Therefore, it is necessary to account for the acquisition of habits.
Due to certain limitations of the behaviorism approach, there have been revisions to the theory over the century. For example, although behaviorism helped people to forecast, alter, and change behavior over time, it did not attempt nor intend to understand how or why the theory worked. The present-day social cognitive approach asserts that behavior is results from an ongoing reciprocal three-way relationship among the individual (cognition), the environment (physical context, which consists of the organizational structure and design, social context or other people), and the person's past behavior. This broader view, called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) incorporates the cognitive in addition to the behavioral approaches to therapy and view people "as active seekers and interpreters of information, not just responders to environmental influences" (Nevid, 2007, p. 484). Many psychologists now believe that behavior is understood best by studying the reciprocal relationships between individuals and their environment.
Psychopathology is directly the result of inappropriate learning either from a classical or operant conditioning model (Fall, Holden & Marquis, 2004). The behavioral or learning theory of anxiety argues that anxiety is a conditioned response to a specific environmental stimulus. In a model of classic conditioning, a wife married to an abusive husband, for example, may become anxious whenever she sees him. Through generalization, she begins to distrust all men. Similarly, in the social learning model, a boy may develop an anxiety response by imitating the anxiety of someone else in his environment, such as an anxious parent.
The therapy in such cases consists of relearning, with the focus on the present, not the past. At times the past may be discussed briefly to gain a foundation, as may the future to establish goals, but the main thrust is on the present. The therapy is helpful since the clients learn to use fundamental behavioral principles in their lives (Fall, Holden & Marquis, 2004).
The existential theory, also from the early 20th century, developed from a reaction to the dehumanization of the 1800s and beginning of the 1900s, when society emphasized the compartmentalization of family, work and religion, in order to cope with the strictly stratified world where humans were treated as cogs in machines. This compartmentalization resulted in a loss of self-awareness and self-estrangement. The basis of this existentialism was derived from the writings of Kierkegaard, Nietzche, Heidegger and Sartre. Freud's psychoanalysis reflected a deterministic viewpoint of humans acting similar to automatons, but unlike this psychoanalytic approach where theory and treatment were of primary importance, existential psychotherapists placed philosophical considerations as the focus for both theory and treatment.
Existential theory of anxiety provides models for generalized anxiety, in which no specifically identifiable stimulus exists for a chronically anxious feeling. The central concept is that people experience feelings of living in a purposeless universe. Anxiety is their response to the perceived void in existence and meaning. Such existential concerns have become exacerbated since the development of nuclear weapons and, more recently, bioterrorism. A major distinction between the mechanistic approaches of Freud and the behaviorists and the existentialists is ontology or the study of being. This ontological approach emphasizes the spectrum of existence and the ever-changing balance between being and nonbeing that occurs within individuals in their environment (Perez-Alvarez & Sass, 2008).
Similar to psychoanalysts, the existentialists think of the human psyche as a range from total unconsciousness or being completely unaware to total consciousness or being aware. Relatively unconscious...
A result of consciousness is the creation of a primary self or transcendental ego that distinguishes one's self from the rest of the world (May & Yalom, 2000). In existentialism, these two structures -- the level of consciousness and self -- are all that are of concern. Each of the needs and wishes that a person has in his/her existence come in direct conflict with what are called the givens of life, or conditions that are present in each moment that may threaten existence. Every person has the innate ability to perceive these threats and to generate anxiety. Yalom defines these givens as death, freedom, isolation and meaningless (Martz, 2002).
Another existential factor is called Dasein or "being there." This is when each person at every moment of existence has a manner of being with a level of fullness. Dasein includes the awareness of life's givens and the degree to which threat is perceived and whether they generate physical or psychological anxiety (Perez-Alvarez & Sass, 2008). People will respond differently to this anxiety based on personal defense mechanisms. Similar to psychoanalysts, the existentialists believe that every individual unconsciously does use strategies to ignore or alter reality to keep him/herself safe from being overwhelmed by anxiety. However, above the psychoanalytic defenses, the existentialists add specialness or when a person believes he/she has immunity from the givens and in the existence of an ultimate rescuer who can be appeased in exchange for being completely protected. The right amount of defenses can ward away anxiety and preserve existence, but excessive defenses can ignore or amplify anxiety and hinder fulfillment.
