Explain the Difference Between Sigmund Freud’s Theory Psychoanalysis and B. F. Skinner’s Theory of Behaviorism

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Date Added: 02 / 04 / 2013
Category: Philosophy and Psychology
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Explain the Difference Between Sigmund Freud’s Theory Psychoanalysis and B. F. Skinner’s Theory of Behaviorism

View Full Essay Explain the difference between Sigmund Freud’s theory Psychoanalysis and B. F. skinner’s theory of Behaviorism



    Freud was responsible for introducing psychoanalysis to the field of psychology. Psychoanalysis is a theory and psychological is a method based on the ideas that mental life functions are both conscious as well as unconscious levels, and that childhood events have a powerful psychological influence throughout a person’s life. Freud’s method of applying psychoanalysis to interpret the causes of patients’ problems involved interpreting information presented by the patient in attempt to bring forth the unconscious processes to the conscious awareness. Many of those who would choose Freud believe that the only way to get to the bottom of depression and end it would be by having a therapist delve deep into their unconscious psyche, interpret what they found, and then offer advice to the patient on how to overcome the findings of their subconscious, internal conflict(s) that manifested itself in the form of depression.

    One the other hand, B.F. Skinner has a very different approach to explaining and treating psychological problems such as depression—behaviorism. He believed that Freud’s approach of looking within a person for answers to account for that person’s unexplained feelings and behaviors rendered useless information as those variables were not readily available for scientific research, but that all aspects that shaped behavior could be found outside of a person—in their current as well as previous environments and in their reinforcement history to different behaviors throughout their life. Some people argue that Skinner had the better psychological approach and philosophy claim that they can see how “talking therapy” may have some benefits, others think that answering “silly” questions about childhood experiences, etc. as one did in Freud’s psychoanalytic method are a ridiculous waste of time and do not help get to the root of the...