A Comparison of Skinner, Freud and Rogers - Essay Example

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The first area where Skinner, Freud and Rogers differ is in their views on human nature. According to Carl Rogers, human beings are naturally wonderful and always strive to get even better…
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A Comparison of Skinner, Freud and Rogers
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Download file to see previous pages According to his theory of humanism, any one can achieve self realization if the necessary conditions exist. He states that people want to experience and feel things that are consistent with their personal image and reflects what they believe would be their ideal self. Compared to Rogers, Sigmund Freud’s theory on human nature is more pessimistic. According to him, humans are dangerous creatures driven by selfish motives and can go to any length to satisfy them (Demorest, 2004, p. 168). This greed for successes makes humans dangerous as they are always willing to do anything to get what they set their mind on. This explains why there are so many murders and other evils in the society. The never ending internal conflict in human beings between ego, superego and the need to achieve personal identification aggravate the chaos at the root of personality. Compared to Freud’s pessimistic and Rogers’s optimistic views on human nature, Skinner stands out as the neutral of the three. In support of his behaviorist theory, Rogers discredits both notions of internal conflict and external conflicts in human beings as theorized by Freud and Rogers. According to him, there exists no conflict between internal and external motives for self actualization. Instead, he argues that behaviors are not inborn but are shaped by the environment in which an individual lives. However, it is worthy noting the three psychologists agree that genetic factors play a pivotal role in determining the behaviors exhibited by an individual (Demorest, 2004, p.89). The other field where the theoretical perspectives of these three psychologists contrast is personality development. Psychosexual stages and other related conflicts and milestones are the main basis on which Feud basis his views on personality development. Just like other human qualities, Freud argues that personality develops over time and cannot be rushed. Rogers is in agreement with Freud that it takes time for human behavior to develop. However, he adds that positive and unconditional attitude has a lot of influence on the features of personality development. Skinner concurs with both Freud and Rogers on their theory of change or gradual development of personality (Demorest, 2004, p. 28). Despite agreeing with them on the issue of growth, Skinner emphasizes that humans are behavior emitters. He argues that the change in human personality over time is as a result of changes in behaviors and their consequences as well as the individual’s response to various eventualities. All three psychological theorists were in agreement that there is a relationship between maladjustment and personality. From Freud’s point of view, maladjustment is a result of clashes between the internal strains and unconscious desires. Based on this, he argued that the main use of therapy was to unearth the concealed root causes of the existing problem (Nye, 2000. P. 87). Rogers had a different idea and according to him, maladjustment was as a result of interference with the actualization process caused by reception of restrictive regard from oneself or others. Therefore, he proposed that the aim of therapy was to reveal the sources of unrestricted positive esteem and to help the individual get back into the path of personal development and fulfillment. On his part, Skinner differs with his colleagues and believes that the environment was the cause of all maladaptive behaviors. Consequently, he stated that the aim of therapy was to change reinforcement schedules so as to correct the existing maladaptive behavior. None of the three theorists backed any traditional procedures of carrying out experiments on human behavior. Despite carrying out numerous controlled and quantitative laboratory experiments, Skinner avoided ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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