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Psychodynamic, Humanistic And Behavioral Theories: A Compare And Contrast

Psychodynamic, Humanistic, and Behavioral Theories:

All three theories, psychodynamic, humanistic, and behavioral, add to the understanding of the entirety of human experience. Many psychologists use some impression from more than one of these theories. Each theory defines the causes and outcomes of behavior in its own way (Gerrig and Zimbardo 10).

The psychodynamic theory looks at behavior as driven by instinctive forces, inner conflicts, and conscious and unconscious motivations. This theory says that the way we balance the forces of the mind gives us our personality. This differs from the behavioral theory in that it says that our behavior is shaped by our environment (Psychodynamic Theory).

The humanistic theory focuses on mental processes that influence behavioral responses. This theory emphasizes on an individuals natural ability to reach personal growth. This presumption does not see people's present behaviors as unconsciously guided by past experiences like the psychodynamic theory. Humanism is often seen as the softer, non-scientific side of psychology, it was the first, and in a way is the only theory so far that sees humans as truly special, individual creatures. It focuses on the entire population, rather than only those who are plagued with mental illness, and doesn't compare them to machines, as the behavioral or cognitive theories tend to do (Humanistic Theory).

The humanistic theory focuses on improvement or making life more pleasant rather than dredging up agonizing memories that are sometimes better left concealed or repressed as does the psychodynamic theory. This theory does not see people manipulated by their environment as the behavioral theory does (Humanistic Theory). The humanistic theory says that "people are active creatures who are innately good and capable of choice  (Gerrig and Zimbardo 11).

The humanistic theory states that society often impedes our abi

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