetic type of learning environment and get the student involve with learning.

The Prerepansion Of Children In The Preoperational Stage

The preoperational stage takes place between the ages of two and seven. During this stage, children start to use speech, and the expansion of the child’s memory and creative ability is put into play. In the preoperational stage, children take part in imaginative play and can grasp and express connections between the past and what's to come. A child’s knowledge in this stage is egocentric and natural, not intelligent

Major Challenges to Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

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Piaget believed that there were three processes involved in moving from one stage to the next these were assimilation accommodation and equilibrium. Assimilation is the process of converting new information so

Piaget's Cognitive Theory Essay

In the first, or sensorimotor, stage (birth to two years), knowledge is gained primarily through sensory impressions and motor activity. Through these two modes of learning, experienced both separately and in combination, infants gradually learn to control their own bodies and objects in the external world. Toward the end of Piaget¡¦s career, he brought about the idea that action is actually the primary source of knowledge and that perception and language are more secondary roles. He claimed that action is not random, but has organization, as well as logic. Infants from birth to four months however, are incapable of thought and are unable to differentiate themselves from others or from the environment. To infants, objects only exist when they are insight

Essay on Piaget's Learning Theory in Elementary Education

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In the sensorimotor stage the child discovers the environment through physical actions such as sucking, grabbing, shaking and pushing. During these first two years of life children realize objects still exist, even if it is out of view. This concept is known as object permanence. Children in the preoperational stage develop language skills, but may only grasp an idea with repeated exposure. As Piaget describes in the next stage, children draw on knowledge that is based on real life situations to provide more logical explanations and predictions. Lastly, in the formal operational stage children use higher levels of thinking and present abstract ideas.

Related Topics

  • Scientific method
  • Cognitive science

Psychology Discussion

Essay on psychological theories | theories | psychology.


Here is a compilation of essays on ‘Psychological Theories’ for class 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Psychological Theories’ especially written for school and college students.

Essay on Psychological Theories

Essay Contents:

  • Essay on the Psychoanalysis-Freud’s Theories
  • Essay on Structural Theory
  • Essay on Libido Theory or Theory of Psychosexual Development
  • Essay on Freud’s Theory of Dreams
  • Essay on Behavioural and Cognitive Theories
  • Essay on Social Theories

1. Essay on the Psychoanalysis-Freud’s Theories :

Prepsychoanalytic Theories:

Sigmund Freud gained from many workers to evolve his final theories. The important ones were: Helmholz (from whom Freud learned to pattern psychological theories after physical ones and who particularly focused on matters of energetic distribution); Brucke (who also emphasized concepts of energy and conversation); Meynert (who bridged Freud’s interests in neuroanatomy and its behavioural consequences); Charcot (whose work in hypnosis and hysteria opened for Freud the path which would eventually lead to psychoanalysis); Hughlings Jackson (from whom Freud advanced a theory of dynamic association and of regression).

Early Theory of Defense:

Charcot has emphasized trauma itself caused hysteria in susceptible individuals but Freud stated that it was not the trauma itself, but rather the defense against the recollection of the memory of the trauma that caused neurosis.

Predisposition or susceptibility was deemphasized e.g., In hysteria, the affect could undergo ‘conversion’ to a motor or sensory symptom, which though determined symbolically by the memory’s ideational content, allowed the removal from consciousness of the idea itself.

Topographical Theory of Mind:

Freud recognized that the bulk of psychic life lay outside of consciousness (i.e., the importance of unconscious mental life) and also gave a concept of ‘psychic determinism’ (i.e., all mental events were causally linked to others in an associative network).

Topographical model introduces three ‘areas’ of the mind:

i. Conscious:

It is compared with the small visible tip of an iceberg i.e., a kind of sense organ of attention serving the function of awareness. It can accept external input from sensory perceptions of environmental stimuli and internal input from the preconscious portion of the mind. The latter contains wishes, ideas, memories and feelings that are accessible by an act of volition or attention.

The mental activities of the conscious and preconscious are called secondary process thinking and are characterized by systematic organization, respect for logical connections, low tolerance ‘for inconsistencies’, a tendency to delay instinctual discharge and efforts to conform to the demands of external reality and the individual’s moral values. It is governed by the reality principle and is responsible for logical thought and action in adult life.

ii. Preconscious:

It develops during childhood in parallel with the development of the ego. It can be reached by both the conscious and the unconscious. Contents of the unconscious can only gain access to consciousness by being linked with the words and via the preconscious.

iii. Unconscious:

The portion of mind contains material that cannot be made conscious by focusing attention. It contains repressed ideas, wishes and effects that can become conscious only by first entering the preconscious, which censors them and attempts to keep them unconscious. Repressed ‘Freudian slips’ of speech. Mental activity of the unconscious is called primary process thinking and is characterized by the following features.

