How an Interdisciplinary Approach Has Assisted in the Understanding of Human Language

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How an Interdisciplinary Approach Has Assisted in the Understanding of Human Language

All perspectives provide a guide and include more than one distinct

theory but within an approach they share certain basic principles and

assumptions which give them a distinct ‘flavour’ or identity, The

Behaviourist approach studied observable behaviour, and rejected

introspection for being to subjective John Watson changed psychology

with his belief in empirical methods which became a main feature of

mainstream psychology. Behaviourists focus on the role of the

environment influencing behaviour and dismiss innate or inherited

factors, their investigations into learning are conditioning either

classical or operant [instrumental]. Evolutionary psychology follows

two ‘broad assumptions about human beings’ firstly human nature does

not exist at all and if it did it barely makes much difference to

people’s social lives, or social behaviour can only be explained in

terms of culture, social roles and socialization, like most modern

biologists and social scientists, evolutionary psychologists argue

that ‘nature or nurture’ is a false dichotomy and they distinguish

themselves from behaviour geneticists. The cognitive approach is not

as definable as other perspectives the human brain is unlike any other

organ in the body and memory, speech and thinking processes are not

observable externally that is why cognitive psychologists use

metaphors and analogies to describe mental processes. Behaviourism

began in America and much of this work is owed to John Watson but

later influenced another learning theorist called B.F.Skinner,

experiments were used incorporati...

... middle of paper ...

...hes are we more likely to put on

a better impression. {Ibid} Pg17, 679-680. This discussion has

centered on the different theoretical approaches within psychology and

sociology and how all the disciplines have helped our understanding of

human beings and their relationship to language, there have been some

important similarities between different approaches but all of them

have made a contribution whether we accept them or not, but it goes a

long way to explaining the many diversities which accompany a complex

subject such as language. Gross. Pg.27.


The science of Mind and Behaviour. 4th Edition. Richard Gross. Hodder

& Stoughton.

The Principles of Developmental Psychology. George Butterworth &

Margaret Harris.

Psychology Press.

Sociology in Focus. Paul Taylor et. al. Causeway Press.

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