The 7 Most Important Perspectives in Psychology (Made Simple) (2023)

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perspectives in psychology

Psychology is the study of how people think and behave. Many psychologists have defined and presented different perspectives on the interests and explanations of human behavior. From this rationale, many perspectives in psychology emerged.

Starting from Aristotle to modern timesDefinition of Psychology, no single perspective has emerged as the correct way to look at human behavior and mental processes. Today, the viewpoints of the founders of psychology have become so mingled that they no longer exist as a separate school of thought.

The major perspectives in psychology that have emerged are cognitive, behavioral, psychodynamic, humanistic, biological, sociocultural, and evolutionary.

1. Cognitive Perspective

One of the most important psychological perspectives is the cognitive perspective of psychology. It focuses on processing, organizing, storing and retrieving information and deals with the higher mental processes like thinking, memory, etc.

(Video) Psychological Perspectives Video

The cognitive perspective is the newly developed area that explains human behavior that was developed in the 1960s. The most important contributions to this perspective are George Miller (1920), Jerome Bruner (1915) and Ulrich Neisser (1928).

Cognition includes the higher intellectual process such as perceiving, believing, thinking, remembering, knowing, deciding and so on. The word "cognito" means "I think". Cognition is a mental process whereby information is acquired, processed, transmitted, stored, retrieved and used. It examines thinking, how we know and understand words, solve problems, make decisions, use language, communicate our thoughts to others.

For example, if someone stops us on a freeway and we think they need help (their car broke down), we might stop offering help and remind ourselves that someone in a similar situation helped us before.

On the other hand, if we think he's planning to rob at gunpoint or remember a bad accident with a similar situation, we wouldn't help him. This suggests that cognition helps to analyze the situation. From this perspective, cognition plays a crucial role in controlling behavior.

2. Behavioral Perspective

Another important psychological perspective is the behavioral perspective of psychology. It is based on observable behavior without giving importance to mental processes such as thinking, emphasizing that learning plays a key role in controlling and influencing all behaviors.

The behavioral perspective of psychology suggests that only demonstrated behaviors are observable and not mental processes. It was J.B. Waston who introduced the idea of ​​behaviorism, the work of Ivan Pavlov that influenced him.

Watson then opined that human behavior can be measured by observable behavior and not by studying the mind or consciousness. He shaped and practiced these principles for animals, which were later opened up to humans.

(Video) seven perspectives of psychology | seven perspectives in psychology in urdu/Hindi |seven Perspective

Later, B.F. Skinner, one of the greatest contemporary psychologists, followed these psychological perspectives. Skinner uses behavior in a very simple way. He used to cure diseases and change the behavior of animals in a variety of environments. Skinner's principles are also used to train dolphins, seals, and other animals found in the circus or in the home.

3. Psychodynamic Perspective

Sigmund Freud developed the psychodynamic technique used to study abnormal behavior. Freud believed that at the root of psychological problems are sexual and aggressive motives that remain at the unconscious level of the mind.

The term psychodynamics is used because these unconscious motives and conflicts influence our behavior even though we are unaware that they exist. They reveal themselves in disguised, symbolic ways, such as in dreams, in slips of the tongue, and sometimes in psychological problems.

Freud also focused on early childhood, emphasizing that early experiences have a major impact on personality development. The psychodynamic perspective is widely known for treating maladaptive behavior by bringing the unconscious causes of stress to the conscious level.

4. Humanistic Perspective

It emphasizes human mental health through psychotherapy and focuses on human free will, values ​​and goodness.

The humanistic perspective of psychology was developed by Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Viktor Frankl in the 1950s and 1960s. This perspective has a very different view of the human being than the perspectives of psychoanalysis and behavioral psychology.

This perspective focuses on freedom in controlling human behavior. According to this, every person is a unique individual and experiences the world differently. One of the key humanistic principles is that all human beings have a fundamental strong innate tendency to grow and improve to reach their full potential and a desire to take control of their own lives.

(Video) Modern Perspectives | Psychology

Humanistic psychologists are the "least scientific" of all perspectives on psychology. The principle they focus on is very difficult to study scientifically because it is characterized by philosophical aspects of human life.

5. Physiological or biological perspective

It mainly focuses on the physiology involved in all forms of behavior and mental processes. Uses research tools to study the workings of the brain and nerve impulses, primarily focusing on the role of heredity in normal and abnormal patterns of behavior.

All human behavior is associated with physiological changes in the body. The interrelationship between body, behavior and mental processes is the focus of the biological perspective. ThephysiologicalPerspective describes the role of nerve cells in various aspects of a person's behavior related to emotion, reasoning, problem solving, intelligence, speech, etc.

Physiological psychologists have studied the influence of heredity on personality traits and abilities in recent years. They also focus on behavioral genetics to determine how much genes and environment influence individual differences.

In particular, Karl Lashley focused on the continuous activity of the brain and its interaction with the environment and a dynamic network of interacting systems. Lashley emphasized fatigue, lower motivation and poor memory as the three factors most important in forgetting.

