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The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay

The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay

In this essay it’ll be important to adress a few matters of ‘How useful psychology is in every day life’.

Psychology is not a single subject matter of business as infact it can be pinned right down to a great deal of coalated specialities for example developmental mindset, clinical mindset, cognitive psychology, psysiological psychology which all have different focus points.

Developmental mindset has a focus point on studying the age-related changes which occur in every living beings over the life span. Over the otherhand, clinical psychology is more based on finding the triggers and treatment of emotional disorders and adjusment problems for example phobias and depression. Whereas psysiological psychology is principally about the learning the link which is between the brain and behaviour. Cognitive psychology thought is focused on examining the greater fundermental problems with respect to mental operations such as notion, thinking, memory space and words. The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay.

With the given illustrations above, another elements of this essay will be focusing on one or two of these subject areas in psychology to help better the notion of ‘how psychology pays to in everyday life. ‘

The main matter for discussion will be specialized medical psychology as this is a very key part of everyday living and especially those who strugle with disorders and other various things.

When Analysis, treatment, and avoidance of mental disorders and disabilities are stated with regards to mindset then it is normal refered to as ‘clinical psychology. ‘

With clinical mindset, a variety of difficulties are tackled and dealt with. Psychological problems such as: unhappiness, anxiety, learning problems, romantic relationship problems, phobias, child and family problems and serious mental health illnesses.

Those who are specialized medical psychologists work typically in health insurance and social care setings this including hospitals, community health teams, child and adolescent mental health services and sociable services, health centers, attention homes etc. In these settings, clinical psychologists usually work as with a team of professionals for example interpersonal workers, medical practitioners as the majority of these folks work within the constraints of the Country wide Health Service.


As the question for this essay is ‘How useful is psychology in everyday life. ?’ and medical psychology is pretty much linked to unnatural mindset which is the nature and development of unusual behaviour, thoughts, emotions associated with stress or ‘impaired performing that’s not a culturally expected reaction to a meeting. ‘

Psychological analysis helps us to comprehend that the most obvious of stress is distressing events that happen to be situations of extreme risk which are outside the selection of any individuals experience. A whole lot of people proceed through a specific group of psychological effect after traumatic happenings (Horowitz, 1986).

With this at heart, mindset becomes helpful in everyday activity as in that situation, it would highlight the reason for stress, the symptoms and or whether or not the specific has been diagnosed with any other conditions. The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay.

There as also some studies which were conducted by psychologists which showcase the effect of certain incidents which occur. Some of these studies recommended that women and men show high levels of stress, depresion, dismay and a lot of other signals of emotional distress within the first six months after they’ve been traumatised through rape or other assualts (Duncan et al. , 1996; Kessler et al. , 1997).

So with studies like the above mentioned in place, psychology is then very useful as it helps to device ways of treatment for such people.

Although, the diathesis-stress style of mental health problems brings bout the idea that a lot of people have a long-term vulnerability factor which when mixed in with a proximal stressor contributes to psychological idsorder. Which means that in some cases, it is not only the diathesis or the stressor that lead to symptoms but infact that both must be there (Hewstone, Fincham and Foster. pg 319)

The effectiveness of psychology in this situation is that it can help to understand what disorders are, what they appear to be, how they improve and what the sources of these disorders are and then approaching to a summary on some the actual biological and psychological causes of these disorders.

Generally, psychology attempts to understand the corellation between human being behaviour and the brain, the environment, the problem etc. In doing this, it introduces visitors to the knowledge of why people respond using ways and keen studies such as the communal learning theory which suggests that individuals learn behaviour through observation and basically imitating what they monitor. The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay.

The question asked is how useful is mindset in everyday activity? the above mentioned paragraph paints the picture that mindset is useful in everyday routine as it can help better the knowledge of individuals through the idea that people only learn and duplicate what they see. Furthermore psychologists, psychiatrists and other medical perosnal can find ways to counteract any negative behaviours discovered from child years etc.