Primary Process thinking makes frequent use of symbolization (in which one object or idea takes over the significance of another that it resembles in some way), condensation (in which several concepts become fused and replaced by a single symbol) and displacement (in which the effective component of an idea is transferred to a symbolic substitute). Primary Process thinking is characteristic of very young children, of nocturnal dreams and of severely regressive behaviour in psychosis or mental retardation.

A number of questions remained unanswered- Does the barrier between consciousness and the dynamic unconscious lie in the unconscious or within consciousness? What is the content of the unconscious? Does energy flow toward keeping things unconscious or does it flow toward keeping things conscious or does it flow in the same direction of pushing toward emergence in consciousness? Freud was soon dissatisfied with the topographical theory and eventually replaced it by structural theory of personality.

2. Essay on Structural Theory:

In 1923, Freud divided the psychic apparatus into three structures:

It represents the unorganized source of primitive impulses, as summarized in the sentence ‘It wants’. It contains basic drives, instinctive impulses as those concerned with survival, sex and aggression. Id demands immediate gratification and is illogical. It is non-verbal and does not enter consciousness (i.e. mainly unconscious).

It is the seat of the conscious, intellectual and self-preservative functions as summarized in ‘I will or I will not’. It acts as a mediator between the drives derived from the id and the outer world (i.e., reality). It is influenced by the superego. Some of the parts of ego (mainly defense mechanisms) are unconscious.

iii. Superego:

It develops from the ego and fulfills such functions as those summarized in the sentence “You shall or You shall not”. It is mainly unconscious. Two aspects of superego have been identified.

The conscience-developed through internal­ization (introjection) and automatizations of the many prohibitions of early childhood. It is the conscious part of superego.

The Ego-ideal developed through identification with the attributes of those who are admired or envied.

The superego is labelled as the part of personality that is ‘soluble in alcohol’.

Functions of Ego:

1. Relationship with reality:

(a) Maintenance of a sense of reality

(b) Adaptive

(c) Reality testing.

2. Regulations and control of drives (‘libido theory’)

3. Relationships with other people (‘Object Relations theory’)

4. Cognitive

5. Defensive

6. Synthetic -the ability to hold together as a person.

7. Autonomous-derived from autonomous energies of the ego.

The various Ego’s defense mechanisms are given in Table 3.1.

Defense mechanisms can also be classified as Narcicistic (Projection, Projective identification, Primitive idealization, Splitting, Denial, Distortion), Immature (Acting out, Blocking, Hypochondriasis, introjection passive Aggressive Behaviour, Projection, Regression, Schizoid Fantasy, Somatization), Neurotic (Controlling, Displacement, Dissociation, Externalization, Inhibition, Intellectualization, Isolation. Rationalization, Reaction formation. Repression, Sexualisation) and Mature defenses (Altruism, Anticipation, Asceticism, Humor, Sublimation, Suppression).

3. Essay on Libido Theory or Theory of Psychosexual Development:

It includes a theoretical description of a characteristic maturational sequence of libidinal or psychosexual phases in development from birth to mature adulthood. The drive organization is subject to progression, fixation or regression determined in part by the extent to which the individual encounter normal, excessive, or frustrated gratification (See Table 3.2).

i. Oral Phase (0-1.5 Years):

It is the earliest stage of development and is associated with behaviour appropriate to the first year of life, particularly extreme dependency. Fixation at or regression to this phase of development is considered characteristic of schizophrenia, severe affective disorders and alcohol and other drug dependence. It consists of two phases of chewing (Receptive phase) and biting (Sadistic Phase when teething occurs).

ii. Anal Phase (1-3 Years):

Anal Phase of development implies the ability to give or to withhold and requires the child to learn to compromise between primitive wishes and the rewards obtained by conforming with the demands and expectations of significant adult.

