Article on the Psychological Perspective for Health and Social Care


Added on  2022-02-28

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Film and TheatreDisease and DisordersHealthcare and ResearchBiologySociology
SOCIAL CARE January 19, 2016sihaan08
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P1 Explain the principal psychological perspectives
P2 Provide an explanation of the different psychological approaches to health care practice
P3 Provide an explanation of the different psychological approaches to social care practice
M1 assess different psychological approaches to study
M2 compare two psychological approaches to health and social care service provision.
D1 evaluate two psychological approaches to health and Social care service provision.
p1 In this assignment I will explain the principle psychology perspective.
unit 8 psychological perspectives for health and social care
in this assignment I will explain the principal psychological perspectives.
The main psychological perspective
An approach is a perspective that involves certain assumptions about human behaviour, the way
they function, which aspects of them are worthy of study and what research methods are
appropriate for undertaking this study. There may be several different theories within an
approach but they all share these common assumptions. Sometimes people wonder why there are
so many different psychology perspectives and whether one approach is correct and others
wrong. Most psychologists would agree that no one perspective is correct, although in the past in
the early days of psychology, the behaviourist would have said their perspective was the only
true scientific one.
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The psychological perspective is the result of a synthesis of cognitive and behavioral psychology
theories. In this tradition of research, three strategies are clear: (1) the adoption of attitude
change as the most interesting dependent variable, (2) the modeling of communication (i.e.,
persuasion) as a special case of behavioral learning theory, and (3) the reliance on experimental
social psychology for conceptual and methodological research strategies. The basic
communication model proposed by Hovland and Janis (1959) conceived of the communication
situation in terms of message content, source identity, type of channel, and setting operating
through predispositional factors (situational elements that determine what audience members
attend to and how) and internal mediating processes (attention, comprehension, and acceptance)
in order to produce observable communication effects (changes in opinion, perception, affect,
and action). The challenge of a message was to gain the receiver’s interest, then produce the
intended effect with understandable and memorable content. The receiver’s interest, of course,
could be affected by external qualities of the subject of communication or sender, as well as
internal interests, beliefs, and cognitive processing capacities (Andersen, 1972). Thus, the model
retained the linear notion of technical communication theories but adopted a strong emphasis on
the effects component of the communication process.
Main psychological perspectives are:
Behaviourist approach
Social learning theory
Psychodynamic perspective
Biological approaches
Humanist approach
The behaviourist approach
Behaviourism is an approach to psychology that emerged in the early 20th century as a reaction
to the psychoanalytic theory of the time. Psychoanalytic theory often had difficulty making
predictions that could be tested using rigorous experimental methods. The behaviourist school of
thought maintains that behaviours can be described scientifically without recourse either to
internal physiological events or to hypothetical constructs such as thoughts and beliefs. Rather
than focusing on underlying conflicts, behaviourism focuses on observable, overt behaviours that
are learned from the environment.
Its application to the treatment of mental problems is known as behaviour modification. Learning
is seen as behaviour change moulded by experience; it is accomplished largely through either
classical or operant conditioning.
In the second half of the 20th century, behaviourism was expanded through advances in
cognitive theories. While behaviourism and cognitive schools of psychological thought may not
agree theoretically, they have complemented each other in practical therapeutic applications like
cognitive-behavioural therapy, which has been used widely in the treatment of many different
mental disorders, such as phobias, and addiction. Some behaviour therapies employ Skinner’s
theories of operant conditioning: by not reinforcing certain behaviours, these behaviours can be
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Skinner’s radical behaviourism advanced a “triple contingency” model, which explored the links
between the environment, behaviour, and the mind. This later gave rise to applied behaviour
analysis (ABA), in which operant conditioning techniques are used to reinforce positive
behaviours and punish unwanted behaviours.
This approach to treatment has been an effective tool to help children on the autism spectrum,
however, it is considered controversial by many who see it as attempting to change or normalise
autistic behaviours.
Social learning theory
In social learning theory Albert Bandura (1977) states behaviour is learned from the environment
through the process of observational learning. Children observe the people around them
behaving in various ways. Individuals that are observed are called models. In society, children
are surrounded by many influential models, such as parents within the family, characters on
children’s TV, friends within their peer group and teachers at school. Children pay attention to
some of these people (models) and encode their behaviour. At a later time they may imitate the
behaviour they have observed.