In the eitheenth century, there was an instance of a young youngster in France who was raised only in a forest in southern France called Aveyron (Papalia, Olds & Feldman, 2007). The young boy roamed about in the forest looking for food and was sometimes spotted by nearby villagers. He was always naked, filthy and covered with marks (Yousef, 2001).

January 1800 was when it was determined the boy had to be caught which was done in a tanner’s garden in the French community of Saint-Sernin as the young man was burrowing for fruit and vegetables.

It was described that the guy was four. 5 feet tall but it was believed that he appeared of roughly around the age of 12 or 13 (Lane 1976). The young man was presented with the name Victor and was carefully analyzed.

Externally, Victor appeared like some other typical young son but he could not speak and may only make “wierd, meaningless cries” and he refused to wear any clothes. The young man refused to react to other folks around him by not paying attention to folks around him and ignoring anything anyone was doing. The health professionals suggested the belief that Victor had been abandoned from an extremely young age and with no connections with other humans he previously learned to provide for himself in his own way. After these examinations Vitor was sent to Paris. Both medical doctors who Victor was sent to possessed different views of why Victor behaved in the manner he did. The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay. One thought that it was anticipated to character (which is Victors inborn features) which induced Victors behavioural habits however the other (Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard) assumed it was simply down to nurture. Itard assumed that Victor could learn and taught how to match into the society of that time period.

This wasn’t the truth as in the area of 5years, Victor never learned to properly converse but still didn’t service much about social relationships as his main target was on his own personal desires. This suggests that Victor couldn’t really survived by himself in the so called ‘civilised’ world as he previously done in the wild.

The details which are supposed to be derived from Victors are why do we act the way we do? and mindset pays to in such circumstances as it can help to understand problems such as Victors through careful, standard research and research.

In life every individual face challenging times and challenging people, so it is vital to get genral understanding of the personality and behaviours of these which come into contact on a daily basis. Psychology pays to as it provides such knowledge so a general summary of the whole situation is obtained.

Psychology provides light to the knowledge which is of the mind and this is its advantages and also in its weaknesses this can help visitors to quickly analys the situations they are simply facing and come up with solutions to face these situations. Socrates quoted as expressing ” look after your psyche, know thyself, for onces we realize ourselves, we might understand how to look after others. ‘

Putting what has been said so into much thought and awareness, psychology is very useful in everyday activity as it helps to develop understanding for certain types of behaviours like aggresive behavior. In such instances psychology opens gates to help us understand this through studying the mind cell, human hormones, inherited characterictics, socialising regarding and with parents, the stimuli leading up to the aggressive behaviour. Pshycology has helped people battling with aggressive behahaviour as through emotional review, it is grasped that compulsive assault is a result of and is associated with tumours and harm to a particular area of the brain which is the temporal lobe (Elliot, 1988). The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay.

In everyday living, psychology shows that being able to control to regulate ones emotions and understand the feelings of individuals around is a major area of the relationships people are involved in. Daniel Golesman (1995) remarks that having a higher emotionally intelligence quotient is actually more important in life than your IQ.

In conclusion, psychology is an integral part of each day life as it has been involved in the majority of studies which were conducted on some of the life intimidating health issues. Through such studies, psychologists have been involved in determining various diseases like parkinson’s disease, alzheimer’s disease and other neurological diseases. Through psychology, doctors were able to develop medicines and even mitigate some diseases.

In conditions of lifestyle and everyday living, psychology pays to as it includes methods for folks to get determined for instance most players have psychologists who bring forth various motivational solutions to spur them on before a meeting. Psychology may also be a helpful tool to supporting individuals enhance their command skills, imrpove communication, improve personal ram, make more precise and accurate decisions, get better grades through things like research methods and ram training and many others. Psychology is a very important and useful discipline for everyday living.

Hogg, A, M. Vaughan, M, G. (2008). Friendly psychology. 5th edn. London. Pearson: Prentice Hall

Hewstone, M. Finchman, F, D. Foster, J. (2005). Mindset. Oxford UK. The English Psychological Culture and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay.

