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Psychology Schools of Thought

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  1. Psychology Schools of Thought The Simpsons Edition

  2. Patient: Bart Simpson • Oldest of three children • Only male child • Mischievous behavior • Parents caught him hitting cars with a slingshot and took him to 7 different psychologists…

  3. Biological/Neuroscience School • Focus: brain and body chemistry. • Bart's behavior = something physically going wrong with his body. • They would look at Bart's brain for abnormalities, check his blood chemistry and diet, and maybe put him on medication.

  4. Evolutionary School • Focus: process of natural selection. • Way back in the caveman days, Bart's great greatgreatgreatgreatgreatgreatgreatgreatgreatgreat grandfather also misbehaved.  • For some reason this trait helped Bart's ancestors to survive and they passed this trait all the way down to Bart. 

  5. Psychodynamic School • Focus: unconscious drives (Freud) • In Bart's case, a person from the psychodynamic school might say that Bart acts out because he actually has sexual feelings for his mother (hidden in the unconscious) • To ignore those feelings, he does the opposite of his true desire (a defense mechanism called reaction formation) and tries to annoy her.

  6. Behavioral School • Focus: observable behaviors  • If Bart was angry and shot a stone at Flanders’ car, the behavioral school would only focus on the behavior and not his feelings.  • They might do something like shock Bart every time he tries to use his slingshot.  Bart would eventually associate the shocking behavior with his misbehavior and stop it.

  7. Humanistic School • Focus: self-actualization • They would listen to Bart and hear out his problems.  They would tell him to focus on the healthy person they know he can be.  • For Humanists believe that everyone has thepower to solve their own problems if they can shed themselves of that negative vibe.  • Scientists always have the most trouble dealing with the Humanistic school because it is really hard to tell if it works.

  8. Cognitive School • Focus: how we interpret, process and remember events.  • They would say that Bart acts out because he has learned that that is the best way to deal with the world.  • They would help Bart develop alternative cognitive strategies

  9. Social-Cultural School • Focus: Social and Cultural Influences  • We all grow up in different environments, with various religions, family structures, money etc...  All of these things effect the way we think and act.  • In Bart's case it could be a number of things: • A smarty-pants little sister • A baby sister fixated at the oral stage • A busy stay-at-home mom • A father who may not be the best male role model

  10. Brought to you by Adapted from Mrs. Halfen