The field of Psychology Essay

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The field of Psychology
In its earliest stages, psychology’s questions focused on the study of the mind and the behaviors that result from what goes on in it.
The earlier theories asked and attempted to answer questions such as:
1) What is the mind?
2) What is the relationship to the brain?
3) If the mind and brain are not the same thing but are somehow related, how do we study what we cannot see?
4) What roles do biology (nature) and environment play in complex human behavior?
5) How does the human mind develop and change over time?
As pioneer psychologists contemplated these questions, different psychological schools emerged. Schools of thought (or the different branches within psychology) involve systematic and structured ways of approaching questions. The psychological schools of thought include:
Psychodynamic
Early in the 20th century, psychologists began to develop psychodynamic theories as a new approach to the therapy (based on Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory). These theories are based on the belief that unlocking the unconscious mind is the key to understanding human behavior and relationships. Early childhood experiences are also seen as important to understanding a person’s personality, motivation, and behavior.
1) Major theorists in Psychology:
Freud (1856-1939)
Developed a theory about human consciousness as consisting of 3 parts:
1) ID: instinctual aspect run by the “pleasure principle” (inner child in you)
2) Ego: the ration part of the mind, the “reality check” suppresses urges of ID
3) Superego: moral centre is minds conscious (makes you feel bad for doing something wrong)
Freud said that some people use denial as a self mechanism to deal with emotions, and displace their feeling elsewhere.
Freud and the Unconscious mind
Freud’s belief that much of the human mind was unconscious, led him to theorize that:
The ego uses defense mechanisms to distort reality in order to deal with anxiety.
Repression: the ego represents unacceptable feelings and memories from consciousness, so that they remain below the surface; finding and interpreting these repressed feelings and memories allow patients to gain personal insight.
The ego may use denial as a defense mechanism to deal with painful experiences.
Displacement: People needed safe outlets to deal with unacceptable feelings of sexuality or aggression and often displaced their feelings onto other subjects or people.

The unconscious mind (Freud)
Freud ice berg concept of unconscious

Carl Jung
Initiated the field of analytical psychology. This field of psychology seeks to understand motivation, believing the motivation is based on the conscious and unconscious mind, which considered, from the psyche. Achieving a balanced psyche, in his opinion, would enable people to reach their highest potential.
Believed that there are 2 parts to the unconscious, the personal unconscious (unique to everyone) and the collective unconscious (memories from our ancestors that are shared by all human beings)
Believed there were universal archetypes (certain things and symbols that reappear over time which include models of people’s behaviors and personalities. For instance, the “mother” is an archetype that represents caring and nurturing people usually feel emotionally connected to such archetypes when in Jung’s opinion indicates that they are deeply ingrained in out psyche.
Believed that examining dreams, fantasies, and past experiences was useful for understanding the unconscious mind or self.
Carl Jung also made significant contributions to the understanding of personality, which can be defined as an individual’s typical pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting. He divided personality into 2 main types: introverted and extroverted. To this he added his 4 functional types: thinking (uses reason), feeling (uses emotion), sensation (uses 5 senses), and intuition (uses perception). Our conscious mind is believed, gravitated to…