Atkinson, R, L. Atkinson, R, C. Smith E, E. Bem, D, J. Hoeksema S, N. (2000). Hilgard’s Intro to Mindset. 13th edn. Orlando. Harcourt college publishers

Horowitz, M. (1986). Stress-responce syndromes: A review of postraumatic and adjusment disoders. Medical center & Community psychiatry, 37, 241-249.

Duncan, R. D. , & Saunders, B, E. , Kilpatrick, D. G. , Hanson, R. F. , & Resnick, H. S. (1996). Years as a child physical assault as a risk factor for PTSD, depression, and substance abuse: Studies from a national review. American journal of Orthopsychiatry, 66, 437-448

Kessler, R. C. , Davis, C. G. , & Kendler, K. S. (1997). Years as a child adversity and adult psychiatric disorder in america Country wide comorbidity survery. Psychological medication, 27, 1101-1119

Elliot, F. A 1988, ‘Neurological factors’ in V. B. Van Hasselt, R. L. Morrison, A. S. Bellack, & M. Hersen (eds), Handbook of family Assault, Plenum Press, NY.

Socrates. (n. d. ). BrainyQuote. com. Retrieved January 3, 2011, from BrainyQuote. com Web site: http://www. brainyquote. com/quotes/quotes/s/socrates163092. html

Psychologists use different approaches in Psychology using different assumptions and theories to study and explain human behaviour and mental processes; these are behavioural, biological and psychodynamic approaches. This essay will assess and look at key assumptions, theories, evidence and will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. The approaches will be used to apply criminal behaviour. The essay will also consider the nature versus nurture debate, nature is the behaviour we are born with and nurture is behaviour which develops due to our environment.The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay.

Eysenck (2006) identified key assumptions of the behavioural approach that we all learn by association. The second assumption of behaviourist approach is that it’s primarily concerned with observable behaviour thus ignoring internal mental processes .The third assumption is that there is very little difference in the learning that happens in humans and the learning that happens in animals. This means that behaviourists can generalise from non- human animals to human behaviour. The fourth fundamental assumption of this approach is that psychology should be studied as a science and should be investigated scientifically.

Pavlov 1902 cited in Eysenck ,(2009) investigated behaviour and discovered the theory of classical conditioning. The latter is associating a stimulus that brings about a specific response with a new stimulus, so that the new stimulus also brings about the same response. Pavlov used an experimental method with dogs. Before conditioning Pavlov offered food to the dog which acted as the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) and salivation increased, he referred to this as the unconditioned response (UCR). He also rang a bell which he called the neutral stimulus (NS) and the dog did not respond. During conditioning Pavlov used the NS together with the UCS and the dogs salivated (UCR). After conditioning Pavlov rang the bell (conditioned response) and now the dogs had learned a link between the bell and their reflex response (salivation) hence salivating (conditioned response).

This theory supports the assumption that learning in animals and humans is similar as fundamental form of learning and can be used in parenting to modify children’s behaviour. A further advantage of this study is that the experimental scientific method used by Pavlov in his research ensured that the data obtained was objective and the findings replicable making it credible.The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay.  It is also valuable because it allows us to anticipate events and change behaviour. One limitation of this study is that Bandura a neo behaviourist accepted that this view of ignoring internal mental processes was limited and have agreed that internal as well as external factors determine behaviour.

This study lacks external validity because it does not generalise the real world. A further limitation is that Pavlov used dogs in his research and since humans are complex beings, Watson and Raynor (1920) studied baby Albert and concluded that classical conditioning can produce a change of behaviour in humans’ .In the nature versus nurture debate this approach fits in the nurture because behaviourists assumed that behaviour is determined by learning and environmental factors totally ignoring genetic factors therefore making it a weakness Eysenck (2009).

In contrast to behaviourism the psychodynamic approach is an interactionist approach because acknowledges both the nature and nurture. The Ego and the Superego develops parents and environment and the Id we are born with it. Psychodynamic approach has assumptions that our feelings and behaviours in adulthood are strongly influenced by childhood experience. Another assumption is that relationships are of primary importance to our feelings and behaviour. The third core fundamental assumption to this approach is feelings and behaviours are powerfully affected by the drives and instincts of the unconscious; finally unlocking the unconscious is the key to understanding behaviour Hill (2002). The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay.

