The job of a Psychologist is to describe, explain, predict, …

The job of a Psychologist is to describe, explain, predict, and possibly change behavior.  Toward this end, different psychological perspectives have emerged in order to explain behavior.  These include the neuroscience, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic perspectives.  Describe three (3) of these perspectives and illustrate each perspective by using an example from everyday life.  Which perspective do you think has the most relevance in today’s society, and why? Be sure to provide the URL link(s) and/or title(s) to any resource used as reference in your post.

Psychology is a multifaceted field that seeks to understand human behavior and its underlying processes. Over time, various psychological perspectives have emerged, each offering a unique lens through which behavior can be explained. This essay will discuss three of these perspectives: the behavioral perspective, the cognitive perspective, and the humanistic perspective. Examples from everyday life will be used to illustrate each perspective. Finally, an argument will be made for the perspective that is most relevant in today’s society.

The behavioral perspective, also known as behaviorism, focuses on the external factors that influence behavior, such as stimuli and reinforcements. One example of this perspective in action is the use of rewards to modify behavior. Let’s consider a child who struggles with doing chores around the house. A parent using the behavioral perspective may implement a reward system, where the child receives a small treat or privilege for completing their chores. This approach aims to reinforce the desired behavior of doing chores and increase the likelihood of its occurrence in the future (Cherry, 2021).

The cognitive perspective, on the other hand, emphasizes the role of mental processes in shaping behavior. It explores how individuals perceive, process, and interpret information from their environment. An example of this perspective can be seen in the phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance. Suppose a person holds the belief that smoking is harmful to their health, but they themselves are a smoker. This inconsistency creates cognitive dissonance, causing discomfort and a desire to change either the belief or the behavior. In response, the individual may either quit smoking or rationalize their behavior by minimizing the perceived risks (McLeod, 2018).

In contrast to the behavioral and cognitive perspectives, the humanistic perspective focuses on individual growth and self-determination. It emphasizes the impact of personal experiences, choices, and values on behavior. To illustrate this perspective, let’s consider a person who is unhappy with their current career. Taking a humanistic approach, they may reflect on their own values, passions, and goals to determine a career path that aligns with their individual needs and desires. The focus is on self-actualization, personal fulfillment, and reaching one’s potential (Cherry, 2021).

When considering the most relevant perspective in today’s society, the cognitive perspective emerges as particularly relevant. This is because cognitive processes play a fundamental role in the ways individuals perceive and interact with the world, including the impact of technology and digital media on behavior. With the pervasive use of smartphones and social media, individuals are constantly bombarded with information and stimuli. Understanding how cognitive processes influence behavior in these contexts is crucial.

For instance, cognitive psychology research has identified the phenomenon of digital distraction, where individuals struggle to maintain focus and attention due to the constant availability of digital devices and notifications (Rosen, Carrier, & Cheever, 2013). Furthermore, cognitive biases, such as confirmation bias and availability heuristic, influence individuals’ decision-making processes and information consumption in an era of widespread misinformation and fake news (Kahneman, 2011).

In conclusion, psychology offers various perspectives to explain behavior, including the behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic perspectives. Each perspective brings unique insights into the understanding of human behavior and its underlying processes. While the behavioral perspective emphasizes external influences, the cognitive perspective focuses on mental processes, and the humanistic perspective examines individual growth and self-determination. In today’s society, the cognitive perspective is particularly relevant due to the pervasive influence of technology on cognitive processes and behavior. Understanding these cognitive processes is essential for navigating the complexities of the modern world, including digital distraction and information biases.

References:

Cherry, K. (2021). Overview of Psychology’s Perspectives. Verywell Mind. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/psychological-perspectives-2795008

Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. Macmillan.

McLeod, S. (2018). Cognitive Dissonance. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-dissonance.html

Rosen, L. D., Carrier, L. M., & Cheever, N. A. (2013). Facebook and texting made me do it: Media-induced task-switching while studying. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 948-958.