Foundations of Psychology Paper

Psychology encompasses a vast range of different thoughts, theories, and biological foundations on behavior of why people act the way they do. Once a part of philosophy, psychology has developed into several schools of thought that describe the theories some of these individuals use to approach what they are observing from different people and their actions. Some of these theories do have conflictions from others, but all have a good amount of validity to their theories.
Many things contribute to the biological well being of a person and those things can determine what kind of behavior the person will display. The major schools of thought are introspection, structuralism, functionalism, psychodynamic theory, cognitive theory, and behavioral theory. Introspection was a method in which a person would report anything the person had come across their mind when they were given some kind of stimulus or task to do. Structuralism used introspection to uncover parts of consciousness and how they combine into ideas with one another.
Functionalism applied the Darwinian Theory where roles or functions would aid in helping an individual adapt to their environment. The psychodynamic theory has three parts that describe it. The first one is thoughts, feelings, or wishes determine the way person will act. The second one is most of the thoughts a person has come outside of the person’s awareness. The third is that the mental processes may conflict with one another leaving to possible compromises within some of the competing motives of a person.

The behavioral theory suggests that there are many things that can stimulate a person such as an object or an event within the person’s environment can control the behavior of a person through learning. The cognitive theory suggests that the perception, process, and the way a person retrieves information allows the person to interact in daily activities. Although all these theories have a specific suggestion on the psychological health of a person, they have had some conflicts that within those who created the theories.
According to Uljana Feest, “Moreover, his contention that something like unconscious sensations/experiences can be invoked as explanatory of other experiences is in clear opposition to Brentano’s view that since mental phenomena, by definition, are conscious, there can be no psychological explanations that make recourse to unconscious mental phenomena. ” Most psychologists in modern times use a more eclectic outlook where they use a combination of these theories to observe people.
The nervous system has an impact on the biological functions of a person, and it can determine how a person will behave in different ways. The nervous system is made up of different types of neurons, and these neurons are what carry messages back and forth through the body to tell the body to do something, when there is an injury, or many other things. This information carried from the neurons is carried through the central nervous system which is made up of the brain, the spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system which maintains the basic survival of a human being.
Neurotransmitters are chemicals within the body that transmit information from one neuron to the next. Each neurotransmitter can have a different effect on the person when the chemical is produced such as when serotonin is produced. Serotonin is the chemical the body produces to help the body sleep, in emotional arousal, pain regulation, and mood. There are also other chemicals in the body that allow the body to do other things, and if any of these chemicals are not produced or they are overproduced, they can have an effect on how the person behaves on a daily basis.
Receptors also play a role in the transmission of neurotransmitters. They bond together to allow a chemical and electrical balance occur which is called a graded potential. According to Howard C. Warren, “Behavior is not merely a branch of physiology; its data, responses, are a class of phenomena indicative of neural activity. Mental states or experiences are not merely subjective occurrences; they are somehow conditioned on the operations of the nervous system. ”
The reasons behind what makes people behave the way they do will still be a science that will not have an absolute answer to. There are theories that suggest different views to why people act the way they do, but those theories are just what they mean. They do provide some sort of understanding, and when put together, make much more sense to use in understanding human behavior. Biological features also play a major role in human behavior, and they too provide psychologists with ways to help understand humans along with the different theories.
Feest Uljana,(2011) pg. 5, Introspection as a Method and Introspection as a Feature of Consciousness, retrieved from Ebscohost: http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=9694d08f-b9f8-420d-903c-00aadade28ff%40sessionmgr113&vid=12&hid=115 Warren, Howard C., pg. 250; Psychology And The Centralnervous System, retrieved from Ebschost: http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=9694d08f-b9f8-420d-903c-00aadade28ff%40sessionmgr113&vid=20&hid=115

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