Online College Courses for Credit

2 Tutorials that teach Psychological Point of View
Take your pick:
Psychological Point of View

Psychological Point of View

Author: Erick Taggart

Identify key characteristics of the psychological perspective on psychology.

See More
Fast, Free College Credit

Developing Effective Teams

Let's Ride
*No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 1 semester credit.

37 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

299 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 32 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


Contemporary Psychology: Psychological Perspective

Video Transcription

Download PDF

Hello, class. So the next perspective we'll be looking at in our three major contemporary perspectives in psychology, or the biopsychosocial aspects of psychology, is the psychological perspective. Now unlike the biological perspective, which talks about the internal physical processes that dictate our behaviors, the psychological perspective looks at the internal mental and psychological processes that are occurring with a person which, in turn, shape their behavior.

Now the psychological perspective combines aspects of the cognitive theory, which talks about the internal mental processes that are separate from the external stimuli, as well as the psychodynamic theory, which talk about the unconscious processes that are occurring within a person. It also incorporates some of the humanistic, where we're trying to get the perspective of the person and incorporate that into our understanding as well. However, unlike the humanistic, the psychological perspective attempts to incorporate more scientific method and objective observation, which is to say, observations of things from an outside point of view.

For example, in the cognitive behavioral theory, which tries to incorporate both aspects of cognitive and behavioralism, the goal of the practitioner is to try to use scientific observation of both of those aspects to try to understand how it affects their behavior in turn as opposed to relying specifically on reports from the person. So let's take a look at some of these subcategories in this perspective.

So the first subcategory in our psychological perspective is the cognitive view of psychology, which is to say, just like with cognitive theory, the focus is on the internal processes that may or may not affect our behavior, things like thinking, memory and language perception, problem solving, consciousness, and creativity. The broader field of study that incorporates cognitive psychology is cognitive science, which is also popular with related fields in computer science and linguistics, which try to study the logic and the sort of rationale behind these mental processes, in other words, what scientifically is going into create these kinds of human understandings and behaviors.

The next subcategory under the psychological perspective is the psychodynamic view of psychology. While there's still a lot of debate about Freud's own ideas and contributions to psychology, whether they're valid or whether they're actually applicable, the broader realm of psychodynamic theory still contributes to a lot of our psychological understanding. Contributions from the Neo-Freudians, the ones we talked about before, like Adler, Horney, and Jung, still help to inform our therapeutic practise. They helped us to understand the unconscious mind, and the processes that are occurring, and how they might affect people's conscious minds and their behaviors.

Another subcategory under the psychological perspective is the humanistic view of psychology. Just like the humanistic theory propounded by Rogers and Maslow, the focus here is on the subjective experience of the individuals. Again, humanistic psychology is focused on the person. It's person centered.

One of the big movements that's come out of the humanistic view is the positive psychology movement, which is a move away from some of the more negative aspects of human thought and behavior. Things that are proposed by the psychodynamic theories and the behavioralists are now focused instead on human strengths, virtues, and optimal behaviors for people, things like creativity or happiness, more positive things in the human experience to understand and to study.

And there are other subcategories to consider under the psychological perspective of psychology, things like the evolutionary view, which says that human thoughts, behaviors, and mental processes evolved over time, over the history of the entire species. For example, seasonal affective disorder, a disorder where people become more depressed as the seasons change, has developed over time due to the reactions of human beings to the sun and the seasons. Some may see this as a bit of a biological approach. It was something that was mentioned in that perspective as well. But it should be taken into account that a lot of the modern approaches to psychology try to incorporate multiple perspectives on it, which is why we consider it as a whole-- the biopsychosocial approach.

Terms to Know
Cognitive View

Emphasis on internal mental processes such as thinking, memory, language, perception, problem solving, consciousness, and creativity.

Humanistic View

Emphasis on the individual, their subjective experiences, and their potential.

Psychodynamic View

Emphasis on unconscious processes; founded by Sigmund Freud.

Psychological Perspective

The view that behavior is shaped by psychological processes occurring internally at the level of the individual.