Analysis of Psychoanalysis, Behaviorism, and Humanism

04 Apr 2018

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Psychoanalysis, Behaviorism, Humanism



This assignment discusses the historical brass tacks of three most important schools of contemplation within the field of psychology: Psychoanalysis, Behaviorism, and Humanism. I will be using these particular theories and concepts to understand a particular case scenario. It also compares and contrasting the strengths and the limitations of each theory.

School of Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis began as a tool for improving poignant anguish; it’s a therapy technique for education about the psyche, and also a way of appreciative the process of customary on a daily basis mental implementation and the stages of normal expansion from formative years to elderly age. The idea of psychotherapy first started to receive serious attention under Sigmund Freud in Vienna in the 1890s. Freud was a neurologist trying to find an valuable management for patients with neurotic or uproarious symptoms. Freud’s normal mind theory was serene of three elements: the id, the ego and the superego. The id is composed of primordial urges, while the ego is the building block of moral fiber, thought-provoking with dealing with authenticity. The superego is the component of individuality that holds all of the ethics and principles we pick up on from our parents and culture. Freud understood to facilitate the communication of these three elements was what led to all of the multifaceted human behaviors.

Anna Freud’s contributions to psychology were the field of child psychoanalysis and her work contribute greatly to our understanding of child psychology. The majority of Anna’s education was from her father Sigmund Freud’s friends and associates.

Carl Jung determined to learn medication but urbanized a interest in divine phenomena. His attraction with remedy and theology led him into the field of psychiatry that he viewed as a amalgamation of his interests. I know that Jung’s theory created major criticism and his work left extraordinary blow on psychology. One of his concepts was introversion and extraversion contributed to character psychology and also predisposed psychotherapy. He gave recommendation on serene affliction from alcoholism led to the arrangement of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) that helped millions of citizens’ anguish from alcohol reliance.

Erikson depleted moment in time learning the edifying life of the South Dakota and in northern California. Erik utilizes the comprehension he earned of edifying, ecological, and societal influences to press forward amplify his psychoanalytic speculation. Freud’s conjecture had paying attention on the psychosexual portions of adulthood, Erikson’s accumulation of other influences helped to become wider and increase psychoanalytic hypothesis. He in addition contributed to our sympathetic of individuality as it is urbanized and wrought in excess of the path of the natural life. Erik’s annotations of offspring also helped set the arena for promote follow a line of exploration.

This article by Christopher Spera “A Review of the Relationship Among Parenting Practices, Parenting Styles, and Adolescent School Achievement,” debates over several studies that have a correlation on parental involvement and monitoring. “The socialization progression is bidirectional in that parents convey socialization messages to their children, but their children vary in a level of acceptance, receptivity, and internalization of these messages (Grusec et al.,2000) (C Spera, 2005) “Authoritative parenting styles are often associated with higher levels of student achievement, although these findings are not consistent across culture, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.”) (C. Spera, 2005) the majority of Freud’s own contributions that were highly contentious in his time, is now everyday ideas in our world. Psychoanalytic contributions to the modern experience and culture didn’t end with Freud’s death; in fact I think that it will last for centuries to come.

School of Behaviorism

When it comes to the concept of behaviorism I often think about the most prominent quote by John B. Watson:

"Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select -- doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors." --John Watson, Behaviorism, 1930

The School of Behaviorism was founded by John B. Watson. He believed that a person’s behavior can be measured, trained, and changed. The focus is placed on philosophical/theoretical underpinnings of behavior analysis. Behavior analysis' intangible foundation is described as radical behaviorism, which is characterized by the postulation that behavior can be studied using innate science methods. The behaviorist observation of verbal behavior emphasizes the functional nature of language and the continuation of rule ascendancy in human behavior. The major concepts and theories within the school of behaviorism include cognitive psychology, constructivism, social constructivism, experimental learning, multiple intelligence, and situated learning theory. The major thinkers that influenced behaviorism were John B. Watson, Ivan Pavlov, B.F. Skinner, Edward Thorndike, and Clark Hull.

