A Brief Overview Of Ego Psychology Object Relations And Self Psychology
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Rudyard Kipling
To the trainee or beginning psychotherapist, psychodynamic theory is often seen as a daunting, obscure paradigm with a language all its own. The sheer density of psychoanalytic writing often intimidates younger therapists who might otherwise find great value in the approach.
Indeed, what we call psychodynamic or psychoanalytic theory is really a grouping of various different theoretical paradigms, each possessing its own conceptual framework, terminology, and method of working with patients. The theories comprising “psychoanalysis” are as varied as the personalities of their foundersFreud, Sullivan, Winnicott, Klein, Kohut, Kernberg, and others.
This post briefly outlines the three major theories comprising psychoanalysis at the present day: ego psychology, object relations theory, and self psychology. It is written primarily for the younger therapist or student who has interest in the psychoanalytic approach, but it is by no means a comprehensive outline of contemporary psychoanalysis. The field is broad and continues to expand in exciting new directions, such as the recent focus on neuropsychoanalysis.
Before we continue to the major theoretical paradigms, let us first briefly describe a few ideas that unify all of psychoanalysis and differentiate it from other forms of psychotherapy.
What Is A Paradigm
The term paradigm comes from the Greek word , but was not re-introduced until the 18th century by the mathematician and natural scientist Christoph Lichtenberg . The word is made up of and í and roughly means to make comprehensible, but is also translated as a role model, pattern or worldview.
As the literary and linguist Gero von Wilpert explains, in ancient rhetoric a paradigm was understood to be a finding that served as an affirmation or disapproval of a dogmatic argumentation or doctrine . In this sense, the following beautiful and apt metaphor can be used for the concept of paradigm:
A paradigm is like glasses that you put on before looking at the world. These glasses distort what is perceived in any case according to their design and orientation . So the paradigm shapes the experience of the world. I see all things only according to my worldview.
Typical examples of paradigms are the geocentric or heliocentric worldview, biologism and many others. There are paradigms in every science, they are not automatically bad and subject to prejudice, but basically nothing but basic conceptions that can be more or less appropriate.
The psychology as a science knows different paradigms that describing the behavior of individuals and their cognitive states have greatly influenced the essential activity of psychology.
Insight Into Tolmans Historical Experiment
The details of his experiment are a bit hairy and shouldnt stop us here. If you want to know more about it, you can read everything here . In a nutshell, I want to give you a rough overview as follows:
Tolman put various rats, divided into three groups in total, into a maze. Each rat wandered through the maze until it got to its destination or not. The success rate of reaching the goal of the labyrinth was measured over several weeks. There was a reward waiting for the first group, nothing for the second and a reward for the third group only on the eleventh day of the experiment.
Now the exciting result: According to the behaviorist view, one has to assume that the third group would resemble the first group from day 1 to 11 and the second group from day 11 onwards. However, only the first hypothesis is true. From the eleventh day onwards, the third group surprisingly did a lot better than the first!
Tolmans conclusion: the rats have stored a mental image of the maze. When they were then given an incentive from day 11 to show it , they used it and were even more successful than the group that started with the reward right at the beginning:
had been building up a map and could utilize the latter as soon as they were motivated to do so.
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The Cognitive Behavioral Paradigm
Influences from behavior therapy
One of the key influences from behaviorism is the notion that problem behavior is likely to continue if its is reinforced.Generally, problem behavior is thought to be reinforced by four possible consequences:
- Getting attention
- Generating sensory feedback
- Gaining access to desirable things or situations
Once the sources of reinforcement has been identified, treatment is then tailored to alter the consequences of the problem behavior.
Operant techniques have been particularly successful in the treatment of many childhood problems.Once contingencies shape a behavior, a key goal is to maintain the effect of treatment.
- Intermittent reinforcement
- Involves helping a person engage in tasks that provide an opportunity for positive reinforcement.
In vivo: in real-life situations.
Exposure continues to be a centrally important component of many forms of cognitive behavior therapy.
- In vivo is more effective than imaging situations.
- Relaxation is not necessary
Cognition: groups together the mental processes of perceiving, recognizing, conceiving, judging, and reasoning.
Cognitive scientists regard people as active interpreters of a situations.A person fits new information into a schema.New information may fit the schema, if not, the person reorganizes the schema to fit the information or construes the information in such a way as to fit the schema.
Important contributions from cognitive science
The role of the unconscious
How Did Biological Psychology Begin
Biological psychology has its roots in early structuralist and functionalist psychological studies, and as with all of the major perspectives, it has relevance today. The early structural and functional psychologists believed that the study of conscious thoughts would be the key to understanding the mind.
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Brief Repetition Of The First Part
In the first part, on the seven great paradigms of psychology, we looked at the psychodynamic, behavioristic and humanistic conceptions. We got to know their core theses and exemplary representatives. In the second and third parts on this topic, we will examine four other paradigms a little more closely.