“Anal” traits persisting in adults include excessive orderliness, miserliness and obstinacy. If present to a significant degree, they may be associated with the development of obsessive compulsive disorder. It also consists of two-phases—a destructive expulsive phase (child enjoys excretion) and a mastering retaining phase (child enjoys sphincter control).

iii. Phallic Phase (Oedipal Phase) (3-4 Years):

In this phase, the children display considerable sexual interest and curiosity focused on the penis or clitoris. The observed difference between male and female genitalia may lead to the childhood fantasy that the female genitalia results from loss of the penis.

According to Freud, the boy then develops a castration complex, fearing castration at the hands of his father in retaliation for his desire to replace his father in his mother’s affections. This leads to envious and aggressive wishes toward the father (the Oedipus complex, after the main character in Sophocles’ tragedy Rex, who killed his father and married his mother without knowing the identity of either).

It is resolved by identification with the parent of the same sex. A similar complex seen in girl is called Electra complex (from a Greek myth in which Electra connives at the death of her mother Clytemnestra who had murdered her father Agamemnon). Various forms of sexual dysfunction and deviation in both sexes are considered to have their origin in this phase of development.

iv. Latency Phase (6 Years until Puberty):

It is regarded as phase of sexual latency. At the start of this phase, the Oedipus complex has usually been resolved (but will be temporarily reactivated at the time of puberty) and the child has made a decisive identification with the appropriate parental figure and formed an effective superego (conscience and ego-ideal).

Intrafamilial relationships during the preschool years constitute a nucleus of knowledge about human society, which is now expanded in school and play activities, in relationships with adults outside the family and in competitive or collaborative interactions with peers. Old techniques of adaptation are repeated and reinforced or extinguished and replaced by newer techniques that are found more rewarded.

v. Genital Phase:

Genital Phase is initiated by puberty and leads to a reawakening of sexual interest that is now conscious, verbalized and acted on in accordance with mores of the peer group. There is an increasing desire to be freed from infantile dependency and to achieve adult status. The desire results in rejection of the standards and the validity of demands imposed by parents and other adult, with a tendency toward acceptance of the philosophy of the peer group.

In this process, there is often partial identification with others of the same sex who are just slightly older than the individual and who are admired by the peer group. Ideally, the gradual emancipation from parental control is accomplished by increasing responsibility and mature genitality based on respect for the rights of others.

4. Essay on Freud’s Theory of Dreams:

Freud regarded dreams as ‘the royal road to the unconscious’.

He laid down three basic principles in dream interpretation:

i. The function of the dream is to preserve sleep.

ii. There is a latent as well as a manifest content and it is frequently the former which is more significant.

iii. It represents the gratification of an unfulfilled wish which is usually infantile.

Efforts to disguise the dream are called dream work and Freud describes four mechanisms whereby it operates:

i. Dramatization:

Dramatization where abstract ideas are given solid or concrete shape with the free use of symbols representing the repressed activities or experiences.

ii. Condensation:

Condensation a form of abbreviation or shorthand which conceals from the dreamer some of the latent content by omission or by using a part, sometimes a very small part, to represent a whole or by the fusing of a variety of latent elements sharing a common feature into one piece.

iii. Displacement:

Displacement is the replacement of the latent content by a remotely associated element which is no more than an allusion or oblique reference or shifting the accent so that latent content is barely recognizable.

iv. Secondary Elaboration:

Secondary elaboration which occurs just as full consciousness is regained and continues for a time during the waking state, thus making the dream appear more rational. As secondary elaboration is ego-inspired, it is advisable to get the patient to write down his dreams immediately on waking before his distortion begins to operate.

School of Analytic Psychology:

Jung, an early associate of Freud but after a few years broke with the psychoanalytic movement.

He described that there are three levels of psyche:

Conscious includes the persona. Personality is regarded as the persona or mask worn by Roman actors and was therefore that part of consciousness exposed to the gaze of the world.

ii. Personal Unconscious:

Personal Unconscious those aspects of mental life which are denied in consciousness develop in the unconscious and form the personal unconscious or shadow, which plays an important part in dreams.

iii. Collective Unconscious (Racial, Universal):

Collective unconscious (racial, universal) Jung described the persona the outer crust of the personality, which is the opposite of the personal unconscious on dimensions of:

i. Thinking/feeling

ii. Sensuousness/intuition

iii. Extrovert/introvert (related to direction of flow of mental energy)

Archetypes are the generalized symbols and images within the collective unconscious and include:

i. Animus-the unconscious, masculine side of the woman’s female persona.

ii. Anima-the unconscious feminine side of the man’s male persona

Complex is a group of interconnected ideas which arouse associated feelings and affect behaviour.

