Psychology TOPIC 1

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Freudis known for his vast contributions to psychology for instance, inthe development of the functioning of the mind, where he indicatedthat there are three parts of the mind that are always in conflictthe parts are the superego, ego, and id. Through his theory, Freudmade it possible for individuals to understand how the id, superegoand ego work. He did a thorough exploration of human mind more thanany other person that existed before him. Freud’s theory ofpsychoanalysis will be discussed in this section.

Thepsychoanalytic theory developed by Freud is a theory of personalitythat posits that the personality becomes formed through conflictscreated by the three primary structures of the mind that is, theego, id, and superego. Freud`s psychoanalytic theory is of great helpin the present society since it has assisted in expanding people`sthoughts and understanding the psychology of different personalities.For instance, the prolonged existence of Psychoanalysis has acted asa catalyst to various professionals in psychology related fieldsprompting them to realize the connections, which they could havemissed (Mahleret al., 2008).Also, through the psychoanalytic theory, individuals have been in aposition to understand why they tend to possess some developmentalcharacteristics at a particular stage of development. For instance,it is possible to understand why kids at a particular stage ofdevelopment cannot be in a position to act like an adult.

However,despite the many advantages, Freud`s theory was faced and is stillundergoing several criticisms. For instance, in his explanation ofthe structure of human mind as the key role in psychology, he paidlittle attention to the environment, culture and sociology and theimpact they had on human behavior (Seligman&amp Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).These aspects are important in explaining human mind and sometheorists feel that he should have included them in the analysis ofthe psychoanalytic theory (Mahleret al., 2008).In analyzing the psychoanalytic theory, his theory revolved more onpathology, and he failed to include the normal healthy function ofthe human being(Seligman &amp Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).In addition, most of his theories did not have a firm scientificfoundation and most of them could not be supported most of hisnotions were not falsifiable, lacked empirical data, and thus theywere scientifically invalid(Seligman &amp Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).

Inconclusion, despite the weaknesses, the strengths of thepsychoanalytic theory are very significant, and the theory at anylength should not be disregarded because of the fact that the theorywas discovered centuries ago. It is maintained as among the mosteffective methods of treating mental illness. Again, most parts ofthe theory are accurate and correct it is also comprehensive sinceit has proved to be practical, and contains some valid arguments(Mahleret al., 2008).Therefore, it can be argued that the psychoanalytic theory, which wasdeveloped by Freud is of immense importance because it has beenapplied by physicians in treating patients. Thus, the theory cannotbe ignored.


Thecontrol of behavior is exceedingly critical and can be initiatedthrough different methods. Conditioning emerges as an effectivemethod towards making individuals acquire the desired behavior.Classical and operant conditioning are two forms of conditioning thatwill be discussed in this section.


Classicalconditioning is a kind of passive learning process that involvestrained stimulus, which is a neutral stimulus being paired with theunconditioned stimulus that is usually biologically compelled.Repeated pairing results to some knowledge and the organism may startexhibiting both unconditioned and conditioned response (Clark&amp Squire, 1998).An example of classical conditioning includes the appetizer effectfor instance, in case a certain appetizer becomes introduced in aplace and it was not used before after some time, the appetizerwould be associated with a certain meal, making people go hungry(Clark&amp Squire, 1998).

AccordingtoClark &amp Squire (1998),a Russian man feeding his dogs gives a good example of research doneto show classical conditioning the Russian man realized that everytime the dogs were eating they would salivate a lot, which is anautomatic response. Dogs had learned the sound that was made by thecabinet door where the food was kept so anytime the Russian openedit the dogs started salivating. It was interesting since the Russiandecided to ring a bell as a way of testing whether the dogs hadlearned the sound, so he rang the bell and did not give the dogs foodand the dogs did not salivate. Again, he rang the bell and gave thedog food and they salivated. With time, the dogs automaticallylearned that whenever the bell rang it was time to feed.


Operantconditioning is the form of learning acquired through an individualresponse to stimuli or events that occurs in the environment. It is aprocess of learning that tries to change and modify behavior throughnegative or positive reinforcements that result to an individualassociating a particular behavior with a given consequence (Burns &ampDobson, 2012).

Anexample includes the following a class tutor may decide to awardpoints to those students who are well behaved and quieter. In thiscase, students will learn that they need to be well-behaved and quietso as to attract a lot of points. Thus, the students will usuallyrespond by behaving well and remaining calm in order to attract thepoints (Schwartz &amp Gamzu, 1977).

Inconclusion, the difference between classical conditioning and operantconditioning is that in operant conditioning, a free response isautomatically followed by a reinforcing stimulus whereas, inclassical conditioning, an involuntary response happens because of astimulus.


