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  1. Meaning in Positive and Existential Psychology presents a broad overview of contemporary empirical research and theoretical work on the meaning/purpose in life construct from two perspectives ...

  2. Reed W. Larson, Natalie Rusk, in Advances in Child Development and Behavior, 2011. 5 The Convergence of Factors. Psychology's understanding of the determinants of IM has advanced since an earlier era when, influenced by existentialism, a number of early IM theorists focused principally on immediate determinants. Recent research has led to a ...

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  4. Even in high school Frankl was developing a keen interest in existential philosophy and psychology. At the age of 16 he delivered a public lecture “On the Meaning of Life” and at 18 he wrote his graduation essay “On the Psychology of Philosophical Thought.”

    • Chris Allen
    • 2020
  5. Three theorists who have influenced the behaviorist theories are: 1. Watson J.B. - One of the originators of behaviorism and a proponent of the reductionist approach to the study of human behavior. 2. Skinner B.F. - He was the one most responsible for the spread of the behaviorist philosophy. 3. Wolpe, Joseph.

    • Introduction
    • Behavioral Theories
    • Biological Theories
    • Cognitive Theory/Cognitive Behavioral
    • Humanistic Theories
    • Psychodynamic Theories
    • Psychosocial Theories
    • Conclusion
    • Reference List

    A psychological theory is a laid down study backed by research that tries to explain certain behaviors and human thought. The much that is known about human ways of thinking and behaviors can be attributed to psychological theories. Some of the widely accepted psychological theories are the behavioral theories, the cognitive theories, humanist theories, biological theories, psychodynamic and the social psychology theories. In this study, these theories will be looked with regard to their applicability in life situations and their validity in engaging the various challenges that arise in the different life situations.

    The central idea backing behavioral psychological theories is that human behavior comes because of the stimuli both intrinsic and from our environment. According to Kowalski and Western (2005), it is through behavioral theories that we learn such aspects as how we acquire new behaviors whether through the effect that the environment has on us (p.6) and what triggers our behavioral change or choice to remain the same. Behavioral psychology is considered a descendant of the animal psychology, which argues that the environment has a lot of influence in the changes that take place in human beings. This theory borrows a lot from the Darwinian view that the environment passes for a key factor in shaping the evolution of man from organic life. One of the major studies that back the validity of the behavioral theories is the classical conditioning study conducted by Ivan Pavlov a Russian psychologist. In his experiment, Pavlov used to present meat powder to dogs that had several tubes inser...

    This theory examines the relationship that exists between internal body systems and external factors and how they affect human behavior. This incorporates the studies conducted to establish the functioning of human systems with a close consideration put to the mental and emotional states (Wickens, 2005, p.23). Although scientists conduct most of the experiments aimed at validating this theory on animals, they connect the findings to the human nature since similar body organs are operate the same when exposed to similar circumstances. Kozulin, (1990) argues that biological psychology aims at studying the effects of the nervous system to the internal and external stimulus (p.87). This theory can be held valid owing to the fact that neurological surgeries have been administered on patients to curb psychiatric conditions. The theory too is much applicable in life as elaborated next.

    This theory tends to explain human behavior through considering and keen understanding of the thought processes. This includes the ability of perception, thinking, speaking and problem solving. This theory is different from others by the fact that it seems to accept the use of scientific methods for its validation rather than introspective ones. The theory also recognizes the possibility of the existence of internal mental frames such as belief, motivation and desire (Klimek, 1979, p.33). To react against the biggest criticism that it faced, cognitive neuroscience showed evidence of physiological states of the mind having a direct link with certain mental states. The proponents of this theory uses terms that tend to compare the operations of the human mind with computer operations. According to Newman and Holtzman (1993), terms such as information processing, as employed, describe the mental operations (p.5). Over the last couple of decades, the cognitive theory has been shifting fr...

    The reason behind the name has attracted debate from scientist. Harnish and Wolkholtz (2001) contest that these theories are named so due to the recognition of the value of goodness in regard to humanity and the respect that is accorded to it (p.45). These theories claim that current determining forces existing in both the unconscious mind and the environment influence a person’s mind strongly. This theory emphasizes on the rule of the self-determination through the freedom of choice. This gives the person the freedom to choose their own behavior rather than relying on environmental contingences and external stimulus to do this for you. It is rooted in existential psychology, which emphasizes the need of accepting one’s existence and responsibilities in life. Issues to do with human needs, self-esteem, and self-fulfillment come in as core all aimed at ensuring development of the self. Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers are the two main proponents of these theories. According to Fuller (...

    Psychodynamic theories draw their concepts from psychoanalysis. These refer to the major Freud’s ideas of psychosexual development, free associations, and therapeutic techniques of interpretation. Freud’s studies of how the motivation of the mental processes occurs laid the foundation for the entire psychodynamic theories. Cacciopo (2002) claims that these theories content that human behavior is best understood through getting a deeper inquiry into what motivates them in terms of thoughts and feelings (p.75). Freud’s the interpretation of dreams gave the psychodynamic theory another level of being understood. This does not necessarily mean that he is the first person to have considered the understanding of how dreams work. Wertsch (1985) assert that what makes him stand out in this is in his interpretation he created a relationship between mental processes and human behavior (p.6). He did this through the concept he introduced called dream censor, which work to hide the real meaning...

    These theories emphasize the fact that personality is intrinsically social and that there are important issues of key concern that determine human relationships. These can be further subdivided into two main categories, which include the social cognition models as well as the stage models. According to Sutton (2002), the term social cognition is used to reflect to a group of theories each of which takes into consideration a number of beliefs and attitudes (p.14), which seemingly constitute and determine the behavior of a person. With the models, this theory has been verified using a number of models which do not necessarily deny the possibility of other factors been a source of influence to human behavior. These models include the health belief model, the protection motivism theory, the self-efficacy theory, theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned human behavior (Morris & Maisto, 1999, p.44). These theories are used to give explanations as to why it is easy for some peop...

    However, most psychological theories tend to exist in isolation, it is equally important to recognize those that rely on their relationship on others to create meaning in them. Most of the weaknesses that are found in each tend to point at its view that it can exist on its own and with isolation from others. It is advisable that when trying to explain a psychological situation, you take into consideration a number of theories and correlate them in finding the solution to a given problem.

    Cacciopo, J. (2002).Social Neuroscience: Understanding the Pieces Fosters Understanding the Whole and vice versa.New York: Word Press. Print. Freud, S. (1911). The Interpretation of Dreams. Toronto: New York university press. Fuller, C. (2008). Self-Actualization: Living Up to Your Full Potential. Web. Green, C. (2000). A Theory of Human Motivation. Classics in the History of Psychology. Web. Harnish, J. Wockholtz, B. (2001). Humanistic Psychology Overview: Association for Humanistic Psychology. Web. Klimek, D. (1979). Beneath Mate Selection and Marriage – the Unconscious Motives in Human Pairing. Van Nostrand: Reinhold Press. Kowalski, R., & Western, D. (2005). Psychology. New Jersey: JohnWiley & Sons. Kowalski, R. (2005). Human Psychological Behavior.New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons. Kozulin, A. (1990). Vygotsky’s Psychology: A Biography of Ideas. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Lee, C., & Smagorinsky, P. (2000). Vygotskian Perspectives on Literacy Research: Constructing M...

  6. Meaning in Positive and Existential Psychology presents a broad overview of contemporary empirical research and theoretical work on the meaning/purpose in life construct from two perspectives ...