Individual Psychology:

He was first of Freud’s associates to break away. He expressed his basic tenet: To a human being means the possession of a feeling of inferiority that is constantly pressing towards its own conquest. He was strongly influenced by Nietzschean philosophy and terms such as ‘organ inferiority’ with striving to overcompensate for this inferiority and the ‘will to power’ are frequently referred to.

He explained that the helplessness of the child gives it an inferiority complex which can be accentuated by an organ inferiority in three ways:

i. By successful compensation as for example, Beethoven with his deafness and Demosthenes with his stammer.

ii. Defeat is followed by retreat, which is regarded as the normal pattern in some cultures.

iii. Compromise for over compensation, the former being a tendency to attribute the failure to the physical inferiority while the latter is a ridiculous protest against it. Over compensation can result in decompensation and neurosis.

5. Essay on Behavioural and Cognitive Theories :

The learning theory that arises from the laboratory setting of experimental psychology, generating applications for the clinical situation, in contrast to psychoanalysis and dynamic psychiatry, which arose in the treatment setting and rely on that same setting for confirmation.

Learning is itself an inference based on the observation of changes in the behaviour of an organism. Learning may be inferred from permanent or quasi-permanent changes in behaviour which occur under specific circumstances. An organism is influenced by the effect of its behaviours and its responses reflect that bearing. If behaviour leads to states which the organism will repeat the behaviour to attain of if a behaviour leads to states which the organism will stop that behaviour in order to avoid, learning may be said to have taken place.

This is known within learning theory as Thorndike’s ‘law of effect’. States associated with behaviours can become reinforcers. A positive reinforcer is the occurrence of an event which will increase the probability that the antecedent behaviour will be increased a negative reinforcer is the occurrence of an event which will decrease the probability that the antecedent behaviour will be increased. Punishment is an example of negative reinforcement. If in positive reinforcement, the reinforcer is removed, it will lead to ‘extinction’.

In classical conditioning, (Pavlovian) a stimulus not intrinsically or ordinarily associated with a response may be used to induce that response. The organism ‘learns’ to take the once-neutral stimulus and respond according to the conditioning.

Operant or instrumental conditioning (by Skinner) occurs as the organism learns that behaviours are associated with positive or negative events. Behaviours in operant conditioning are initiated by the organism and associated events are less directly linked to immediate physiological reflexes than in classical conditioning.

In behaviour therapy, psychopathology is seen as persistent habits of learned unadaptive behaviour acquired in anxiety-generating situations.

One group of learning theorists (e.g., Tolman, Bandura, Dollard and Miller) believe that learning is more than reaction to association by contiguity. They believe that organisms form “cognitive maps” of the environmental situations by means of internal representation in the form of thoughts, signs and symbols.

Behavioural theorists focus their therapeutic strategies on the pathological behaviour themselves, using a variety of techniques to unlearn maladaptive behaviours, to inhibit unwanted states like anxiety and to introduce new learning through such techniques as shaping, modeling and creating through careful application of positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, extinction, new chains of habit, and adaptive behaviour.

Cognitive theorists believe that the beliefs and patterns of thinking is the cause and maintenance of psychiatric disorders. Particular attention is given to depression (and also anxiety neurosis). According to it, low mood leads to a number of changes in the pattern of thinking e.g., faulty generalizations (e.g., I did badly in that interview therefore I am useless and stupid) Cognitive therapy is aimed at confronting patients with the irrationality of their thoughts and seeking to change the pattern of thinking.

6. Social Theories :

Faris and Dunham first observed that schizophrenia has a higher prevalence amongst people of lower social class. Two alternative theories have been proposed to explain for such association. The first is that the lower social class is a factor in causing schizophrenia (the generation hypothesis). The second is the having schizophrenia has led to a drift towards lower social class (the drift hypothesis).

In the case of depression, however, the explanation for the higher rate in women of lower social class cannot be accounted for by the ‘drift hypothesis’. In this case, the depression appears to be caused by the lower social class. Brown and Harris proposed a model of the social causes of depression. Depression is seen as the result of a provoking agent acting on a vulnerable person.

The other social factors important in aetiology include:

i. Life Events:

Life events (e.g., changes in job, personal relationship etc.) have an important role in the causation of a psychiatric illness. Some of these factors act as vulnerability factors e.g., the absence of a close, intimate and confiding relationship: the loss of mother before the age of 11 years; unemployment.

ii. Role of Communication:

There is a long history of interest in the possibility that poor communications between family members can contribute to schizophrenia. Some of these factors include over-involvement, critical comments and hostility.