They may do this regardless of whether the behaviour is ‘gender appropriate’ or not, but there
are a number of processes that make it more likely that a child will reproduce the behaviour that
its society deems appropriate for its sex. First, the child is more likely to attend to and imitate
those people it perceives as similar to itself. Consequently, it is more likely to imitate behaviour
modelled by people of the same sex. Second, the people around the child will respond to the
behaviour it imitates with either reinforcement or punishment. If a child imitates a model’s
behaviour and the consequences are rewarding, the child is likely to continue performing the
behaviour. If parent sees a little girl consoling her teddy bear and says “what a kind girl you
are”, this is rewarding for the child and makes it more likely that she will repeat the behaviour.
Her behaviour has been reinforced. Reinforcement can be external or internal and can be positive
or negative. If a child wants approval from parents or peers, this approval is an external
reinforcement, but feeling happy about being approved of is an internal reinforcement. A child
will behave in a way which it believes will earn approval because it desires approval. Positive
(or negative) reinforcement will have little impact if the reinforcement offered externally does
not match with an individual’s needs. Reinforcement can be positive or negative, but the
important factor is that it will usually lead to a change in a person’s behaviour. Third, the child
will also take into account of what happens to other people when deciding whether or not to copy
someone’s actions. This is known as vicarious reinforcement. This relates to attachment to
specific models that possess qualities seen as rewarding. Children will have a number of models
with whom they identify. These may be people in their immediate world, such as parents or older
siblings, or could be fantasy characters or people in the media. The motivation to identify with a
particular model is that they have a quality which the individual would like to possess.
Psychodynamic perspective
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In psychology, a psychodynamic theory is a view that explains personality in terms of conscious
and unconscious forces, such as unconscious desires and beliefs. In the early 20th century,
Sigmund Freud proposed a psychodynamic theory according to which personality consists of the
id (responsible for instincts and pleasure-seeking), the superego (which attempts to obey the
rules of parents and society), and the ego (which mediates between them according to the
demands of reality). Psychodynamic theories commonly hold that childhood experiences shape
personality. Such theories are associated with psychoanalysis, a type of therapy that attempts to
reveal unconscious thoughts and desires. Not all psychologists accept psychodynamic theories,
and critics claim the theories lack supporting scientific data. Other theories of personality include
behavioural and humanist theories.
In deliberate contrast to behavioural psychology, psychodynamic psychology ignores the
trappings of science and instead focuses on trying to get ‘inside the head‘ of individuals in order
to make sense of their relationships, experiences and how they see the world. The
psychodynamic approach includes all the theories in psychology that see human functioning
based upon the interaction of drives and forces within the person, particularly unconscious, and
between the different structures of the personality. Our behaviour and feelings as adults
(including psychological problems) are rooted in our childhood experiences.
All behaviour has a cause (usually unconscious), even slips of the tongue. Therefore all
behaviour is determined. Personality is made up of three parts, the id, ego and super-ego.
Behaviour is motivated by two instinctual drives: Eros (the sex drive & life instinct) and
Thanatos (the aggressive drive & death instinct). Both these drives come from the “id”. Parts of
the unconscious mind are in constant conflict with the conscious part of the mind (the ego). This
conflict creates anxiety, which could be dealt with by the ego’s use of defence mechanisms.
Personality is shaped as the drives are modified by different conflicts at different times in
Biological approach
The biological approach believes us to be as a consequence of our genetics and physiology. It is
the only approach in psychology that examines thoughts, feelings, and behaviours from a
biological and thus physical point of view. Therefore, all that is psychological is first
physiological. All thoughts, feeling & behaviour ultimately have a biological cause. A biological
perspective is relevant to the study of psychology in three ways:
1. Comparative method: different species of animal can be studied and compared. This
can help in the search to understand human behaviour.
2. Physiology: how the nervous system and hormones work, how the brain functions,
how changes in structure and/or function can affect behaviour. For example, we could
ask how prescribed drugs to treat depression affect behaviour through their interaction
with the nervous system.
3. Investigation of inheritance: what an animal inherits from its parents, mechanisms
of inheritance (genetics). For example, we might want to know whether high intelligence
is inherited from one generation to the next.
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Each of these biological aspects, the comparative, the physiological and the genetic, can help
explain human behaviour.
Twin studies provide geneticists with a kind of natural experiment in which the behavioural
likeness of identical twins can be compared with the resemblance of dizygotic twins (whose
genetic relatedness is 0.5). In other words, if heredity affects a given trait or behaviour, then
identical twins should show a greater similarity for that trait compared to fraternal twins.
