In the study of psychology there are two major approaches that are used to help interpret and understand human behavior. These approaches include the behavioral, and psychoanalytical. A better look at each of these approaches would allow you to view both the positive and negative elements of both as well as enabling you to see the differences and similarities among them. Originating from the work of John B. Watson the behavioral approach is based on the belief that behavior is learned, thus all behavior can be unlearned and new behaviors learned in its place.(http://www.funderstanding.com/behaviorism.cfm) Behaviorism is concerned primarily with the observable and measurable aspects of human behavior. Behaviorists believe only observable and verifiable events can be accurately researched with strict scientific rigor and don’t explore an individual’s thoughts, feelings, dreams, or past experiences. Focusing on behavior, enables researchers to learn that careful description of what constitutes desired behavior is necessary for reinforcing it. Its greatest strength is that it demands specific identification of action, rather than relying on concepts that are subject to extensive interpretation and impossible to verify scientifically. Like any psychological method, the behaviorist approach has its critics. Some argue that just studying human behavior isn’t fully studying human psychology due to the fact that they have failed to study the complexity of the human mind and human nature. Others feel behaviorists also portray free will as a petty influence on humans compared to outside forces in the environment. Psychoanalysts argue that by failing to study the unconscious, a characteristic of the behavioral approach, they are leaving out what is most interesting and unique about human beings. Perhaps the greatest weakness of this approach is the ethical consequences of behaviorism. Man is stripped of his responsibility, freedom, an…
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