Family communication and relationships have been studies extensively with regard to child and adolescent problems and family therapy, in which change is brought about in the way family members interact with each other, is now a major form of treatment.

Predisposing Factors:

These factors interact with precipitating factors to result in mental illness. Predisposing factors determine an individual’s susceptibility to mental illness.

These factors are grouped into:

i. Biological e.g.., heredity, constitution, endocrinal, metabolic and biochemical abnormalities, physical defects and illnesses etc.

ii. Psychological e.g., personality type, tempera­ment, abnormal parent-child relationship, psychologically traumatic experiences during childhood, pre adolescence and adolescence.

Precipitating factors describe as “stress” may precipitate a mental illness in predisposed or vulnerable individual.

These factors are classified as:

i. Physical factors e.g., migration, starvation, natural calamities (e.g., war, famine, earth­quake, floods, cyclones, fire, urbanization etc.)

ii. Physiological factors e.g., pregnancy, child birth, menopause, puberty, involution, fever, drugs etc.

iii. Psychological factors e.g., strained inter­personal relationship, family and marital disharmony, sexual maladjustments, occupational and financial difficulties, political upheavals and social crisis, death of a family member etc.).

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Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud: Restructuring of Psychoanalytic Theories

Theories of sigmund freud and carl jung, the importance of recognizing the equality of cultures: the ineffectiveness of western psychology in the african world, evaluating psychoanalytic theory: importance of childhood for personality development, analysis of two theoretical approaches to psychology: psychoanalytic and humanistic, psychodynamic theory: childhood experience is the basis for adult relationships and personalities, understand yourself better: the seven approaches of psychology, id, ego, superego: analysis of the fight club characters, the relationship between psychopathy and criminal behaviour, topics in this category.

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essay on psychological theories

Psychological Theory Essay

— the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes — attempts to uncover why and how we do what we do. Different theories of psychology govern how different psychologists approach research into human behavior. Each of the following grand theories provides an overarching framework within which most psychological research is conducted. Each of these theories has a different point of emphasis when approaching the core psychological questions of why, how, and what. A lot of research and theory is based on one or more of these grand theories: •Biological: Focuses on the biological underpinnings of behavior and the effects of evolution and genetics. The premise is that behavior and mental processes can be explained by understanding human physiology and anatomy. Biological psychologists focus mostly on the brain and the nervous system. •Psychoanalytic: Emphasizes the importance of unconscious mental processes and early child-development issues as they relate to childish impulses, childish wishes, immature desires, and the demands of reality. •Behaviorism: Emphasizes the role of previous learning experiences in shaping behavior. Behaviorists don't traditionally focus on mental processes because they believe that mental processes are too difficult to observe and measure objectively. Behaviorism is involved in the ongoing controversy of the influence of television and videogame violence on children. •Cognitive: Focuses on the mental processing of information, including the specific functions of reasoning, problem solving, and memory. Cognitive psychologists are interested in the mental plans and thoughts that guide and cause behavior. •Humanistic and existential: Emphasize the uniqueness of each individual person and our ability and responsibility to make choices in our lives. Humanists believe that a person's free choice, free will, and understanding of the meaning of events in his or her life are the most important things to study. •Sociocultural: Focuses on the social and cultural factors that affect our behavior. The Show More

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Free Psychological Theory Essay Sample

The definition of the terrorism can be easily summed up as the acts involving violence but at the same time a need emerges to analyze such human behavior on the basis of psychological theories to better understand the scenario. 

Based on the behavior the terrorist explicit physiologists have established various theories to understand this extreme kind of behavior of the man. Some of those theories are psychoanalytic theory, instinct theory and frustration-aggression theory. But all these theories are only able to make understanding of only a fraction of such behavior. We still need a more generalized and versatile theory which will enable us in understanding of the terrorism. Few of the established theories are discussed here in brief. 

Psychoanalytic Theory : The psychoanalytic theory is a one complete theory which addresses all the issues related to the violence. Despite of its intense influence on many authors it lacks in logical and theoretical foundation. According to Freud aggression is the key nature of human instinct which acts as an impulsive motivation in violent. Mullah Mohammad Omar who is the leader of Taliban operation in Afghanistan is the example of this theory. His aggressive nature is the most important cause of his violent activities.