For this purpose, however, we should first of all be briefly reminded of what the core of the first three positions mentioned above say, because this will definitely play a role for the paradigms described in this article and the paradigms described therein. Shortly:
Reductionism And The Biological Perspective
The biological paradigm is the approach which always focuses on the functioning of the genes, the brain, the nervous system and the endocrine system when it comes to the causes and the explanation of behavior. It represents the attempt to reduce behavior to chemistry and physics and is divided into two parts :
A really successful description of the biological paradigm is provided by Professor Michael Trimmel of the Medical University of Vienna in his introductory book on psychology:
The biological paradigm is not a purely psychological paradigm, but many psychological theories draw on it. With these theories, the entire behavior is related to neurophysiological, electrochemical and biochemical processes of the organism. For example, depression is seen as a result of a lack of certain neurotransmitters, namely norepinephrine and serotonin.
What is exciting, however, is the relationship between cognitivism and the biological paradigm. The latter has started to form out of the cognitive turnaround, since one inevitably had to ask the following question: If we can reduce the behavior to a neural event, what is it made up of?
Biological reductionism Humanistic interactionism
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Unscientific Mental Health Training
Some observers perceive a gap between scientific theory and its applicationin particular, the application of unsupported or unsound clinical practices. Critics say there has been an increase in the number of mental health training programs that do not instill scientific competence. Practices such as “facilitated communication for infantile autism” memory-recovery techniques including body work and other therapies, such as rebirthing and reparenting, may be dubious or even dangerous, despite their popularity. These practices, however, are outside the mainstream practices taught in clinical psychology doctoral programs.
Cognition And Organism Variables
Tolman initially assumed behaviorism and accordingly postulated that all behavior can be traced back to a stimulus-response scheme. By demonstrating through experiments with rats that there must be such a thing as latent learning, he invalidated the behaviorist paradigm.
Above: The classic SR scheme of behaviorism. Below: The neo-behaviorist SOR scheme
The classic stimulus-response scheme of the behaviorist paradigm has been substantially overturned. Previously, the apparent processing of incoming stimuli had no effect on the response. The founder of radical behaviorism BF Skinner even assumed that so-called cognitive abilities are nothing but reactions to environmental stimuli.
The cognitive turnaround, which began to develop towards the end of the 1940s, mainly triggered by Tolmans experiments, strongly contradicted Skinners view. The classic SR scheme has been replaced by a SOR scheme, where O stands for organism variable.
In short, the organism variable describes exactly what we commonly call cognitive processes and thus at the same time what Skinner tried to deny as an influencing factor on behavior.
What Is A Psychological Paradigm
a set of assumptions, attitudes, concepts, values, procedures, and techniques that constitutes a generally accepted theoretical framework within, or a general perspective of, a discipline.
What is an example of a paradigm in psychology?
Examples of paradigm shifts are the movement of scientific theory from the Ptolemaic system to the Copernican system , and the movement from Newtonian physics to the theory of relativity and to quantum physics.
What is a paradigm in psychology research?
In the behavioural sciences , an experimental paradigm, is an experimental setup or way of conducting a certain type of experiment that is defined by certain fine-tuned standards, and often has a theoretical background.
What Is The Current Paradigm In Psychological Science
Psychological science is currently in conceptual disarray, characterized by unconnected mini-theories and isolated empirical findings. We lack a theory of the functional properties of the human mind that could provide the needed integrationa theory about what the mechanisms of mind are designed to do.
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Whichway Does The Bill Of Your Cap Point
Even fads are a type of paradigm. How do you decide what clothesto wear on a given day? It depends on the type of activity, but also the settingand expectations of the situation. You would feel out of place at a PresidentialBall wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and sneakers.Almost everyone needs to identify with some sort of image which creates a group identityat one time another in our lives.This applies to fads in all areas: food, fashion, music, and movie themes.
Biological Approach To Psychology
The consensus of this paradigm is to measure biological, physiological, and genetic factors or variables and establish a cause and effect relationship between these and behaviour.
Factors that may influence behaviour and illnesses include:
Genes: offspring inherit genes from their parents so they may inherit illnesses or gene mutations.
Irregularities or differences in brain functions: genetic or physical trauma may cause people to act differently. They may also cause illnesses.
Chemical reactions: certain chemical issues in the body can explain behaviours. For example, a hormone imbalance, or neurotransmitters dysfunction. High levels of testosterone have been linked to aggressiveness.
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Major Perspectives In Psychology
Psychology is the scientific study of how we think, feel and behave. In this lesson, you’ll get an overview of the five major perspectives that have guided modern psychological research.scientificBiological Approachmental states brain, nerves and hormonesPsychodynamic ApproachBehavioral ApproachCognitive ApproachHumanistic ApproachQuick Review:
- Psychology is the scientificstudy of human thought, feelingsand behavior.