Sociallearning theory is exceedingly critical in explaining the acquisitionof behavior. For instance, it is possible to explain a certainbehavior exhibited by an individual in a social context. In thissection, social learning theory and the Bobo doll experiments will bediscussed.

AccordingtoAkers(2009), social learning theory is a combination of cognitive theory,which states that learning is triggered by the psychological factorsand behavioral theory, which says that knowledge, is acquired throughresponse to environmental stimuli. With an integration of the twoapproaches, four necessities of learning proved to be significant andthey include observing the environment, retention of what isobserved, reproduction, and motivation (Bandura, 1977).

Bobodoll experiments

Bandura(1977) carried out an investigation trying to justify his credencethat human behaviors were learned and acquired through factors likeobserving and copying rather than being genetically acquired. As aresult, he came up with Bobo doll experiments which he used differentsubjects to demonstrate aggressiveness and non-aggressiveness.

Settingup the experiments

Banduraselected some children from the local nursery school with age varyingfrom 2 to 5 years and an average of 4 years and four months. Tojustify his first prediction of boys being more aggressive, he chose36 children of each sex. He also selected a control group of 24children, which were never to see any adult role model. Another groupof 24 children was to be exposed to aggressive adults in which 12were to be tested using male character and another using the femaleparadigm. The next group had the same structure as the previous andthe outstanding difference is that they were to be tested usingnon-aggressive adults. It was noteworthy to pre-select children withsimilar spread of personality across all the groups.


Theresults of the Bobo doll experiments demonstrated, as per thepredictions, that the children who were open to the elements ofdynamic role models were most likely to exhibit the same behavior.Measuring verbal aggression proved that children are more likely toimitate that behavior from their role model, which was expressedalmost the same in both boys and girls. Actors in the control modelproved to some extent imitating aggressive behavior, partiallyfulfilling the third prediction.

SocialLearning Theory and Video Games

Principlesof social learning have been applied substantially and extensively inthe study of different fields, including media violence. Variousresearchers have found out that there is a significant relationshipbetween watching and playing violent video games and aggression laterin life. Social learning theory explains that behavior can beacquired through direct experience or from role models, which canoccur apparently via media. In this case, media displays long-termand short-term effects in an individual. Short-term effects areattributed to mimicry, arousal, and priming (Anderson&amp Dill, 2000).


Sociallearning theory has played a significant role in influencing otherpsychologists also, it has proved to have significant implicationsin the field of education, behaviors, and role models. In today`ssociety, both parents and teachers have the insight on the importanceof modeling positive behaviors. However, this theory does not fullyexplain about behavior especially when it comes to an individual wholacks a role model to imitate. Generally, social learning theory isvery critical.


Brainstructure and its function

Thehuman brain is a specialized organ, which is ultimately dependable onall the movements and thoughts that happen in the body of a humanbeing. Its varied parts carry out different functions resulting toproper functioning of the body. In this section, varied brainstructures and damages will be discussed.

Brainconsists of different parts in which every part has its uniquefunction that allows the human being to interact with the environmentefficiently. The different brain structures are specialized to enablethem in carrying out their unique functions (Schmolcket al., 2002).

Casesof brain damage


PhineasGage was a common American, who was a supervisor on a givenconstruction site. His case was incredibly exceptional, and hevolunteered to be used in extensive studies in neuroscience. Hesurvived a major accident in which a rod was driven through his headdamaging most of his brain parts especially the frontal lobe of thebrain. This accident led to the effects that completely changed hispersonality and behavior and he was no longer the Gage people knew.His frontal cortex and part of his white matter were partly damagedleading to a total loss in the collective exhibition. His socialcognition and decision-making deteriorated with time. The limbicsystem was also damaged affecting regulation of the emotions, andthat explained some of the behaviors that were exhibited by Mr. Gageafter the accident.


HenryMolaison was an important case in the history of brain science. Hesuffered from epilepsy, which was as a result of the head injury thathe sustained when he was seven years old. The increasing severity ofhis seizures led to his surgery that led to him getting amnesia. Hesuffered severe memory loss and he could not remember anything thathappened before the surgery(Schmolck et al., 2002).

Braindamage case studies are valuable since they provide an opportunityfor researchers to carry out the comprehensive analysis of the brain,its functions, and effects on personality and behavior. However, ithas some limitations researchers are not in a position to tellexactly the extent of the brain damage that leads to exhibition ofparticular behavior


Thebrain is a complex system that controls everything that human beingsdo. Each part of the brain carries different functions, and efficientcoordination is required among the various parties. From the two casestudies, it is clear that the brain is in charge of people`sbehaviors, feelings, and thoughts. Therefore, in case of braindamage, the brain is incapacitated to function appropriately and anindividual may become largely impacted by these damages.