The theory talks about extensively about the hidden violence inside the human which is totally natural but still it fails to incorporate other factors. The issues like influence of believers and surroundings are untouched in this theory. The theory is only a pure type of psychological analysis which is relevant in only the absolute condition of human mindset. Thus the theory fails when it comes to the implementation in the actual scenario.

Frustration-Aggression theory : the frustration and aggression are very co related issues. The basic assumption of this theory is that the frustration is in most of the cases succeeded by aggression. By carefully observing the behavior pattern a definite relation between the frustration and aggression can be established. This theory successfully interprets the cases in which behavior is restricted for desired results. Famous terrorist Osama Bin Laden is a vivid example of this theory. 

This theory also fails to incorporate all the features of the violent behavior. The frustration aggression theory only talks about the tendency of violence which emerges only because of the failure in the endeavored field. Thus this theory too fails in providing a general idea of the violence.

Above described two theories though successful in their assumptions fails in describing terrorism in a generalized manner. There are other pretty different instances of valance which includes self-hurting or extreme hate which is not covered by these theories.

In the exploration of cognitive theories, it's pertinent to delve into the concept of cognitive biases and their potential role in fostering extremist beliefs. Cognitive biases, such as confirmation bias and selective perception, can contribute to the reinforcement of pre-existing extremist views, creating a cognitive echo chamber that sustains and intensifies radicalization. Moreover, examining the psychological impact of trauma and its correlation with terrorism adds a layer of complexity to our understanding. Instances of personal or collective trauma, whether arising from conflict, displacement, or other distressing events, may serve as catalysts for individuals to resort to violent means as a coping mechanism or as a response to perceived injustices.

The socio-cultural perspective, when expanded, should encompass the dynamics of identity formation within communities. The sense of identity, particularly when threatened or marginalized, can become a powerful driver for individuals to align themselves with extremist ideologies as a means of restoring a perceived sense of purpose and belonging. The digital realm's influence on terrorism demands a nuanced examination of online radicalization. This involves scrutinizing the role of social media platforms, encrypted communication channels, and virtual communities in facilitating the dissemination of extremist ideologies. The echo chambers formed in these digital spaces can intensify radicalization, making it imperative to consider online counter-radicalization efforts as part of a comprehensive strategy.

As we strive for a more encompassing theory, the integration of these detailed aspects—cognitive biases, trauma, identity dynamics, and the digital landscape—enhances our ability to comprehend the multifaceted nature of terrorism. Recognizing the interconnectedness of these factors is crucial for developing targeted and effective measures to counter radicalization and mitigate the risk of terrorist activities.

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psychological theories 9 Pages 2251 Words

             Psychological Theories and Theorists              In 1879 Wilhelm Wundt started the first laboratory for studying humans. This is the reason he is called the "father of Psychology" (F. McMahon, J. McMahon, and Romano 12). Since Wundt first started his laboratory there have been great strides made in the field of Psychology. Many theories about what the human is and how we develop have arisen. Some theories have come and gone, but four approaches have survived up to the present. I will discuss three of the four that have been of interest to me, in further detail.              The Behavioral Model dates back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. One of the first psychologists to lay the foundation for behaviorism was Edward Thorndike. He conducted different experiments on animal learning. In 1898 Thorndike conducted an experiment using cats. In this study he put cats in a cage, put food outside the cage, and timed how long it took the cats to learn how to unlock the door to get to the food. Continuing this over and over again, Thorndike found that the cats would repeat behaviors that worked successfully escaping more quickly each time. Soon thereafter he proposed the law of effect:              Of several responses made to the same situation, those which are accompanied or closely followed by satisfaction to the animal will, other things being equal, be firmly connected with the situation, so that, when it recurs, they will be more likely to recur; those which are accompanied or closely followed by discomfort to              the animal will, other things being equal, have their connections with that situation weakened, so that, when it recurs, they will be less likely to recur. The greater the satisfaction or discomfort, the greater the strengthening or weakening of the bond (Robinson 115-116).              What Thorndike didn't know was he was just starting to scrape the surface of behaviorism. Psychologists were starting to turn away from the resea...

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Psychological and Sociological Theories in Life Essay

Introduction, sociological theories, psychological theories, reference list.

Every human being is a unique universe of genetic data and acquired features (including imitation, learning, and so on). At the same time, people do not usually live in isolation but interact with each other affecting each other’s behavior. People obtain their primary and develop secondary identities in the course of interaction with other individuals (Fulcher & Scott 2011). Philosophers, psychologists as well as researchers specializing in other social sciences have tried to explain people’s behavior. There are various approaches to the problem. It is possible to apply some of the most influential psychological and sociological theories to address a common event in every person’s life.

