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Cognitive Behavior Therapy and the Humanistic Approach - Report Example

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This paper "Cognitive Behavior Therapy and the Humanistic Approach" discusses the Behaviorist school of thought that has been the prevailing one in the field of psychology. The behaviorist theory aims to study and predict human behavior, and thereby devise means to control behavior…
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Cognitive Behavior Therapy and the Humanistic Approach
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Download file to see previous pages The cognitive perspective, on the other hand, has emerged from the behaviorist school of thought but takes into account the internal consciousness and mental perspective of individuals also as a part of the scientific basis for psychology. It emphasizes the value of the cognitive element and the thinking function of human beings as expressed in how we feel and what we do.

While behaviorism emerged during an era where mankind was turning to science to provide answers to natural phenomena, it has faced criticism for its premise of rejecting phenomena ascribed to the consciousness. According to Broad, “…behaviorism in particular….are instances of the numerous class of theories which are so preposterously silly that only very learned men could have thought of them.” (Broad, 1923, p 17). Behaviorism focused on the study of external behavior and Watson stated that it must develop methods for publicly observing behavior. However, Titchener pointed out the weakness in the behaviorist theory of insistence on externally observable phenomena as follows: “psychology deals with such things as perceptions, feelings, thoughts or we may say that psychology dealing “in some sort with the whole experience” is to be distinguished as “individualistic” from other sciences that are universalistic.” (Tichener, 1914, p 1).

Tichener (1914) therefore pointed out that Watson’s theory was restrictive in requiring only one frame of reference – the observational method in science, which precluded many scientific phenomena which could be viewed from a different point of view – the reference frame of human consciousness. Behaviorism therefore totally excluded factors such as perceptions, feelings or thoughts which are vital in the study of the individual. Psychology by definition includes many aspects linked to human consciousness and an individual perspective, which cannot be eschewed if a behavior is to be examined. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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