Psychoanalysis can assist in determining what is going on in the unconscious mind, but it will not address the problem. Behaviorism may observe the problem and perhaps seek to address it through conditioning tactics. Positive reinforcement is used in the humanistic approach. It teaches that people should only be given rewards for good behavior, not punishment for bad behavior.
Humanism is different from both psychoanalysis and behaviorism because it takes a holistic view of humans. The focus in humanism is on how people think and act, rather than just their symptoms or behaviors. Psychoanalysis focuses on unconscious thoughts and feelings, while behaviorism centers on learned responses to stimuli. Both approaches are necessary to provide complete assessments of patients.
Humanists also use reason and evidence to reach conclusions about what is going on within people's minds. Freud believed that dreams reveal our hidden desires and emotions, for example. But we now know this is not always the case: Some people report happy dreams about saving someone's life, while others dream about killing them. In such cases, psychologists must look to other factors for an explanation. Humanists would conclude that these people have different roles in society and experience different amounts of pleasure from their actions. They might try to bring these individuals into contact with other people who don't feel like killers or heroes, which could help them deal with their issues.
Psychoanalysis investigates the subconscious and considers introspection. Personal thoughts after an action is shown are taken into consideration by behaviorism. Behaviorism focuses at the conscious mind to understand why individuals act the way they do. Psychoanalysis examines behavior and activities in isolation from everything else. It tries to understand what causes something like a phobia to develop.
Analysis of unconscious mental processes is one of the major differences between psychoanalysis and behaviorism. The goal of analysis for a psychoanalyst is to improve communication between the patient's conscious and unconscious minds by looking at their relationships with each other. This can be done by exploring memories, dreams, and present-day behaviors. The aim is to increase understanding of oneself and others.
In behaviorism, only behaviors that produce a reward or punishment are considered important. The idea is that if you repeat a behavior that produces a reward, you will want to repeat it again and again. If you perform a behavior that produces a punishment, you will avoid doing it again. Mental processes such as feelings are not considered important since they are assumed to have no effect on behavior.
The language used by psychoanalysts is often abstract and difficult for others to understand. This is because many patients come for treatment because of problems they are having communicating their emotions, which affects how they relate to others.
Humanistic psychologists examine human behavior not just from the perspective of the spectator, but also from the perspective of the person performing the behaving. Humanistic psychologists think that a person's conduct is linked to his inner sentiments and self-image. Thus, they believe that understanding how others perceive us is essential in explaining why some people act the way they do.
As we have seen, the main tenet of humanism is that man is a rational being who chooses to act on instinct. Therefore, a humanist psychology must account for both our conscious and unconscious decisions when studying human behavior. In other words, it must be cognitive and motivational psychology combined with an understanding of what influences these decisions.
Cognitive psychology focuses on how humans process information through their senses. It is therefore responsible for explaining how we see, hear, taste, feel, smell, and touch everything around us. Cognitive psychologists study how the mind works by testing its limits - such as memory capacity and visual perception speed. They also try to improve individual mental abilities by developing training programs based on learning theories (such as behavioral conditioning or mnemonics) designed to maximize specific skills such as memory retention or recognition.
Motivational psychology investigates what causes us to act one way or another. It looks at things like rewards and punishments to determine how people respond to different situations.
Humanism rejects the assumptions of the behaviorist viewpoint, which is deterministic, centered on reinforcement of stimulus-response behavior, and mainly reliant on animal studies. They believe that people have a capacity for reason and free will that should not be ignored or suppressed when dealing with psychological problems.
Humanists also disagree with psychoanalysts over the importance they place on unconscious mental processes. While psychoanalysts believe that everything we do is motivated by something inside us called the "id", the humanistic view is that we make choices based on our values and goals, which may or may not be conscious. The id is only one of many factors that go into choosing how to act, and it is possible to feel deeply emotional about something and still make a rational choice about action. Psychologists who are humanists often refer to the work of William James, who developed a theory of consciousness that includes all levels of feeling, from basic emotions like joy and anger to more complex states like love and hate.
James believed that while the mind was capable of knowing very small details, such as when someone's eye color changes when they are angry, it was also able to comprehend larger concepts, such as morality.
Psychology, according to behaviorists, is a totally objective experimental field of natural science. Its theoretical purpose is behavior prediction and control. Psychology, according to its broad adherents, is a study of the science of consciousness phenomena. It is concerned with how and why people think and act as they do. Psychological theories are developed to explain these processes and sometimes to suggest ways for them to be altered or modified.
The importance of psychology to governments and society is reflected in the fact that psychologists have their own government-sponsored organization: the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA has divided its members into three groups: those who specialize in clinical work with individuals, those who research mental processes, and those who teach in universities.
Behaviorism, the official school of psychology until the early 1950s, was popular among politicians and the public because it seemed to offer solutions for many social problems. Behaviorists believed that humans could be trained to do anything, including behave properly. They argued that if you gave criminals an opportunity to repeat certain behaviors over and over again, they would eventually learn to behave properly.
In reality, this was not at all how things worked. Training programs based on behaviorism were found to be ineffective, and some scientists believe they may even cause more harm than good. However, behaviorism still influences how psychologists view issues such as crime, punishment, and human nature.