  • Functionalism As far as sociological theories are concerned, people’s behavior is regarded through the lens of individuals’ interactions as well as their place in the society. For instance, functionalism views the human society as a well-established system (Haralambos & Holborn 2013). People tend to behave in a way that is beneficial for the development of the system. Proponents of functionalism stress that people act in terms of values developed in the society. Every society has certain norms and rules as well as values that define people’s actions. It is believed that people take up particular roles to fit in the system. It is also believed that older generations should pass values to younger generations. When some inappropriate beliefs, values and so on occur, people should make sure they do not spread. This theoretical paradigm explains people’s choice to obtain the higher education as this enables them to contribute to the development of the society through accumulation and the use of knowledge and skills. Nonetheless, people’s societies are not characterized by values and rules exclusively. There is such concept as discrimination and prejudice that lead to the exclusion of some groups of people based on their features or backgrounds (Miller 1996). For example, females are often discriminated in some spheres (sciences) although the western societies promulgate equity. More so, discrimination also puts hazards to the development of society as an array of skilled or talented individuals is isolated from the pool of tasks. It is possible to note that the theory can be instrumental in considering the issue on a larger scale, but it can be inefficient when looking into details.
  • Conflict theory Another influential theory, which is still often referred to, is the Conflict paradigm. Karl Marx was one of the founders and major proponents of this approach, and he believed that all people’s actions are determined by the conflict and their fight for resources that are scarce (Haralambos & Holborn 2013). The thinker paid a lot of attention to the interactions among classes, groups of people developed on the basis of their control of “the means of production” (Thompson 2012, p. 28). The major stimulus for all actions is the conflict. Thus, when regarding the process of obtaining education from that perspective, students are trying to enter higher educational establishments and perform well to gain a degree. The number of degrees schools offer is comparatively scarce, and they are the necessary resource for landing a good job and becoming successful later in life. The concept of class can also be applied in this case. According to Marx, the proletariat has limited resources while wealthy people have more access to resources (Haralambos & Holborn 2013). In this respect, it is clear that a student coming from a wealthier family has more chances to enter a higher educational establishment. This theory is often criticized, but it is clear that it can be instrumental in explaining some processes in the society as well as people’s behaviors. At that, the paradigm concentrates on the level of the society rather than the level of a personality.
  • Impression management Unlike theories mentioned above, postmodernist paradigms are not concerned with the macro levels, the society on the whole. These approaches are more concerned with people’s actions and their intrinsic stimuli. For example, Impression management theory is based on the use of a dramaturgical analogy (Allan 2014). Goffman, one of the advocates of the approach, concentrated on the nature of self and the way it is perceived in the society. According to the researcher, an individual develops a “font” to operate effectively in the society (Allan 2014, p. 387). Individuals may also adjust their appearance to fit into a group. It is necessary to note that this paradigm is similar to functionalism as it also involves such concepts as values and norms. When applying the theory to people’s choices concerning higher education, it becomes evident that people want to develop a particular front. This is an image of a successful person who has knowledge and skills, has nice prospects of landing a good job and contributing to the development of the society. The theory unveils some internal stimuli that make people behave in a specific way. This approach helps understand why people want to continue their studies, but it fails to provide a larger picture that is often necessary. In many cases, people choose to sacrifice their favorable image to pursue some goals. For example, some students choose isolation rather than active participation in the student life, and the spare time is not invested into studies. These actions cannot be explained with the help of the Impression theory.
  • Erickson’s psychosexual stages The psychological perspective can help reveal aspects of people’s behavior that sociological theories fail to address. The psychological approach focuses on the micro level, unlike sociological theories. Psychologists are largely concerned with the ways people interact with each other as well as see themselves. It is possible to consider such common activity as mating. The approach developed by Erickson provides insights into mechanisms that govern people’s choice when forming long-term relationships (Stevens 2008). The most common period when this process takes place is the stage of love or intimacy vs. isolation. According to the researcher, at this stage, people need to form lasting commitments with someone other than a family member. They form their own families that also develop in terms of a particular cycle (Woollett 1999). The successful completion of this process leads to satisfaction while failure to start proper relationships leads to isolation and even depression (Stevens 2008). The illustrations of this dissatisfaction and isolation are rather common in the contemporary society. Several people I know personally are still single in their late 30s and early 40s, which causes a lot of distress to them. Being females, they long for creating families, but they have no proper relationships. They are often depressed, which also affects their careers. These women are at risk of failing to succeed during the next stage that involves giving back to the society. This is the point where the personal experience of people can be generalized and brought to the macro level. People who fail to transfer successfully from one stage to the other become isolated (and rather inefficient) members of the society, a large number of such people can disrupt the development of the community, or the entire nation.
  • Neurobiological perspective Another theoretical approach is concerned with physiological peculiarities of people. Proponents of the neurobiological perspective emphasize that individuals’ behavior is often affected by their physical states. For example, high temperature can “cause a person to experience emotional states” that have no relation to the environment (Moonie et al. 1995, p. 47). Various disorders tend to influence people’s behavior. The vast majority of illnesses can be associated with increased nervousness and even depression. Mental disorders affect the development of individual’s personalities as well. It is necessary to note that this perspective can be instrumental in explaining people’s behaviors. Obviously, the theoretical framework explains very specific cases, but it can also be extended to larger contexts. For instance, the approach can be applied when considering the way people mate. I have a personal example of the way physiology affects the development of relationships. My friend simply forced me to be at a party, which was not what I wanted as I was rather ill. My future partner was there, and the friend wanted us to meet. However, I was quite nervous, and I barely noticed the new person. My state could prevent me from forming the lasting relationship. The second time we met was much successful as I was feeling nice. Of course, those having chronic disorders may have difficulties with forming long-term commitments to their being nervous, irritated, depressed, in pain, and so on.
  • Beck’s cognitive triad One more psychological perspective that sheds light on people’s behavior is Beck’s cognitive triad. The researcher stated that negative thinking styles are associated with the depression. These styles involve individuals’ beliefs concerning their self, people’s beliefs concerning their life experiences, and persons’ beliefs concerning their future (Hayes 2000). Individuals tend to focus on the negative side in everything and everyone. They often become rather selective, and the focus on the negative becomes unconscious. This enhances the depressive state. When people are depressed, it can be hard for them to develop long-term relationships. Importantly, females often develop eating disorders as they think that their appearance prevents them from forming proper relationships. Notably, when helping these people, psychologists often use eco maps, which encourages individuals to consider a larger context (Thompson 2006). Negative self-image, depression and the development of certain eating disorders are quite frequent. I have a friend who can be characterized by these features. She has tried to find a good man to create a family, but she has failed to do so. The young woman thinks her inability to have a long-term relationship is due to her appearance. She is often dieting, which tends to remind anorexia nervosa (Hayes 2000). Interestingly, the lack of food overloads her nervous system. She is often depressed, anxious, and she often feels fatigue. Importantly, the woman often starts relationships with ‘the wrong’ men and develops negative attitudes towards men in general as well as her self and her future. This case can be regarded as an illustration of Beck’s paradigm.