Ivan Pavlov wasn’t a psychologist and was said to dislike the field altogether, but his work had a major influence on behaviorism. Pavlov made a breakthrough on reflexes influenced the growing behaviorism movement and was known to be cited in John B. Watson’s writings. The work that I associate with Pavlov’s work is his study of conditioning as a structure of knowledge. B.F. Skinner was a inexhaustible novelist, publishing practically 200 articles and more than 20 books. Skinner’s work of operant conditioning is still considered imperative in the present day. This technique is used by mental health professionals. In his own way Skinner left a remarkable legacy on psychology along with other fields ranging from philosophy to education. Edward Thorndike was strongly associated with functionalism. Thorndike’s contribution to psychology was considered to be the father of modern day educational psychology and published several books on the subject. He is also known for his animal experiments and for the law of effect. Clark Hull contributions to psychology of drive reduction theory served as a general theory of learning for other researchers. His theory was a broader version of social learning and imitation without the motivating stimuli needing to the survival needs of an organism. Hulls theories were a leading influence in American psychology.

Parenting involves bidirectional interaction linking groups of two or more generations; can lengthen all the way in the course of all or foremost parts of the particular life spans of those groups; may fit into place all institutions within a way of life, including educational, economic, political, and social ones; and is surrounded in the history of people--as that history occurs within the ordinary and ingenuous settings within which the assemblage lives. If I wanted to give an example of how the school of behaviorism shape and influence societal thinking I would talk about how students join together classroom environments with their teacher’s caring mannerisms, and through classical conditioning, gain knowledge of to act in response to the school with encouraging emotions. Teachers can also improve student feelings of competency by modeling effort and perseverance, also reinforcing authentic undertakings. Reasonably, then, designed in cooperation adolescents and their caregivers, teens is a time of exhilaration and of fretfulness; of contentment and of quandary; of innovation and of incomprehension; and of timeouts with the precedent and up till now of associations with the future. Those individuals who are members of civilizing minorities can also provide as role models. I would have to give an example of Arnold Schwarzenegger idolizing a famous body builder and eventually rose to fame as the world’s top body builder career.

School of Humanism

Humanism was developed in response to Freud’s psychoanalysis and behaviorism. While near the beginning schools of humanism were for the most part centered on anomalous human behavior, humanistic psychology differed considerably in its emphasis to helping people achieve and fulfill their potential. Humanistic, humanism and humanist are vocabulary in psychology concerning to an approach which studies the whole person, and the distinctiveness of each human being.Fundamentally, this vocabulary refers to the same advance in psychology. Humanism is a psychological approach that emphasizes the study of the entire person. Humanistic psychologists look at human behavior not only through the eyes of the spectator, but through the eyes of the person doing the behaving. Humanism is a philosophical and ethical bearing that emphasizes the importance and society of human beings, in isolation and cooperatively and generally prefers critical thinking and verification (rationalism, empiricism) over time-honored set of guidelines or devotion (fideism). The major theorist of humanism is Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers.

Abraham Maslow contributions to psychology focused aspects of human nature that were considered abnormal. His interest in human potential, seeking peak experiences and improving mental health by seeking personal growth had a long lasting influence on psychology. You can say that growing interest was in positive psychology. Maslow even created a pyramid chart listing human hierarchy of needs. 1. Physiological- Human survival- breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion 2. Safety- Security- Morality, Family, Health, Property 3. Love and Belongings- Emotional needs- Friendship, Family, Sexual Intimacy 4. Esteem- Respect- Self- Esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others 5. Self-Actualization- Human Achievement- Morality, Creativity, Spontaneity, Problem Solving, Lack of Prejudice, Acceptance of Facts.

