Tips on how to write case study in psychology
May 26, 2021
Author : Jeffery

Writing a case study in psychology is no easy feat. Regarded as one of the most complex doctrines of study, psychology is a profound discipline of science that has many layers and folds. In this blog, we will discuss the most important aspects of psychology. Whereas the subject has developed and evolved over the years with contributions from contemporary thinkers, who have drawn intricate relations between psychology and other sciences such as sociology, the subject still focuses on studying the action-reaction reflexes of the human mind. Different viewpoints across history have viewed the discipline in different lights. Our psychology assignment help experts will discuss the most prominent schools of thought in this blog.

Structuralism and Functionalism: Early Schools of Thought

Known as the most primeval and earliest school of thought in psychology structuralism focuses on studying the most rudimentary components of mental processes. This includes studying the underlying bodily reactions that go on in the body. Some of the most prominent champions of this school of thought were Edward Titchener and Wundt Wilhelm. The focus of functionalism structuralism is mainly on breaking down and reducing mental processes into the very basic elements. The supporters of this theory used the introspection technique to better understand the most important processes that go on within the human body.

Functionalism in contrast to structuralism could be defined mainly as the response to the principles of the structuralist theories. One of the chief champions of this school of thought was James William and Rupert Sage. 

The functionalism theory spoke about the vital adaptations as well as functions of the human mind. The functional theory also focused on defining the human mind as a separate entity independent of the cognitive mechanisms of the rest of the human body. It is also pertinent to note that the functionalist school of thought unlike the various other schools of thought in psychology is not known by the names of single authors. Instead of being the intellectual brainchild of just one thinker, it is the body of thought put together by several theorists and thinkers who have actively contributed to the evolution of this theory.

For this reason, many historians have adopted the opinion that functionalism should not be considered a formal branch of psychology.

In a nutshell, the functionalist school of thought can be said to define the role that the various mental processes played instead of defining the mental processes themselves.

Gestalt Psychology

This branch of psychology believes that the feelings, emotions and thoughts experienced by humans are whole entities in themselves and cannot be further classified into psychological components worthy of being studied or evaluated. This school of thought originated in the countries Prussia, erstwhile Germany as well as Austria, which became the intellectual hubs for research, groundwork and study on the discipline.

What started as a reaction to the theory of structuralism, evolved into one of the most important schools of thought in the discipline which was further popularised by other European thinkers of the time. This approach to psychological experiences continues to be one of the most popular theories in psychology to date. One of the most distinguishing features of this theory is that it does not attempt to divide thoughts and behaviour into smaller elements. The champions of the Gestalt school of thought in psychology are often called gestalt psychologists. They put forth their idea that experiences must be viewed as a whole instead of a part of a larger psychological context.

The Gestalt theorists have put forward the view that a whole is larger than an accumulation of smaller components of the same entity.

The Behaviorist School of Thought 

The behaviourist school of thought or what was more commonly known as behaviourism is one of the most dominant schools of thought in the discipline; the earliest theories of the behaviourist school of thought sprouted in the 1940s. However, it was not until the 1950s that the behaviourist school of thought was recognized as a formal school of thought in psychology. The champions of the behaviourist theory widely believe that the behaviourist school of thought is the best way to understand the intricate folds of human behaviour. Some of the most eminent thinkers of the time who support the versatile and diversified theories of the behaviourist school of thought were Ivan Pavlov, John B Watson and BF Skin Warner.

It was widely believed by the thinkers belonging to the behaviourist school of thought that the best way to define human behaviour was by looking at it in the context of its most immediate environmental causes. The theorists of the behaviourist school of thought believed that the behaviour of an individual was the product of the external factors around him or her rather than internal forces.

The theories of the behaviourist school of thought manifestly put forth the essential belief that all kinds of human behaviour can be explained easily if one focuses on the immediate and latent environmental causes that lead up to the reactions of a person. A lot of emphasis is also placed upon "observable behaviour" in this regard. The theories of the behaviourist school of thought put forth the notion that human behaviour can be predicted by observing the reaction of a person to different phenomena over time.

The sub-theories of this acquired behaviour theory are:

Classical conditioning 

Operant Conditioning

These two sub-theories were a matter of much thought and research. The behaviourist school of thought left a considerable print on psychology as a discipline. Several ideas and techniques sprouted from this school of thought which are quite popularly used by theorists even today. The behaviourists made the most active contributors to the subject. Some of the other widely used techniques under this school of thought are:

  • Behavioural training
  • Token economy technique
  • aversion through effective therapy 
  • psychotherapy; also an independent school of thought
  • A range of diversified behaviour adjustment techniques and programs

Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis, which is commonly also known as the psychoanalytic school of thought, is one of the most common schools of thought in psychology. Established by Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis or the psychoanalytic school of thought is mainly concerned with the influence of the unconscious mind on human behaviour. The psychoanalytic school of thought was centred around studying human behaviour as the outcome of underlying stimuli. It was believed by Sigmund Freud that the human Mind was essentially composed of three important elements that determine human behaviour to a large extent. These three elements were:

Id

He defined id as the most rudimentary physical, mental and emotional impulses of human beings. The "Id" was described by the psychoanalytic school of thought as the most basic, rudimentary urge or stimulus present in the human body.

Ego

He described ego as that important part of the human being's personality which was responsible for helping a person react to a practical situation.

Superego

Sigmund Freud described the superego as that part of our personality that compels human beings to behave a certain way in society. Sigmund Freud largely believed that the interaction and symbiosis between these three elements were responsible for human behaviour. It is a fact that Sigmund Freud is largely considered as one of the most influential thinkers of all time. His work on psychoanalysis has been regarded as the most reliable doctrine of research work and findings in the subject of psychology. Some of the other contributors of this school of thought were Anna Freud, Carl Jung and Erikson.

The Humanistic Theory

The humanistic school of thought, by far has remained the most popular school of thought in psychology. It focuses on the free will of an individual. One of the other factors that this theory takes into account is self-actualization. Its popularity with the masses also stems from the fact that theory is relatively easier to understand and comprehend as compared to the other theories. Also, the psychoanalytic school of thought is considered a positive theory. The psychoanalytic school of thought gains popularity from the fact that it aims at making people live more happier and rewarding lives.

Cognitive Psychology

The cognitive school of thought in psychology focuses on studying thoughtful methods consisting of how individuals imagine, learn, retrieve and study. As a portion of the broader range of cognitive psychology, this section of psychology associates itself with the other systems such as neuroscience, law, and languages.

Most theories in psychology found their roots in various other forms of psychology. The theories of psychology surfaced as formal schools of thought in the early 1950s. This school of thought emerged somewhat as a rejoinder to the behaviourist school of thought. Scholars of these schools of thought remarked that the theories neglected the internal human processes that influence behaviour. This period is seldom mentioned as the "cognitive revolution". Characterized by an abundance of analysis on subjects such as knowledge processing, communication, thought, and sagacity started to appear.

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Jeffery

I am assignment writing expert and have been associated with My Assignment Services since last five years. I believe that students should get professional help with their assignments so that they can manage both their education and co-curriculum activities simultaneously. Contact me through My Assignment Services for Assignment Assistance.

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