Biological and Psychoanalytic Perspectives in Psychology

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The psychoanalytic perspective grew out of subsequent psychoanalytic theories (1901, 1924, and 1940) following decades of interactions with clients with the use of an innovative procedure developed by Sigmund Freud that required lengthy verbal interactions with patients during which Freud probed deep into their lives. In a nutshell, the psychoanalytic perspective looked to explain personality, motivation, and psychological disorders by focussing on the influence of early childhood experiences, on unconscious motives and conflicts, and on the methods people use to cope with their sexual and aggressive urges. The Biological perspective on the other hand looks at the physiological bases of behaviour in humans and animals. It proposes that an organism’s functioning can be described in terms of the bodily structures and biochemical processes that cause behaviour. This paper attempts to examine the similarities and differences between the psychoanalytic perspective and the biological perspective with the key focus on the core assumptions and features of these perspectives as well as their individual strengths and weaknesses.

The biological perspective examines how brain processes and other bodily functions regulate behaviour. It emphasizes that the brain and nervous system are central to understanding behaviour, thought, and emotion. It is believed that thoughts and emotions have a physical basis in the brain. Electrical impulses zoom throughout the brain’s cells, releasing chemical substances that enable us to think, feel, and behave. René Descartes (1596–1650) wrote an influential book (De Homine [On Man]) in which he tried to explain how the behaviour of animals, and to some extent the behaviour of humans, could be like t...

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...m and Irving B. Weiner

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