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Foundations of Psychology - Research Paper Example

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The foundations of Psychology are based both on biology and philosophy. Kowalski and Westen (2005) aptly describe humans as “complex…
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Foundations of Psychology

Download file to see previous pages... It relied heavily on the process of introspection and its goal was to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and determine how these elements worked together to form ideas (Millis, 2003). The basic assumption of structuralism is that orderliness exists. Structuralism laid more emphasis on the use of scientific research. This school of thought provided psychology with a strong scientific identity in the academic community.
2. Functionalism: This school of thought was highly influenced by William James. It focused on analyzing the role of psychological or mental processes. The basic assumption of functionalism is that all mental processes help a person to adapt to their environment and that “consciousness exists because it serves a function” (Kowalski & Western, 2005).
3. Behaviorism: This school of thought was developed by psychologists like Pavlov and Skinner. It focused on observable behaviors that can be studied in an accurate and organized manner (Millis, 2003). The goal of behaviorism is the prediction and control of behavior. It did not emphasize the internal mental conditions and states of the individual. It is based on the assumption that all behaviors can be acquired through conditioning by interacting with the environment (Millis, 2003).
4. Psychoanalysis: This school of thought was highly influenced by Sigmund Freud and focused on the influence of the unconscious mind on behavior (Millis, 2003). It was rejected by many as a true science. It is based on the assumptions like unconscious mental processes exist and all human behaviors are motivated and purposeful. It also assumes that past experiences influence current changes and reactions. This suggests that personality functions of the human mind can be understood through id, ego and superego (Millis, 2003). Psychoanalysis also assumes that human behavior is influenced by environmental interactions.
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