Freud, 1923 cited in Eysenck (2006) explains that Freud discovered a number of theories in psychodynamic approach, for example, the structural model of personality theory .In this theory Freud discovered that personality is divided into three parts, Id, Ego and Superego. The Id is the pleasure principle of personality that a person is born with. The Ego is the reality principle that is conscious and rational and develops around the age of two years. Finally, the Superego is the morality principle that develops around the age of five and is the ethical or moral part of personality.

These three different parts of personality are always in conflict and this can be demonstrated by considering the pleasure demands of the Id and the moral demands of the Superego. According to Jarvis (2000) Freud being able to use structural model in explaining an individual’s torn feelings in decision making gives his work credibility. Freud suggested this conflict brought about by decision making brings about feelings of guilt, anxiety and unhappiness.

Jarvis (2000) describes Freud’s key method of investigation use of case studies in investigating an individual’s anxiety and unhappiness. Freud, 1895 Studied Anna O who on diagnosis was found to be suffering from hysteria in form of hallucinations, disturbances of speech, vision and partial paralysis. Anna O was actually Joseph Breuer’s patient but Freud used his notes to investigate why Anna O developed hysteria. Freud and Breuer related the key assumption of the psychodynamic approach and suggested that Anna O’s hysteria was caused by her caring for her sick father as a child. Psychoanalysis therapy of free association was introduced after Breuer treated Anna O.

An advantage of this method (structural model) is that it offers an explanation for the experience of being pulled in conflicting directions by the different parts of the personality when making decisions . The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay.This method has also contributed widely in to therapeutic practice because people can be able to explain how their childhood experiences had an impact on them by attending talking therapy like free association. There were flaws in the method of research because lack of any way in which to isolate, measure and study the id, ego and superego. Though case studies such as Anna O have provided specific information, generalising these findings is so limited. Jarvis (2000)

While the psychodynamic approach is an interactionist the biological approach largely ignores nurture and focusses on our behaviour being the result of our biology. The biological approach core assumptions is that psychology should be studied scientifically, in laboratory experiment and research. The other assumption is that behaviour can be explained in terms of biology physiological and genetic explanations. Physiological refers to body functions and genetic refers to inheritance of DNA therefore inheriting behavioural and physical characteristics. Another assumption is all that is psychological is first physiological .Finally, human genes have evolved to adapt biologically and behaviourally to the environment. (Eysenck 2009)

The theory of brain localisation is divided into two areas, the outer cortical and inner cortical areas. The outer cortical area is further divided into lobes. The frontal lobe functions are to plan and control movement, control emotions, stores memory and problem solving and judgement. The Parietal lobe helps in sensing and monitoring parts of the body. Occipital lobe helps in visual processing. Finally temporal lobe helps in hearing, memory processing and emotions. The inner cortical area consists of corpus callosum which allows for communication of more, sensory and cognitive information between hemispheres. The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay. The thalamus is responsible for motor control, receives auditory, somatosensory and visual sensory signals and controls sleep and awake states. The hippocampus helps in forming, organising and storing memories and also connecting emotions and senses such as smell and sound, to memories. Finally the amygdala process emotions such as fear, anger and pleasure and determines what memories are stored and where they are stored in the brain.

The case of Clive Wearing uses scientific investigation; CAT (computerised axial tomography) and MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging) of his brain. Clive’s left and right temporal lobes were damaged and left parts of right hippocampus destroyed making him unable to transfer memory from short term to long term. He had moment to moment consciousness because any new information that would hit the brain would fade away .Some of the left frontal lobe were also damaged and he could he could keep on repeating what has been said and having emotional outbursts. Wilson et al (1995)

