One of our first priorities the moment we start having classes is to fully understand the various perspectives, especially if this is your first contact with psychology academically. Note that perspectives are not exactly “fields” per say, but rather one’s orientation and the assumptions made when he or she asks questions about psychology.   

#1 Biological Perspective

Assumes that behavior and thought have biological basis

#2 Cognitive Perspective

Assumes that behavior is primarily mediated by thought

#3 Behavioral Perspective

ssumes that behavior is often shaped and conditioned by external factors  

#4 Sociocultural Perspective

Assumes that behavior is strongly influenced by social and cultural contexts

$5 Psychodynamic Perspective

Assumes that behavior is driven by conflicts between psychological constructs that are often unconscious

#6 Whole-Person/Humanistic Perspective

Assumes that behavior is strongly connected to an individual’s personality traits, inner feelings, and self concept 

#7 Developmental Perspective

Assumes that behavior is influenced by the changing of life stages throughout the course of one’s life

#8 Evolutionary Perspective

Assumes that behavior is a result of various processes that supports the survival of the human species

#9 Poststructural Perspective

Assumes that what we know about human behavior should be actively criticized for the sake of diversity and accurate discussions as they are essential for humanity

There are about 9 perspectives that are recognized in modern psychology, which may seem overwhelming at first sight. Do note that the perspectives are not mutually exclusive with each other. Quite the contrary, researchers and students are encouraged to examine topics from multiple perspectives. The best, most solid theories that can be supported with multiple perspectives.

Note that most of us won’t be necessarily learning all of them but at least 6 or 7 of these (excluding probably #7,#8, and #9) should be taught in most textbooks and courses. Developmental perspective is often omitted as a perspective due to it being mostly being covered by biological, psychodynamic, and sociocultural ones, but Dr Phillip Zimbardo deems it important enough to stand out as separately. Also, the poststructural perspective is too complicated and not pragmatic for freshmen to understand, thus deemed not important enough to be taught explicitly, as it isn’t directly rooted in any specialization of psychology and science, but rather a stance of epistemology, a philosophy branch. 

I am saving up most of the details on the perspectives until I start writing about Level One, for pre-introductory (anintroduction to the introduction, if you may) purposes

My upcoming post will be on the specializations of academic psychology.

References for external reading:

Major Perspectives in Psychology

Posted in Psychology articles and tagged , , .

Tan Jia Yue, codenamed JY, a s̶e̶l̶f̶-̶p̶r̶o̶c̶l̶a̶i̶m̶e̶d time traveler from a dystopian future who settled down in the present hoping to change its course. Suffering from time-machine lag, he struggles to blend in with peasants of the present and manages to find his way into HELP University’s BPsych programme while picking up a taste for mellow music, video games, anime, inappropriate attempts at jokes, and tea. Having d̶e̶l̶u̶s̶i̶o̶n̶s visions of humanity’s bleak future, he believes the key to a better future lies in the education of the sciences, psychology, humanism, and cat videos. Follow his personal ramblings at A Certain Astral Project;ion.

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