The therapeutic approach in existentialism can be alternatively gentle and confrontive as the therapist and client attempt to form a meaningful and real relationship. The therapy helps because, within the context of this relationship, the client can start to face the reality of the givens.
Models and theories of psychopathology, as noted here of psychoanalytic, behavioral and existential and their associated therapies, are not indicative of different scientific fact where one is "right" and the other "wrong" in methodology. It is rather the extent of variation in perspective that occurs within the field of psychopathology itself. Several favored models are more popular within any society at any time period, and also change historically over time and from one society to another in influence. Each of these three models has provided help to scores of individuals over the decades who are suffering from anxiety as well as other psychological problems. Although they continue to undergo change, they also continue to play a major role in the health and well-being of their clients.
Fall, K.A., Holden, J.M. & Marquis, A. (2004) Theoretical models of counseling and psychotherapy New York: Taylor and Francis.
Freud, Sigmund. (1926). Inhibitions, symptoms, and anxiety, SE, 20(14): 111-205.
Kohlenberg, R.J., Bolling, M.Y., Kanter, J.W. & Parker, C.R. (2002) Clinical behavior analysis: where it went wrong, how it was made good again, and why its future is so bright. Behavior Analyst Today. 3(3): 248-253
Martz, E (2002) Principles of Eastern philosophies viewed from the framework of Yalom's four existential concerns. International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling. 24(1): 31-42
May, R. & Yalom, I., (2000) "Existential psychotherapy," in R. Corsini (Ed.)," Current Psychotherapies ( p. 272-292) New York: Norton.
Mitchell, J. (2003) Siblings: sex and violence. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing
Nevid, J (2007) Psychology: concepts and applications New York: Houghton Mifflin
Perez-Alvarez, M. & Sass, L.A. (2008) Phenomenology and Behaviorism: A Mutual Readjustment Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology 15(3): 199-210.
Sadock, B.J. & Sadock, V.A. (2008) Kaplan & Sadock's concise textbook of clinical psychiatry
Philiadelphia: Lippincott, Williams and Wilcott
Stajkovic, A., & Luthans, F. (2001). Differential effects of incentive motivators on work performance. Academy of Management Journal, 44, 580-590.
Watson, J.B. (1919).…
Sigmund Freud and B.F. Skinner are two of the most important theorists within the history of psychology and psychological development as a theory, but perhaps no two thinkers have developed psychological systems of analysis that could possibly clash with one another more vehemently. Indeed, both men would have profoundly disagreed on the most basic levels of even considering what psychology's basic function is. Sigmund Freud focused on a conception of
In this regard, Demorest concludes that, "Together these and other theorists have provided accounts of what it means to be a person that all fit within the psychodynamic paradigm, a perspective that holds a vision of people as at their core driven by dynamic forces in their unconscious minds" (2005, p. 3). Freud's influence on psychoanalytic thought, though, required some time to take hold and many of his methods were
Super ego. In Freud's model, the final element of personality to develop is the superego. According to Cherry, "The superego is the aspect of personality that holds all of our internalized moral standards and ideals that we acquire from both parents and society -- our sense of right and wrong. The superego provides guidelines for making judgments" (2010, para. 3). Freud believed that the superego first starts to emerge during
When one thinks about Freud's theory one has to presume Freud's conscious thoughts or his theory regarding an Oedipus complex represents not his real thoughts but his defensive condensations, displacements, reversals, omissions, and distortions of his real thoughts. If one wishes to look inside his real thoughts regarding an Oedipus complex, one has to analyze and interpret the manifest content of his thought with these defenses in mind. According to
Sigmund Feud is popularly referred to as "the father of psychoanalysis." He lived between 1856 and 1939. His work and ideas have greatly influenced psychological imaginations and popularized notions such as Freudian sleep and dream symbolism, defense mechanism, unconsciousness, and many more. These notions have greatly contributed to films, literature, and theories such as feminism, psychology, philosophy and criticism. Freud is also known for theories such as unconscious mind, specifically those
Mead and Freud One of the most fundamental questions for the field of psychology - indeed of all human questing for knowledge - is how it is that we come to be the way that we are. What is it that makes us human? And to what extent is human nature shared and to what extent are we each unique? Two of the founding scholars of the discipline of psychology -