- The five major perspectives in psychology arebiological, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitiveandhumanistic.
- Each perspective provides its own view on the roots of why you do what you do.
Different Approaches To The Same Topic
Every topic in psychology can be looked at in a number of ways. For example, let’s consider the subject of aggression.
- A professional who emphasizes a biological perspective would look at how the brain and nervous system impact aggressive behavior.
- A professional who stresses a behavioral perspective would look at how environmental variables reinforce aggressive actions.
- A professional who utilizes a cross-cultural approach might consider how cultural and social influences contribute to aggressive or violent behavior.
Here are seven of the major perspectives in modern psychology.
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What Kind Offood Is Appropriate For Breakfast
Why do we usually eat certain foods only at certain times of theday. I’m sure all of us have eaten a plate lunch for breakfast, or had cereal fordinner. But it’s not what we usually do.
If you walk into a restaurant for dinner, most places will nothave corn flakes on the menu. Food is closely linked with culture and cultural paradigmswhether taboos or just preferences.
Note that many of us consider eating dogs to be disgusting, butthink nothing of eating cows and pigs. In India cows are sacred and could no morebe eaten than Fluffy the family cat, and for the same reason.
What Is Paradigm Shift In Psychology
A paradigm shift, a phenomenon explored by Thomas Kuhn , is not just a small modification to an existing scientific theory. Rather, it completely changes the scientific theory itself and radically alters the way in which it seeks to understand reality.
What are some examples of paradigms?
The definition of a paradigm is a widely accepted example, belief or concept. An example of paradigm is evolution. An example of paradigm is the earth being round.
What is cognitive paradigm?
The cognitive paradigm explores the inner workings of the mind, how people view experiences and interpret them. Sense making literature. People have schemas frame of mind created by an accumulation of all their knowledge and experience.
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Principles Of Falsifiability In Research
The theory of falsifiability argues that:
Researchers perspectives and understandings influence their observations. Popper argued that the world is theory-laden and we use these theories to understand and explain our observations.
Research should take a deductive approach: using deductive logic, a researchers role is to provide support or to reject theories.
One of Poppers examples was how most swans in Europe were white. Using inductive reasoning, Europeans assumed that all swans were white. However, after exploring Australia, where they saw black swans, they deduced that not all swans are white.
If a falsifiable theory is tested and yields significant results, then its accepted as scientific evidence. The current paradigm can largely impact if a theory is accepted as scientific evidence or not.
The Seven Great Paradigms Of Psychology
Depending on how you look at the world, you get different answers. In psychology, there have always been various paradigms, i.e. fundamental ways of thinking, which have significantly influenced the assessment of behavior and experience of both humans and animals.Today one can essentially identify seven paradigms that have either worked in psychology or are still having an effect up to the present day.
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Psychological Paradigms What They Are An Explanation
A psychological paradigm is a set of assumptions and perceptual orientations shared by members of a research community. A a paradigm represents the world view of a researcher.
There are many different ways of categorizing paradigms. Have a think about the similarities and differences between different categorizations for example the Alvesson & Deetz version compared to Guba & Lincoln does the Guba & Lincoln constructivist paradigm perhaps include what Alvesson & Deetz term interpretive?
Kuhn And Research Paradigms
According to Kuhn, the purpose of a paradigm is to provide researchers with a theoretical framework . This framework provides guidelines for assumptions, concepts, and methodological techniques that a researcher should keep in mind when conducting research. It also provides a general consensus of the direction and goals that research should follow.
Throughout the history of psychology, there have been changes in the predominant paradigm. Kuhns work explained the link between paradigms and the progression of research. He proposed that researchers agree on a paradigm based on the zeitgeist. The intellectual and cultural spirit during a given period means that some theories are accepted and some rejected.
However, when there are anomalies or inexplicable results, this causes a crisis. As the predominant paradigm cant explain these results, there is a paradigm shift The time during the paradigm shift is called a scientific revolution. These shifts are what allow for psychology to progress.
An example of a paradigm shift in Psychology is the emergence of the behavioural approach in the 1900s. This paradigm appeared because previous psychology approaches were unable to test hypotheses experimentally. There had been previous research that had taken a behaviourist approach. However, it was rejected when it was published due to the times zeitgeist.
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Other Types Of Studies
Surveys are used in psychology for the purpose of measuring attitudes and traits, monitoring changes in mood, and checking the validity of experimental manipulations . Psychologists have commonly used paper-and-pencil surveys. However, surveys are also conducted over the phone or through e-mail. Web-based surveys are increasingly used to conveniently reach many subjects.
Exploratory data analysis refers to a variety of practices that researchers use to reduce a great many variables to a small number overarching factors. In Peirce’s three modes of inference, exploratory data analysis corresponds to abduction.Meta-analysis is the technique research psychologists use to integrate results from many studies of the same variables and arriving at a grand average of the findings.