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The Behavior Theories of Freud and B.F. Skinner

            When it comes to finding explanations to things like; why one thinks different than another person, or how does the way one lives in society shape their personality and does childhood experiences influence the way a person turns out to be as an adult? These questions have intrigued philosophers for centuries, but thankfully there were two individuals who understood human behavior. Their names were Sigmund Freud and Frederick Skinner, between the two of them they have contributed greatly to the psychology world (Crux, 2006). .
             In this essay, I will compare how Freud and Skinner's approaches toward human behavior helped to answer some of life's mind boggling questions as well as highlight some of the main ideas of their theories. When it comes to Freud his psychoanalytic theories grew from his years of interactions with his clients whom were psychoanalysis. Psychodynamic theories embrace all the diverse theories descended from the work of Sigmund Freud, which focuses on unconscious mental forces and asserts the idea that behavior is caused by internal, mental mechanisms (Weiten, 2001, p. 488). Freud's psychoanalytic approach seeks to explain behavior, motivation and mental disorders by focusing on the influence of early childhood experiences, on unconscious motives and conflicts, and on the methods people use to cope with their sexual and aggressive urges (Weiten, 2001). .
             By doing this, Freud was able to identify three components of personality structure: the id, the ego and the superego. He saw a person's behavior as the result of interactions between these three components. The id centers around a person's needs and wants, it is the drive that forces one to make sure those desires are met no matter what the cost may be. The ego on the other hand is seen as the decision making component of personality that operates according to the reality principle it makes one meet their needs and wants in a socially accepted manner.

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