The diverse nature of psychology is evident through the many subdisciplines it entails. The evolution of psychology from the discipline of philosophy validates the diversity among concepts and theories. Understanding the influence of diversity on the major concepts creates an understanding of how motivation and behaviorism coincide with other disciplines in contemporary society to contribute a unique understanding of human behavior. Having understanding the diversity and the implications of the unique perspective theories allows one to indulge in the mysteries of human motivation and behavior.
Influence of Diversity on Major Concepts of Psychology
Psychology is an ever evolving discipline lacking unification, meaning there is not one theory that explains all questions within the field. Due to the evolving nature and lack of standardization, understanding psychological theories and concepts requires the incorporation of diversity. Psychology is one broad discipline consisting of large subdisciplines with large theories that consist of smaller disciplines and theories. The larger theories consist of combinations of smaller, diverse theories from the various subfields. Such holds true as it is necessary to understand the subdiscipline of motivational psychology to understand human behavior and behavioral theories.
The major concepts of psychology indulge in the actual diversity of the discipline. The biological approach supports nature over nurture and declares behavior as the interaction of nature and nurture, although individuals are the byproduct of genetics and physiology (McLeod, 2015). Behavioral psychology explores and measures observable behavior learned from the environment (McLeod, 2013). The fundamental ideas of cognitive psychology explore how memory works, thought process, and the processes of perception through the study of higher mental processes learning how individuals receive, process, and perceive information (Galotti, 2014). The psychodynamic approach assumes all behavior is explainable and is the result of childhood experience and focuses on the interactions of unconscious drives and motivation that lead to behavior (Rana, 1977). The social approach to psychology aims to explain the effects society has on individuals by grasping an understanding of how society influences thoughts, feelings, and emotions through the study of social interaction, influences, and perception (Myers, 2010). As each approach emphasizes different aspects of human behavior, the diverse nature of psychology is evident. Also reflected in the varying perspectives is the diversity of perception among the individuals of the world. As psychology lacks the unification of a single explanation of human behavior, society lacks the standardization of perception of the world and beliefs about them, furthering the call for the diverse nature of psychology approaches to indulge in studying human behavior.
Subdisciplines and Subtopics
Motivational psychology seeks to explain the reason individuals behave in certain manners. A motive is the triggering force of action that lays dormant in a person establishes a true desire to perform to achieve personal satisfaction of some sort (Hunter, 2012). Obtaining personal satisfaction implies meeting needs and desires which vary individually per person creating a diverse cause of motivational forces among individuals (Hunter, 2012). A basic fundamental approach to human behavior is the approach-avoidance distinction in motivation. In approach motivation, behavior is curtailed through positive outcomes and adversely, in avoidance motivation, negative results reduce behavior (Elliot & Covington, 2001). Distinguishing the differences between approach and avoidance motivations is an essential component to the “study of affect, cognition, and behavior” and may be used to represent the infrastructure of personality dimensions as well as the link among the diverse traits of character (Elliot & Covington, 2001).
The psychodynamic approach, according to Freud, takes the stance that all behavior is explainable and occurs due to childhood experience (Rana, 1977). Freud’s psychodynamic approach to personality assumes there is an interaction between nature and nurture that creates personality traits in an individual (McLeod, 2014). The psychodynamic theory of personality attributes eccentric personality and behavior to the first five years of a child’s life in which parental roles and environmental interaction are keys to normal development. The approach claims people are hedonistic creatures who are driven to seek self-pleasure and satisfaction through gratification of the ego (McLeod, 2014). The drives that cause individuals to find satisfaction are eminent as personality begins to shape and take effect on the individual. Personality psychologists seek to find a real understanding of the individual personality. For instance, the motivational triggers that cause the development of certain personality types and how they link with affect, cognition, and behavior to the surface and create individual traits. Personality is a multi-dimensional construct which forces individuals to stand out from the crowd via beliefs, ethics, morals, and values that undergo constant evolution creating change in individuals throughout the lifespan (McCrae & John, 1990).
Identification with other Disciplines
The diversity of psychology is the epitome of the infinite theories developed. Broad, generalized theories are developed from the smaller theories of the subdisciplines of psychological approaches. Motivation is the beginning steps of behavior. Personality traits that emphasize values, morals, and ethics, that guide individuals throughout the lifespan establish behavior. Contingent on all theories above is the fact that individual drive derives from individual desires and needs. The subdisciplines and topics are relatable on all levels and ideas of psychological approaches. The phenomena of psychology appear that although, there is no unification of the theories, all theories build on each other to create larger, relatable theories which can be interchangeable and applied in different aspects of psychology and the study of human behavior.
Motivational theories are the driving force of human nature. Behavior begins with a dormant idea that comes alive with the edification of a true desire which creates behavior and develops a personality. Different types of motivation create the definitive line that establishes the direction of an individual’s development. Establishing individual approach-avoidance motivations hold the potential to of creating conditioning efforts to steer an individual on a positive path in life. Freud made the assumption that behavior is learned through observation of the environment and the people contained in the environment (McLeod, 2014). An individual who faced a traumatic experience in early childhood could potentially hinder positive completion of all developmental steps in life. These traumatic experiences may become the norm, and the individual follows the norm throughout the lifespan as that is the values, beliefs, and ethics instilled from early childhood (Myers, 2010). For instance, a child raised in an abusive home may grow to mock the behavior observed, accept negative behavior committed against them, or become motivated to change the negative behavior and break the cycle of abuse. The outcome of the scenario depends on the efforts of the individual to deal with the observations and grow from those learned behaviors (Myers, 2010). The perspectives discussed appear to be building extensions from each other explaining the Freud, why’s of some behavior. More in-depth research combined with other theoretical views will give a more definitive explanation of human behavior and its causes.
Psychological Contribution to Society
Project Peacemakers is a non-profit organization based which helps victims and abusers find peace with traumatic experiences and grow from their past. Working with abusers and hearing their stories and triggers clarifies the causes of certain behaviors. As a survivor of domestic violence and a recovering addict, understanding motivational triggers aids in learning avoidance approaches leading to positive change in behavior. As a single mother of six children, learning how personality is created, and behavior is encompassed through observation of environment and the people in it, explains the curiosities and varying personalities and behaviors as each child had a different level of exposure to abuse and varying experiences in life. Establishing triggers of certain behaviors in individuals create the potential for intervention and behavior modification when needed. As individual’s personalities and behaviors vary according to beliefs, values, morals, and experience, the diverse nature of psychology incorporates different approaches and perspectives as a means of understanding the diversity among humans.
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Galotti, K. M. (2014). Cognitive Psychology: In and Out of the Laboratory, (5th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database
Hunter, M. (2012). HOW MOTIVATION REALLY WORKS: TOWARDS AN EMOTO-MOTIVATION PARADIGM. Economics, Management and Financial Markets, 7(4), 138-196. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1326326749?accountid=458
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