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Theoretical Perspectives - Essay

  • Date Submitted: 03/09/2011 11:07 AM
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major theoretical perspectives in developmental psychology

Evolutionary/Sociobiological perspective

The Evolutionary/Sociobiological perspective in psychology argues that social behaviors developed through genetics and inheritance. It emphasizes the role of biology and gene transmission across generations to explain current behavior.

Learning Perspective

The basic concept of this perspective is that positive responses would be triggered by good stimuli while negative responses would could from bad stimuli. Actions that would produce positive results tended to repeated, while those that led to negative results tended to be avoided.
Adversaries to this approach were disgusted by the concept that humans did not think or feel, but only thought that they did. Non-behaviorists and behaviorists parted company. Behaviorists believed that feelings could not explain behavior. Out of behaviorism came the social learning theory, which taught that in addition to behavior, imitation and observation led to learning.

Cognitive Perspective

The cognitive perspective of psychology focuses on the thought process.
The objective of cognitive psychology is to understand how perceptions and interpretations relate to behavior. Why is that one person will turn to violence when insulted while another person will make excuses for that person rather than acting violently. Through the use of computers, research data can be further analyzed to discover the thought process used in behavior and in some instances, programs can even be written to help understand how humans will react in certain situations.

Psychodynamic Perspective

The goal of psychoanalysis is to dig into the unconscious to find the source of the disturbances. Concerned more with therapy than scientific observation and research, psychodynamic mental health clinicians probe the mind to find events, usually from childhood, that manifest feelings of fear, violence, love, etc. Aggressive feelings, or even...


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