Theories, Systems, and Paradigms Essay

This essay has a total of 1229 words and 10 pages.


Yes





Theories, Systems, and Paradigms
Psychology is the study of the way people think and behave. The field of psychology has a
number of subdisciplines devoted to the study of the different levels and contexts of
human thought and behavior that includes theories, systems, and paradigms. Theories,
systems, and paradigms have had an important effect on psychology.

A theory is a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of
principles offered to explain phenomena. A theory can also be explained as an abstract
thought or speculation. There are many different theories of abnormality and treatment.
These approaches include the psychoanalytic, neo-Freudian, gestalt, cognitive behavior
therapy, humanistic psychology, and transactional analysis. Theories have provided
psychology with the way to analyze a set of facts and how they relate to one another.
"Traditional studies of theory have generally focused on individual theorists, core
concepts, intellectual histories, or "schools" of social thought" (Wells). Studies of
individual theorists generally catalogue a brief biographical account, list basic
assumptions, and present the major works of each person classified as a social theorist.
Core concept approaches to theory outline a basic conceptual model and generally
synthesize relevant historical and



empirical research. The approach of intellectual history describes the sociocultural
context of theoretical systems and the future of idea-systems on the works of subsequent
theorists. The schools of social thought approach organizes the study of theory in terms
of groups of theorists who share similar assumptions and approaches to the study of human
behavior.

In American psychology, systems and theories historically have been very closely
associated. A system of psychology may be defined as "an interpretation of data and
theories with special assumptions (postulates), definitions, and methodological biases"
(Marx and Hillix, 1979, p. 490). The key word in this definition is the last one,
"biases", because in essence a system represents a predisposition toward the selection of
problems, methods, observations, and interpretations. The systems that have been most
influential in American psychology are generally agreed to be structuralism,
functionalism, behaviorism, Gestalt psychology, and psychoanalysis. Sets of interacting
units with relationships among them form these systems. For example, structuralism has no
concrete mental process, no idea of feeling that we actually experience as part of a
consciousness, is a simple process, but that all alike are made up of a number of simple
processes blended together. These simple processes are called mental elements
(Sahakian,1975,p.353). Functionalism is conceived as the psychology of mental operations
in contrast to the psychology of mental elements; or, expressed otherwise, the psychology
of the how and why of consciousness as



distinguished from the psychology of the what of consciousness (Sahakian,1975,p.366).
Kuhn's introduction of the paradigm concept has served as a basis for reorganizing the
study of the social sciences in general and sociological theory in particular. A paradigm
provides a basis for taking an inventory of existing findings in the field; for indicating
contradictory, contrary and consistent results (Cullen). A paradigm in Kuhn's inclusive
sense involved nearly everything necessary for doing science, all the way from a
particular set of metaphysical assumptions "at the top" through commitments to apparatus
and experimental procedures "at the bottom" (Marx and Hillix, 1987). Although the
importance of Kuhn's contribution to the study of the social sciences is and will probably
continue to be a point of discussion and controversy, the paradigm concept along with the
specification of paradigm components have served as major organizing devices for the study
of theory (Wells).

Theories, systems, and paradigms have had a huge impact on psychology, as we know it
today. As more theories, systems, and paradigms develop, the path for American psychology
will lead to an innovative future.






























Theories, Systems, and Paradigms
Psychology is the study of the way people think and behave. The field of psychology has a
number of subdisciplines devoted to the study of the different levels and contexts of
human thought and behavior that includes theories, systems, and paradigms. Theories,
systems, and paradigms have had an important effect on psychology.

A theory is a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of
principles offered to explain phenomena. A theory can also be explained as an abstract
thought or speculation. There are many different theories of abnormality and treatment.
These approaches include the psychoanalytic, neo-Freudian, gestalt, cognitive behavior
therapy, humanistic psychology, and transactional analysis. Theories have provided
psychology with the way to analyze a set of facts and how they relate to one another.
"Traditional studies of theory have generally focused on individual theorists, core
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