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Psychology: Skinner

Skinner makes few assumptions about human nature, but he does grant that each person inherits a genetic structure that yields both general characteristics of the human species an unique characteristics of the individual. In this topic we will discuss in comparison the theories associated withe Freud, Skinner, and Rogers. Their approaches to their theories and their relevance to modern society.

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Freud’s psychoanalytic approach, Skinners radical behaviorism, and Rogers’ humanistic views which actually constitute three different psychologies.

Psychoanalysis, it will be seen, emphasizes inconcious personality dynamics. Freud concentrated on unraveling what he believed to be at the core of human personality: the hidden forces and conflicts that are buried deep within the psyche.

In contrast to Freud, B. F. Skinner avoids going inside the person to explain behavior. Whereas Freud’s ideas were influenced by his interactions with troubled patients, Skinner’s basic assumptions were derived from studies of laboratory animals and were then extended to the human level. The behavioral psychology that Skinner developed is radical in its emphasis on external conditions as causes of behaviour. While ageeing that our thoughts and feelins are important to us personally, he does not believe that these internal states determine what we do.

Carl Rogers’ humanistic psychology, the third approach to be considered, differs from psychanalysis and radical behaviourism in significant ways. Rogers, for example, disagrees with Freud’s view that humans are motivated primarily by sexual and aggressive drives. He asserts that fully functioning persons want to fulfill and enhance all their potentialities and that it is pessimistic and limiting to assume that sex and aggression are the most basic forces within us.

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