Generally, it works by either giving a reward for an encouraged behavior, or taking something away for an undesirable behavior. By doing this, the patient often increases the good behaviors and uses the bad behaviors less often, although this conditioning may take awhile if the rewards and removals are not sufficient to entice the patient into doing better.
Existentialism is important to discuss here as well, and is often seen to be a very drastic way to examine human behavior. There are two types of existentialism. One is Atheistic Existentialism, and the other is Theistic Existentialism.
Atheistic existentialism has its basis in the statement that the entire cosmos is composed only of matter, and human beings see reality in two forms. Those forms are subjective and objective. People who believe in Atheistic Existentialism do not believe that anyone or anything specific made the world. They do not know whether it is chaotic or structured, whether it is governed by law, or whether it is subject to chance. They see the world merely as existing and do not concern themselves with how it got here, why it is here now, or what will happen to it in the future. This is the most prevalent form of Existentialism today.
They also believe that people make themselves who they are. Naturally, they do not believe in God, and therefore do not feel that He shapes us into what we need to be to survive in this world. According to this belief, a person is what he assumes he is. In other words, if someone believes that they are frightened and timid, they will act that way. If they believe they are brave and bold, they were often do things that are considered brave and bold by either themselves or others. The basic point of this belief system is the theory that people create themselves; they do not rely on some being that allegedly created them. This is the theory of "existence proceeds essence."
The belief that each person is completely free in regards to his or her destiny and his or her nature is also part of this belief system. They see the world as being absurd, and because of this any person who is considered "authentic" must work to create some value in the world. Without individuals working to make something out of the world, there will be nothing left for anyone.
Theistic Existentialism differs from Atheistic Existentialism. In Theistic Existentialism, it is believed that human beings can decide for themselves whether or not God exists. It is acknowledged that this question is very difficult, and it is believed that faith, not reason, should solve this question for everyone. Another belief of this system is that what is personal is valuable. In other words, there is a distinction between the objective and subjective worlds. People must do what they feel they must do, and their concerns over whether God exists must be left for another day. Skinner held many of these beliefs and discussed many others throughout his lifetime.
Sigmund Freud is probably the most popular and well-known psychologist in the field of personality. His work with the id, ego, and superego is still widely used and accepted today, and although some dismiss his beliefs, what he had to say about personality was very powerful. For example, Freud believed that there was both a conscious and an unconscious mind, and that the two are both present in all people. The unconscious mind is the source for much of our personality, because it controls all of the basic human desires that many people don't even realize they have. They are not conscious thoughts, but rather drives and feelings that seem to come 'from nowhere' (Beoree, 1997).
In addition to his work with the conscious and unconscious mind and the id, ego, and superego, Freud advances many other theories about personality, such as why people feel anxiety and what the different kinds of anxious feelings are telling them. He also discussed what he called the 'death instinct' which stated that everyone had an actual unconscious wish to die. He believed that this was true because life itself can be rather exhausting and Freud felt that death brings rest and release from all of the problems faced by life. It is therefore welcomed on an unconscious level, although most people have no actual, conscious wish to die, save those that are actually suicidal (Beoree, 1997).
There are many different perspectives in psychology that are used for educational studies. The first perspective is structuralism. The main goal of structuralism was to talk about the conscious mind and its contents (Davis & Palladino, 2004). Those who studied this wanted to break down the conscious mind into basic elements (Davis & Palladino, 2004). During experiments, the experiences that subjects had were very different, and this raised questions about the mind and whether there were really any common elements of experience (Davis & Palladino, 2004).
The second perspective is functionalism, which came about late in the 1800s (Davis & Palladino, 2004). It looked at the purposes that consciousness had and why the mind does what it does. It had much to do with the idea of 'stream of consciousness' (Davis & Palladino, 2004). How information was used and adapted to the environment was one of the things that those who studied this wanted to see (Davis & Palladino, 2004).
Gestalt psychology created the idea that the whole was not the same as the parts that made up the whole (Davis & Palladino, 2004). This indicated that is was not possible to break down a conscious experience into various elements (Henle, 1975). It made great accomplishments in the area of perception, because it showed that what people see was different than the parts that made up the picture (Henle, 1975).
The behavioral perspective did not focus on what the mind did, but on behaviors that could be observed (Davis & Palladino, 2004). The importance of learning was also emphasized. Pavlov and his dogs belong to this category (Davis & Palladino, 2004). It was believed that the consequences that followed a behavior would cause an inappropriate behavior to change (Davis & Palladino, 2004).
The psychodynamic perspective came next, and this is where Sigmund Freud came into the psychological picture (the Psychodynamic, 2004). This perspective was concerned with unconscious forces and how they affect behaviors (Davis & Palladino, 2004). Freud also studied dreams and believed that these dreams often hid what they were really about from the dreamer (Davis & Palladino, 2004). This perspective also looked at the experiences of early childhood, the effects that they had on later life, and the idea of sexuality as a reason for many behaviors (the Psychodynamic, 2004).
The humanistic perspective was next to come along and it emphasized a person's control over his or her own behavior and the concept of free will (Davis & Palladino, 2004). It gave a view of human nature that was very positive (Davis & Palladino, 2004). It was believed that everyone sees and experiences the world differently and their behavior cannot be understood by studying animals or other human beings (Davis & Palladino, 2004).
Changes within the body were discussed using the physiological perspective, which stated that these bodily changes are what affect behavior (Davis & Palladino, 2004). How the brain and the nervous system work and react to one another is one of the main interests of those that study this perspective (Davis & Palladino, 2004).
The evolutionary perspective dealt with physical structure and behavior, and how these things changed to adapt to the environment (Davis & Palladino, 2004). Darwin was associated with this (What is, 2000). Much of this perspective was based on natural selection and how the fittest individuals are the ones that survive (What is, 2000).
How people think and remember came about with the cognitive perspective (Davis & Palladino, 2004). This looked at how the mind stored things (Davis & Palladino, 2004). It also focused on how memory is processed and how thoughts actually occur (Davis & Palladino, 2004). It was not popular for a long time because there was such a focus on behaviors instead of thought (Davis & Palladino, 2004).
The cultural and diversity perspective is the last of the 10 perspectives of early psychology (Davis & Palladino, 2004). It deals with the differences in cultural, gender, and other issues in not only the subjects but the researchers as well (Davis & Palladino, 2004). It has been largely responsible for the growing number of women and minorities in the field of psychology today (Davis & Palladino, 2004).
Constructivism looks at students that come from all sorts of backgrounds that are normally considered to be lower-income families. These include African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, and others that do not speak English at home or as their first language. These are the students that seem to have the most trouble in school, especially…