Carl Rogers’s contribution to psychology was also in human potential. Rogers had major influence on psychology and education. Carl Rogers is mostly considered as an influential psychologist of the 20th century by other psychologist. The variety of humanistic psychotherapy are concepts from profundity rehabilitation, holistic wellbeing, falter upon groups, empathy training, matrimonial and relatives unit therapy, body labor, the existential psychotherapy. The five basic main beliefs of humanistic psychology are:

  1. Human beings, as human, take the place of the sum of their parts. They can’t be condensed to components.
  2. Human beings have their survival in a distinctively human context, as well as in a celestial bionetwork.
  3. Human beings are alert and are attentive of being aware - i.e., they are conscious. Human realization constantly includes an knowledge of oneself in the context of additional people.
  4. Human beings have the capability to make choices and for that reason have accountability.
  5. Human beings are deliberate, aspire at goals, are responsive that they cause potential events, and inquire about meaning, importance, and vision.

Strengths & Limitations

When it comes to the differences in theories, I find that the behaviorism theory flaw is that it became unpopular and unable to hold up to scrutiny in its historical time period. When I compare the theory to Freud’s psychoanalysis theory I acknowledge that it can’t just be one or the other. You need both nature and nurture in order to be complete. The only thing that I find creditable when it comes to the humanistic approach is its positive affirmations to get students confidence and competence where it’s considered at least to be in the normal range.

Case Study

In this particular case we have a woman named Judy who is a 29-year-old single woman going to college. Judy has a very challenging personality; she constantly deals with high nervous tension job while she is completing her 2nd year as a medical resident in a large hospital. Judy has always been an over achiever. She has finished with top honors in both college and medical school. She has very high principles that she lives by and becomes her worse self critic when she fails to meet them. Lately, she has been struggling with momentous feelings of unimportance and embarrassment due to her incapability to carry out as sound as she constantly has in the precedent.

Its’ my opinion, I will give you three different perspectives of the results from the schools of thought.

  1. A psychoanalyst would say that Judy is having issues with one the three elements, id, ego, and superego. Since Judy has extremely high expectation about what she fines acceptable. Freud would probably think that Judy is suffering from some type of hysteria. I would think that a behaviorist would say that Judy is having issues with her behavior. I think that a humanist would say that Judy is having issues with motivation and even though she has high competence in the topic.
  2. In Judy’s case the school of psychoanalysis and behaviorism would not be completely useful. Psychoanalysis can help determine what is happening in the unconscious mind but it won’t solve the issue. Behaviorism could possibly observe the issue and even attempt to use conditioning methods to solve the problem. The humanistic approach attempt to help with positive reinforcement. This would be the most useful approach because its used to help students be successful.
  3. I think that Humanism would be the right school of thought for Judy’s case. Humanistic psychology is a psychological perspective that emphasizes the study of the whole person. This particular school of thought could be correctly used by a teacher in Judy’s school. The teacher could use a student-centered method to help Judy not just with academic but also the psychological need to get depressed over not getting the grades that she was ultimately expecting but not receiving.(positive emotions) When it comes to behaviorism Judy could be conditioned but it is just covering up the problem. Psychoanalysis could help Judy work through her issues but it wouldn’t do anything to help prevent the incident from happening again.


In my opinion, the concepts of the different types of schools of thought gave everyone a chance to show their opinions on what is considered important. Freud’s concept of the normal mind was very important to his life research. B.F. Skinners and John Watson’s hypothesis of the person can become anything they desire with hard work and growing up in the right environment wasn’t taken as seriously in the public eye as it should have but B.F. Skinners operant conditioning method had a lasting impact on society. Humanism didn’t gain a huge amount of support in the past but gave us a wonderful starting point to positive psychology.


Christopher Spera in Educational Psychology Review (2005)

Richard M. Lerner, E. Ree Noh, and Clancie Wilson. 1998

Burrhus Frederic Skinner. (2014).

"An Introduction to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs–Abraham Maslow"

Benjamin, Jr., L. T. (2014). A brief history of modern psychology (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons.

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