This essay will compare and contrast the key concepts of psychology that developed after Sigmund Freud’s psychodynamic theory. These include the founding of other theories such as behaviourism, humanism, cognitive, biological, evolutionary, cultural and positive psychology. It will also outline some key theorists of each field and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each theory.
The term behaviourism refers to the school of psychology founded by John B. Watson based on the belief that behaviours can be measured, trained, and changed. Behaviourism was established with the publication of Watson's classic paper "Psychology as the Behaviourist Views It” in 1913. (Cherry, 2014)
Behaviourism was the primary theory in psychology between 1920 and 1950 with some of the main behaviourist psychologists being John Watson, Ivan Pavlov and B.F Skinner. (McLeod, 2007)
Behaviourism, also known as behavioural psychology, is a theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviours are acquired through conditioning. Conditioning occurs through interaction with the environment. Behaviourists believe that our responses to environmental stimuli shape our behaviours.
Some strengths of behaviourism include the fact that it is based upon observable behaviours, so it is easier to quantify and collect data and information when conducting research. (Cherry, 2014) Effective therapeutic techniques such as intensive behavioural intervention, behaviour analysis, token economies, and discrete trial training are all rooted in behaviourism. These approaches are often very useful in changing maladaptive or harmful behaviours in both children and adults. (Cherry, 2014) It is also a very scientific approach to psychology.
Some of the weaknesses of behaviourism include that is does not take into account peoples genetic or biological makeup. It also implies that people have little free-will in their conditioning. (McLeod, 2007) It is also not a very humanistic approach; you can’t...