6. Evolutionary Perspective

It focuses on how natural selection favors traits that promote the continuation of one's genes. How does evolution affect behavioral tendencies, and how does that behavior or structure help adapt to the environment?

An evolutionary perspective is based on the work of Charles Darwin (1859), who popularized the theory of evolution nearly 150 years ago. The evolutionary perspective focuses on the role of physical structure and behavior in the process of an organism's adaptation to the environment.

(Video) Introduction to Psychology | 7 Perspectives of Psychology

Darwin popularized the three basic components of variance, heredity and selection in his theory of evolution.

  • Variation refers to the fact that organisms belonging to a particular species vary in different ways. Every human being has individual differences varying in shape, size, intelligence, personality, health and so on.
  • Inheritance refers to the fact that some of these variations can be passed from generation to generation
  • Selection refers to the particular behaviors that organisms have adapted to best suit their environment.

7. Sociocultural Perspective

The focus of the sociocultural perspective is on how behavior and thinking varyacross different cultures.

The way people socialize and develop from infancy to old age is explained through a psychological perspective known as the sociocultural perspective. Sociocultural psychology explains how our personalities, beliefs, attitudes, skills, and values ​​are shaped by our culture, ethnicity, gender, religion, and other important sociocultural factors.

Sociocultural aspects deal with how people interact, are interdependent and coordinate with one another to influence and be influenced by one another.


These 7 perspectives of psychology are recognized as a suitable means of understanding human beings' diverse characters, needs, styles, development and many things. By including one or two perspectives, one can understand why and how people behave the way they do.

These perspectives are effective ways to understand different problems of people, which can be beneficial for various scholars, researchers, psychologists and students.

However, it cannot be said that these 7 perspectives are only the perspectives of psychology. Rather, psychologists are increasingly busy exploring many more possible perspectives today, and perhaps many more perspectives in the future, that will also help to better understand people, us, or human nature.

(Video) Six Perspectives on Psychology



What are the 7 major perspective in psychology? ›

At this point in modern psychology, the varying viewpoints on human behavior have been split into eight different perspectives: biological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic, sociocultural, evolutionary, and biopsychosocial.

How do you remember the 7 perspectives of psychology? ›

  1. THUMB (suck your thumb) sucking your thumb is a childlike behavior, Freud studied childhood experiences --> Psychodynamic.
  2. INDEX FINGER (scratch your head) ...
  3. MIDDLE FINGER (flipping off) ...
  4. RING FINGER (putting a ring on it) ...
  5. PINKY (50% of hand strength) ...
  6. HAND HELD OUT (giving help) ...
  7. FIST (looks like a brain)

What are the 7 perspectives of psychology quizlet? ›

Biological, behaviorism, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic, socio-cultrual, and evolutionary.

What is the importance of psychological perspectives? ›

The different perspectives in modern psychology give researchers and students tools to approach problems and answer questions. They also guide psychologists in finding new ways to explain and predict human behavior. This exploration and deeper understanding can even lead to the development of new treatment approaches.

What is the main perspective in psychology? ›

The five major perspectives in psychology are biological, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive and humanistic. You may wonder why there are so many different psychology approaches and whether one approach is correct and others wrong.

What are the basic concepts of psychology? ›

There are five different psychological concepts. They are biological, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic. Each concept claims a different idea for the motivator behind human behavior, but all concepts seek to understand human behavior on a deeper, more scientific level.

How can I memorize psychology fast? ›

Simple memory tips and tricks
  1. Try to understand the information first. Information that is organized and makes sense to you is easier to memorize. ...
  2. Link it. ...
  3. Sleep on it. ...
  4. Self-test. ...
  5. Use distributed practice. ...
  6. Write it out. ...
  7. Create meaningful groups. ...
  8. Use mnemonics.

How can I memorize my psychology study? ›

Take Notes: Read through your materials slowly and write down key points. Write down any questions you have about the materials that you can later discuss with your classmates or course instructor. Test Your Understanding: Quiz yourself on the material you have just read.

What is the correct order of psychological perspectives? ›

The correct chronological order is 3: Structuralism, 2: Psychoanalysis, 1: Behaviorism, 4: Humanism. In the second half of the 19th century, structuralism was developed by Wilhelm Wundt and one of his students, Edward Titchener, to study the conscious components of a person's experience.

What are the major perspective? ›

Eventually, the studies began to look at the same human behaviors from various angles including biological, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic perspectives. These became known as the “five major perspectives” in psychology.

What are the major perspectives in psychology quizlet? ›

  • What are the 5 perspectives in Psychology? Biological. ...
  • Biological Perspective. Biopsychologists look at how your nervous system, hormones and genetic makeup affect your behavior. ...
  • Psychodynamic Perspective. ...
  • Behavioral Perspective. ...
  • Cognitive Perspective. ...
  • Humanistic Perspective.

