Psychoanalytic Theory vs Behaviourism: Motivation

In: Social Issues

Psychoanalytic theory vs behaviourism: motivation

Freud's psychoanalytic theory with its model of the mind and its central concepts provides a better interpretation of one's behavior and accounts for behavior on a wider scope of issues than does the radical behaviorist theory of B. F. Skinner.
Skinner successfully explains human behavior in terms of operant conditioning and reinforcing agents. He changes the focus from Freud's internalized (mental) processes to the importance of the external environment. Skinner emphasizes the importance of the directly observable behavior. However, he fails to completely account for behavior, excluding the original motivational drive.

In contrast, Freud succeeds in construing the origins of behavior and motivation, which makes the psychoanalytic theory of Freud more adequate as a theory of personality.

Throughout history humans have been puzzled by human behavior, the reasons behind it, and have been faced with the consequences of their own as well as others' behavior. Many studies have been done and theories developed in an attempt to explain this fascinating area of human existence.

Among many theories and theorists, Freud's psychoanalytic and Skinner's radical behaviorist theories have been selected and looked at throughout the following paper.

Theory of personality that Freud introduced together with its concepts, many deemed romantic, unprovable and sometimes obscene, has shaped the way humans view themselves in many cases. He introduced concepts of the unconscious, id, ego, superego, repression, anxiety and others, sufficient tools in explaining any behavior encountered.

In contrast, Skinner proposed a theory focusing on different aspects of personality and behavior, presenting new ideas of 'operant conditioning' and 'reinforcers', claiming that, which is unobservable should be excluded, as it is an...

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