Thereare different mental disorders and schizophrenia is one of them.Schizophrenia may be well explained through the diathesis-stresstheory. Different researchers have associated schizophrenia withstress and have suggested that keeping away from stressingenvironment may help in keeping away schizophrenia (Chase, 2013). Inthis section, schizophrenia and the diathesis-stress theory will bediscussed.


AccordingtoGottesman (1991),schizophrenia is a mental disorder, which presents individuals withdelusions, loss of personality, social withdrawal, agitations, andconfusion. Sometimes, individuals having schizophrenia may show signsof lost personality through their actions and conduct. For instance,individuals that have schizophrenia may use vulgar language withouteven his/her knowledge and may also talk to himself/herself or mumblethings that one cannot understand. Schizophrenia mostly appears toaffect the adolescents or early adulthood individuals. Adolescentsthat are usually exposed to stressing environment may be easilyaffected by the condition while individuals in the early adulthoodmay be affected by the condition due to exposure of life stresses.Also, biological factors may make these individuals become exposed toschizophrenia. However, it can occur at any time in life (Chase,2013).


Sometheories attempt to explain the origin of schizophrenia.Diathesis-stress theory is one of the theories that have been seekingto fulfill the actual cause of the disease. This theory states thatschizophrenia is because of the combination of genetic or biologicalfactors and environmental factors (Scheid&amp Brown, 2010).The theory explains that environmental factors trigger schizophrenicsymptoms also, called stressors are acting on biologicalvulnerability or diathesis, to the condition. According to thetheory, environmental factors or stressors are in numerous varietiesfrom natural, social, to psychological stressors (Chase, 2013).Additionally, diathesis-stress theory has a scientific support sinceresearchers have found out that there are genetic or hereditarycomponents that cause schizophrenia. Again, the presence or absenceof particular stressors explains why not not everyone who isgenetically vulnerable ends up with the disease.

Oneof the concrete strength of diathesis-stress theory is that itrecognizes both nature and nurture as the key player in causingschizophrenia. The negative side of the argument is that it is wellknown that the researchers have never come up with an ultimate causeof a mental illness, but the diathesis-stress theory emphasizes thatit is either biological factors or environmental factors that canlead an individual to have a mental illness (Chase, 2013). Emanatingfrom this strength, the theory has been in a position to assistphysicians to offer health alternatives in the treatment ofschizophrenia since they can alter environmental factors of thepatients when offering treatments.


Schizophreniais common all over the world and may affect different individuals.The severity of its symptoms and chronic patterns usually causes ahigh degree of disability. Despite several theories trying to explainthe causes of schizophrenia, the exact cause is yet to beestablished, and researchers are working their way out to come upwith causes and possible treatment since the current treatment doesnot cure the disease but rather suppresses the symptoms. Therefore,it is important to conduct further studies in the future in order tocome up with real causes of schizophrenia as well as the appropriatetreatment.


Akers,R. L. (2009). Sociallearning and social structure: A general theory of crime anddeviance.New Brunswick [N.J.: Transaction Publishers.

Anderson,C. A., &amp Dill, K. E. (2000). Video games and aggressive thoughts,feelings, and behavior in the laboratory and in life. Journalof personality and social psychology,78(4),772.

Bandura,A. (1977). Social learning theory.

Burns,R. B., &amp Dobson, C. B. (2012). IntroductoryPsychology.Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

Chase,R. (2013). Schizophrenia:A brother finds answers in biological science.Baltimore : The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Clark,R. E., &amp Squire, L. R. (1998). Classical conditioning and brainsystems: the role of awareness. Science,280(5360),77-81.

Gottesman,I. I. (1991). Schizophreniagenesis: The origins of madness.WH Freeman/Times Books/Henry Holt &amp Co.

Mahler,M. S., Pine, F., &amp Bergman, A. (2008). Thepsychological birth of the human infant: Symbiosis and individuation.Basic Books.

Scheid,T. L., &amp Brown, T. N. (2010). Ahandbook for the study of mental health: Social contexts, theories,and systems.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Schmolck,H., Kensinger, E. A., Corkin, S., &amp Squire, L. R. (2002).Semantic knowledge in patient HM and other patients with bilateralmedial and lateral temporal lobe lesions. Hippocampus,12(4),520-533.

Schwartz,B., &amp Gamzu, E. (1977). Pavlovian control of operant behavior: Ananalysis of autoshaping and its implications for operantconditioning.

Seligman,M. E., &amp Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positivepsychology: An introduction(Vol. 55, No. 1, p. 5). American Psychological Association.

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