Comparing and Contrasting the Psychodynamic Perspective and the Behaviourist Perspective in Accordance to Internet Addiction

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As with any phenomenon, psychology must be interpreted to be understood (Burton, Westen and Kowalski, 2012, p. 3). Many physicians, physiologists and psychologists, such as Sigmund Freud, John Locke, Ivan Pavlov, and B. F. Skinner respectively, have developed and contributed to their own psychological perspectives which have carried on to the present day. This essay will explore the fundamental ideas, similarities and differences and strengths and weaknesses of both the psychodynamic perspective and the behaviourist perspective. This essay will then shift focus to internet addiction – what it is and how it can be explained. An intervention will then be developed for an individual suffering from internet addiction based on the behaviourist perspective. The psychodynamic perspective, as pioneered by Sigmund Freud, revolves around three main ideas. These ideas explain that an individual’s actions are essentially determined by their cognition – particularly the way that they think and the way that they feel. For example, the classic idea that a customer may be inappropriately rude to a staff member at their local grocery store may be due to the customer having a bad day. The customer enters the store feeling pessimistic and upset, and the action of belittling or abusing the staff member comes as a result of their feelings. The psychodynamic perspective also outlines that many of these cognitive events occur outside of an individual’s mental awareness, or, as Freud’s theory suggests, within an individual’s subconscious. Freud equated the idea of consciousness and mental awareness to the iceberg metaphor. That is, the visible tip of the iceberg represents an individual’s conscious mental processes which can be shown by observable b... ... middle of paper ... ...or consistent verbal praise. This positive reinforcement is designed to increase the likelihood that the client will adhere to their allocated internet-use schedule. The more the client adheres to the schedule, the more their time allocation will decrease over time, thus eliminating the need for constant attention and dedication to the internet. In conclusion, both the psychodynamic and behaviourist perspectives have made significant contributions to modern day psychology. Both perspectives have strengths and weaknesses, and are similar in some ways and different in others. Both perspectives focus on factors that may influence our behaviour. In the case of treating an addiction – specifically internet addiction, the behaviourist perspective is the most effectual, as it looks to discover and address the motivation behind the repetition of the behaviour in question.

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