An advantage of this study of this approach is that it has had many useful applications, for example, use of drugs that alleviate disorders such as bipolar. A further advantage is that it establishes psychology as a respectable science. In the nature versus debate twin studies have provided the best way to determine the role of genetic factors in influencing behaviour and are used by researchers using the biological approach. The reductionist nature of this approach makes harder to obtain a complete comprehension of human behaviour by only focussing on biological factors, for example, various psychological, social and cultural factors influence the development of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, biological approach ignores these factors. This research focusses on rare conditions and has little impact on our everyday gives us no free will by the suggestion that our behaviour is determined by genes or physiology. Twin studies provide only an indirect way of assessing the essence of genetic factors in influencing behaviour because of difficulties in interpreting the findings from the research. (Eyesenck 2009)

These three approaches can also be applied to criminal behaviour. Sammons (2009) explains differential association theory and Sutherland (1939) suggests that there are two conditions in place before someone commits crime. They need to learn favourable attitudes of offending, and they need to learn specific behaviours of committing that crime .The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay. They learn all these from family and peer groups. Differential association theory has a prediction that offenders will have been socialised in families and groups with pro- criminal norms. Osborne and West (1982) in families where the father had a criminal conviction, 40% of sons also acquired one by the age of 18 in comparison with 13% of sons of non-criminal fathers. Researchers have shown that criminality is found in a small number of families.

This theory supports the behavioural assumption that we learn through association by emphasizing that the family and peer group is a potential source of criminal behaviour. One limitation of this theory is that it is not clear why not all people go on to committing crime even after coming in contact with ‘criminogenic’ influences.

In contrast to differential association theory the psychodynamic theory of offending according to Freud’s structural model of personality the behaviour that is outside society’s norms and values, either abnormal or criminal is caused by abnormality in development of the psyche. The superego develops at the age of five and the roots of offending also develop at this time, especially between the growing child and its parents. Freud explains the possible causes for later criminal behaviour. The superego which is the morality principle strives for perfection and is learnt from same sex parents. It makes ego to suffer with anxiety when a person thinks of doing an immoral act and with guilt when the act is committed. Therefore, a weak superego that develops with socialisation of abnormal norms and values in the family, would result in minimal constrain against committing a crime. They would do things that will gratify the id which is the pleasure principle not caring about the social restrains of them.

A child may develop a normal superego but it may have deviant values. The superego will subject suffering to those behaviours that the parent may disagree with, it acts as a moral regulator. For example, a child whose father is a criminal may not engage in criminal activities of the father. A strong superego might make a person vulnerable to committing crime by making them anxious and guilty every time they gratified their id, however they would be punished by their superego. The consequences would be the person would commit crime so that they may be caught and punished to ease the guilt caused by their superego. Sammons (2009)


Psychodynamic researchers have shown the impact of childhood experiences and parent-child relationships as an influence on offending (Blackburn, 1993) and have identified significant of criminal behaviour in adolescence (Hollin, 1989).One limitation of this approach is that psychodynamic therapies that have tried to treat offending have not succeeded (Howitt, 2009) despite been exceedingly time consuming. Sammons (2009)

Raine et al (1997) brain localisation theory cited in Holah, (2008) aimed to investigate the functioning of both cortical and subcortical brain using PET scans in a group of murderers that had pleaded not guilty for insanity reasons (NGRI).They expected that the murderers would show evidence of brain dysfunction in their prefrontal cortex. They used laboratory experiment. The independent variable would show whether the person had committed murder or not, these were the results of the PET scans.  The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay.All NGRIs and control groups were not given medication for two weeks before the scanning.

Raine et al concluded that their research supports the role of certain brain structures in violent behaviour behaviour. The difference activity in the amygdala supports theories of violence due to lack of fear and also the differences in the corpus callosum activity can be matched up to show people with severe corpus callosum show inability to grasp long term implications of a situation. Raine et al note that their findings cannot be generalised from NGRIs to other types of violent offenders and crime.

This theory use of PET scans has possible applications, for example drug treatment to alter functioning of the brain structure. Another advantage is that it is a well-controlled laboratory experiment that is the matching of the control group. This theory is a reductionist because the study tries to explain all behaviour as a result of brain functioning ignoring other reasons like social background and role models for why people may act violently. The Scientific Study of Behaviour And Mental Processes Essay.


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