What is the best introduction to psychology? ›

Top 10 Introductory Psychology Books for Students
  • Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior with Concept Maps and Reviews. ...
  • Psychology – 10th Edition. ...
  • Psychology: A Concise Introduction. ...
  • Psychology: An Introduction. ...
  • Psychology: Themes and Variations, 9th Edition. ...
  • Understanding Psychology.
Feb 5, 2022

What are the 3 R's of memory? ›

These processes are encoding, storage, and retrieval (or recall). Encoding. Encoding refers to the process through which information is learned.

What is the easiest type of psychology to study? ›

At the graduate level, the master's degree in industrial-organizational psychology is probably the easiest to attain. As doctorates go, the Doctor of Psychology (Psy. D.) degree may be easier than the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.

Why do I keep forgetting what I study? ›

Lack of Revision

Students generally tend to forget the content during the examination if he has burnt the midnight oil at the last minute. With a regular schedule of study and appropriate revision, the retaining capacity of the brain improves and the content is embedded in a much deeper manner.

Is it easy to pass psychology? ›

According to students studying psychology, there is quite a lot of reading that you need to do. Psychology is one of the more difficult degrees and many of your assignments will require you to cite your sources and will require you to back up a lot of the arguments that you have.

How do you get an A on a psychology exam? ›

By following these relatively simple strategies, you can be sure that you'll be ready when test day arrives.
  1. Start Studying Early. ...
  2. Become an Active Listener. ...
  3. Review Your Class Notes Frequently. ...
  4. Form a Psychology Study Group. ...
  5. Take Practice Quizzes. ...
  6. Think of Real World Examples. ...
  7. Review Material in Multiple Ways.
Nov 29, 2020

How do you master in psychology? ›

A master's degree in psychology is a graduate-level degree that generally involves two to three years of study after you complete your undergraduate (bachelor's) degree. The two most common types of psychology master's degrees are the Master of Arts (M.A.) and the Master of Science (M.S.). An M.A.

What was the first perspective in psychology? ›

Psychology as a field of experimental study began in 1854 in Leipzig, Germany when Gustav Fechner created the first theory of how judgments about sensory experiences are made and how to experiment on them.

How do different perspectives of psychology explain Behaviour? ›

The Behavioral Perspective

* This approach centers around learned behaviors rather than internal processes like cognition. In other words, behavioral psychologists explore psychology through observable behaviors and actions. In this perspective, psychologists treat all behavior as learned or acquired.

What are the 8 perspectives? ›

We have organized them into eight broad perspectives: the systems perspective, conflict perspective, exchange and choice perspective, social constructionist perspective, psychodynamic perspective, developmental perspective, behavioral perspective, and humanistic perspective.

What are the 10 perspectives in psychology? ›

In psychology there are ten early perspectives. These perspectives are structuralism, functionalism, Gestalt psychology, behaviorism, psychodynamic, humanistic, physiological, evolutionary, cognitive, and cultural and diversity.

What are the 6 major psychological theories? ›

6 theories of personality
  • Psychodynamic theories. Sigmund Freud laid the foundation for psychodynamic personality theories with his proposal of the id, the ego, and the superego. ...
  • Trait theories. ...
  • Humanistic theories. ...
  • Social cognitive theories. ...
  • Biological theories. ...
  • Evolutionary theories.
May 20, 2022

What are the 8 areas of psychology? ›

Eight types of psychology to consider a career in include: abnormal, biopsychology, social, cognitive, developmental, personality, forensic and industrial-organizational.

What is the order of psychological perspectives? ›

The correct chronological order is 3: Structuralism, 2: Psychoanalysis, 1: Behaviorism, 4: Humanism. In the second half of the 19th century, structuralism was developed by Wilhelm Wundt and one of his students, Edward Titchener, to study the conscious components of a person's experience.

How many theories are there in psychology? ›

What are the five theories of psychology? The five major theories of psychology are behavioral, psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive, and biological. They are frequently referred to as the "grand" theories.

What are the 4 main types of psychology? ›

There are different types of psychology, such as cognitive, forensic, social, and developmental psychology.

What is a summary of psychology theories? ›

Psychological theories are systems of ideas that can explain certain aspects of human thoughts, behaviors and emotions. Psychology researchers create these theories to make predictions for future human behaviors or events that may take place if certain behaviors exist.

What are the 5 psychological principles? ›

The principles are organized into five areas of psychological functioning: cognition and learning; motivation; social and emotional dimensions; context and learning; and assessment.

What are the core psychological theories? ›

Psychological theories are fact-based ideas that describe a phenomenon of human behavior. These theories are based on a hypothesis, which is backed by evidence. Thus, the two key components of a psychological theory are: It must describe a behavior.

What are the 9 Applied Psychology? ›

Some of the areas of applied psychology include counseling psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, engineering psychology, occupational health psychology, legal psychology, school psychology, sports psychology, community psychology, neuropsychology, medical psychology and clinical psychology, evolutionary ...

What is 11th psychology? ›

Thus, psychology is a social science with focus on the individuals and communities in relation to their socio- cultural and physical environment. UNDERSTANDING MIND AND BEHAVIOUR. You will recall that psychology was once defined as a science of the mind.


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