On balance, it is possible to note that psychological and sociological perspectives provide valuable insights into the nature of people’s behavior. A brief analysis of such trivial events as obtaining education or forming long-term relationships shows that each theoretical framework can shed light on a particular aspect of the matter. At that, some actions remain unexplained. It is clear that sociological perspectives are more instrumental in considering behaviors on a larger scale while deeper understanding of an action and its outcomes on a personal level can be provided with the help of psychological theories. It is possible to assume that when addressing complex issues, it can be beneficial to apply a set of perspectives to find answers to all the questions that arise.

Allan, K 2014, The social lens: an invitation to social and sociological theory , Sage, London.

Fulcher, J & Scott, J 2011, Sociology , Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Haralambos, M & Holborn, M 2013, Sociology: themes and perspectives , Collins Educational, London.

Hayes, N 2000, Foundations of psychology , Thomson, London.

Miller, J 1996, Social care practice , Hodder & Stoughton, London.

Moonie, N, Ixer, G, Makepeace, K & Balkissoon, I 1995, Human behaviour in the caring context , Stanley Thornes, Cheltenham.

Stevens, R 2008, Erik Erikson explorer of identity and the life cycle , Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Thompson, N 2006, People problems , Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Thompson, N 2012, Anti-discriminatory practice , Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Woollett, A 1999, ‘Working with families’, in D Messer & F Jones (eds), Psychology and social care , Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, pp. 113-132.

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IvyPanda. (2022, April 17). Psychological and Sociological Theories in Life.

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