Biological Viewpoint Neurotransmitter and hormonal abnormalities in the brain and central nervous system (i.e., CNS)Psychopathology associated...

Biological Viewpoint

Neurotransmitter and hormonal abnormalities in the brain and central nervous system (i.e., CNS)Psychopathology associated with abnormalities in neurotransmitters and altered sensitivities of receptor sites

Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia

Zero scientific theory for this

Use of medications (e.g., agonists vs. antagonists)

Genetic vulnerabilities

Gene (i.e., long molecules of DNA)

Chromosomes (i.e., chainlike structures that carry genetic information)

Genotypes vs. phenotypes

Abnormal Behavior and Temperament

Differences in emotional and arousal responses to stimuli

Impacts ability to approach, withdraw, or attend to situations

Influenced by genetics or hereditary factors

Prenatal and postnatal factors play a role

Develops around the age of two to three months

Early signs of personality

Affect on development

Brain dysfunction and Neural Plasticity

Brain lesions and defects in brain tissue result in psychiatric disorders

Abnormalities related to brain functioning and structure

Positive vs. negative prenatal experiences

Postnatal environment events

Psychological Viewpoints


Sigmund Freud developed psychoanalysis

Unconscious is made up of the hurtful memories, forbidden desires, and other repressed memories

Memories that were threatening, things we know we’re not supposed to do

Structure of Personality (i.e., Id, Ego, and Superego)

Psychosexual Stages of Development (i.e., oral stage, anal stage, phallic stage, latency stage, and genital stage)

The Impending Death of Psychoanalysis?

What is the evidence that psychoanalysis is dying?

Why does Bornstein think it is dying?

Newer Psychodynamic Perspectives

Ego Psychology (1895-1982: Anna Freud-when the ego does not function adequately to control or delay impulses)

Attachment Theory (John Bowlby-emphasizes the importance of early experiences)

The Behavioral Perspective

Resulted as a reaction to the unscientific methods of psychoanalysis

Learning (i.e., modification of behavior due to experience)

Classical conditioning (i.e., a stimulus elicits a specific response)

Operant conditioning (i.e., learning to achieve a desired goal)

Observational learning (i.e., learning by observation)

The Humanistic and Existential Perspectives

Humanistic perspective views human nature as “good”

Utilizes the concept of self focusing on individuality and choice


Emphasis on choice, responsibility, and values

Concern over living meaningful lives

The Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective

Focuses on how thoughts and information processing become distorted

Schema (i.e., underlying representation of knowledge that guides information processing)

Attribution (i.e., assigning causes to things that happen)

Cognitive Therapy (e.g., Beck-how to change distorted thoughts and schemas that lead to disorders)

Theoretical Viewpoints & the Causes of Abnormal Behavior

Provide a consistent approach to practice or for research

Blinds researchers to factors that are equally important

Multiple viewpoints are able to coexist


Which theoretical viewpoint seems most compelling to you, the strongest theory and why?

Homework Answers

Answer #1

The psychological viewpoint is most compelling to me because this viewpoint helps us to understand the various elements of human behaviour. Psychodynamics, psychoanalysis affect me more than any theoretical approach because it describes the projective behaviour as well as the psychosexual development process.

Except for the psychoanalysis, we can find the scientific conclusion regarding human behaviour so that this perspective attracts me more than any other.

Id, ego and superego are the category of behavioural condition and describes the reason behind the different type of human behaviour. The understanding of human behaviour is essential for the understanding through psychological perspectives. The biological approach supports the psychological approach as well.


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