Essay about Theory: Psychology and Evolutionary Social Psychology

Submitted By aihiaj
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Aspects of Psychology
14 July 2013
Professor Shearer

Theories of Psychology .

Behaviorist approaches are different from most other perspectives because they view people as controlled by their environment and specifically that we are the result of what we have learned from our environment. The early philosophical base for this learning perspective of personality is English philosopher, John Locke (1632-1704) who viewed the new born baby as a blank slate - tabula rasa - on whom the experience of life would write a specific story.
It is interesting to realize that one of the earliest contributors to learning theory, Ivan Pavlov, was not even researching personality when he discovered something that later resulted in his receipt of the Noble prize. This Russian physiologist was studying the digestive processes in dogs. He had surgically implanted tubes in the checks of dogs to study the reflexive secretion of saliva during eating when he noticed a curious thing: after several feedings the dogs started salivating when they saw food being brought to them rather than when the food was placed in their mouths. He hypothesized that the dogs were responding to the sight of the food. To prove this, he presented food with the clicking of a metronome and discovered that the dogs soon began to salivate simply by hearing the metronome. This is how Pavlov discovered classical conditioning.
Cognitive theory is a learning theory of psychology that attempts to explain human behavior by understanding the thought processes. The assumption is that humans are logical beings that make the choices that make the most sense to them. information processing is a commonly used description of the mental process, comparing the human mind to a computer. Pure cognitive theory largely rejects behaviorism on the basis that behaviorism reduces complex human behavior to simple cause and effect. However, the trend in past decades has been towards merging the two into a comprehensive cognitive-behavioral theory. This allows therapists to use techniques from both schools of thought to help clients achieve their goals. Social cognitive theory is a subset of cognitive theory. Primarily focused on the ways in which we learn to model the behavior of others, social cognitive theory can be seen in advertising campaigns and peer pressure situations. It is also useful in the treatment of psychological disorders including phobias.
Evolutionary psychology is not a distinct branch of psychology, but rather a theoretical lens that is currently informing all branches of psychology. It is based on a series of logically consistent and well-confirmed premises: (1) that evolutionary processes have sculpted not merely the body, but also the brain, the psychological mechanisms it houses, and the behavior it produces; (2) many of those mechanisms are best conceptualized as psychological adaptations designed to solve problems that historically contributed to survival and reproduction, broadly conceived; (3) psychological adaptations, along with byproducts of those adaptations, are…