Research using twin studies looks for the degree of concordance (or similarity) between identical
and fraternal (i.e. non-identical) twins. Twins are concordant for a trait if both or neither of the
twins exhibits the trait. Twins are said to be disconcordant for a trait if one shows it and the other
does not. identical twins have the same genetic make-up, and fraternal twins have just 50 per
cent of genes in common. Thus, if concordance rates (which can range from 0 to 100) are
significantly higher for identical twins than for fraternal twins, then this is evidence that genetics
play an important role in the expression of that particular behaviour.
Humanistic approach
Humanistic psychology, also often referred to as humanism, emerged during the 1950s as a
reaction to the psychoanalysis and behaviourism that dominated psychology at the time.
Psychoanalysis was focused on understanding the unconscious motivations that drive behaviour
while behaviourism studied the conditioning processes that produce behaviour. Humanist
thinkers felt that both psychoanalysis and behaviourism were too pessimistic, either focusing on
the most tragic of emotions or failing to take into account the role of personal choice.
Humanistic psychology was instead focused on each individual’s potential and stressed the
importance of growth and self-actualization. During the late 1950s, Abraham Maslow and other
psychologists held meetings to discuss the development of a professional organization devoted to
a more humanist approach to psychology. They agreed that topics such as self-actualization,
creativity, and individuality, and related topics were the central themes of this new approach. In
1961, they officially established the American Association for Humanistic Psychology. The
fundamental belief of humanistic psychology is that people are innately good and that mental and
social problems result from deviations from this natural tendency.
Humanism also suggests that people possess personal agency and that they are motivated to use
this free will to pursue things that will help them achieve their full potential as human beings.
This need for fulfilment and personal growth is a key motivator of all behaviour. People are
continually looking for new ways to grow, to become better, to learn new things, and to
experience psychological growth and self-actualization. The humanist movement had an
enormous influence on the course of psychology and contributed new ways of thinking about
mental health. It offered a new approach to understand human behaviours and motivations and
led to the development of new techniques and approaches to psychotherapy. Some of the major
ideas and concepts that emerged as a result of the humanist movement include an emphasis on
things such as:
Article on the Psychological Perspective for Health and Social Care_5

Hierarchy of needs
M1 assess different psychological approaches to study
In this assignment I will be discussing the strengths and weakness of each psychological
Strengths and weaknesses of the behaviourist approach
The strengths of the behaviourist approach are that behaviourism is based upon observable
behaviours, so it is easier to quantify and collect data and information when conducting research.
Since research and experiment is a very powerful tool in providing explanations and clear
evidences about a certain phenomenon, early theorists and proponents of behaviourism took
pride in initiating the studies of observable behaviours rather than those that cannot be observed
and measured.
Effective therapeutic techniques such as intensive behavioral intervention, behavior analysis,
token economies and discrete trial training are all rooted in behaviorism. These approaches are
often very useful in changing maladaptive or harmful behaviors in both children and adults.
Much has been said about the values of reinforcements like rewards, punishments, Premack
principle and others when it comes to facilitating learning. In conclusion, when these techniques
are properly used and considered, it will aid in learning things. Otherwise, it will be counter-
Another strength of the approach is that it is scientific, for example, Pavlov’s work was used to
create objective and therefore scientific approach to psychology. The approach aims to study
behaviour that is observable and directly measurable. This is done because thoughts and opinions
are operationalised, so that it is possible to analyse and compare behaviours.
The weaknesses of the behaviourist approach are that there is much emphasis on nurture as it
focuses on how the environment affects and shapes behaviour. This means that the role of nature
is ignored, as behaviourists usually ignore that genetic-make up could have an impact on the way
in which we behave. Many internal factors govern behaviour; one example of this is the role of
motivation and emotion are not taken into account in the behaviourist approach.
The behaviourist approach has had many successful applications in the real work (particularly in
the treatment of mental disorders). Pavlov’s work into Classical condition has been applied to
aversion therapy in order to help those with addictions. It has also contributed to systematic
desensitisation to help people who suffer from phobias.
Although this approach has been deemed as overly deterministic, as it suggests behaviours are
learnt through associations made with environmental stimuli and/or the response that we get
(reinforcement). This view states that the environment controls our behaviour and that it’s not
our conscious thought and processes that governs behaviour.
Many critics argue that behaviourism is a one-dimensional approach to understanding human
behaviour and that behavioural theories do not account for free will and internal influences such
Article on the Psychological Perspective for Health and Social Care_6

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