Posted: March 6th, 2023

Why is behaviorism a “better” alternative than the first force of psychology (Freudian psychoanalytic theory)

Behaviorism is a better alternative than Freudian psychoanalytic theory because it focuses on observable behavior rather than unconscious, mental processes. Behaviorism also uses scientific and empirical methods to study behavior, which makes it more reliable and testable. This contrasts with the subjective, often untestable approach of psychoanalytic theory (O’Toole & Reiner, 2018). For example, behaviorists reject the idea of an unconscious mind as proposed by Freudian theorists. Instead they focus on identifying environmental stimuli that may cause certain behaviors and then designing experiments to test their hypotheses (Watson & Rayner 1920).

Behaviorists are also concerned with understanding how reinforcement shapes behavior. Through this process they attempt to identify how rewards or punishments can be used strategically to encourage or discourage certain behaviors in people or animals (Skinner, 1938). Moreover, unlike psychoanalysis which looks for deep meaning behind all behavior at all times, behaviorist thought views some behaviors as being determined by simple learning principles such as repetition and reward rather then deep psychological processes (Lattal 2017).

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Why is behaviorism a “better” alternative than the first force of psychology (Freudian psychoanalytic theory)

Unlike Freudian psychoanalytic theory which relies heavily on interpretation of dreams and other forms of free association for insight into the workings of the psyche; Behaviorism provides a much more focused way of studying human psychology that allows researchers to understand why people do what they do without relying on subjective interpretations. This has allowed researchers to make much greater progress in terms of both treatment options available for mental health issues as well experimenting with different types of conditioning techniques (Meyer et al., 2017). Furthermore behavioral approaches have been very successful in treating problems like substance abuse that are often resistant to other forms psychoanalysis based treatments (Rohsenow et al., 2000) . By focusing directly on changing unwanted behaviors instead of interpreting symbolic meanings behind them behavioral therapies tend be shorter intense treatments with highly successful results.

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In conclusion Behaviorism is a far superior alternative compared to Freudian psychoanalytic theory due its focus on observable phenomena instead of trying interpret hidden psychic motivations via dream analysis and free association . Its reliance experimentation has made it possible for psychologist comprehend complex problem from addiction phobias; while providing practical solutions that don’t require years intensive therapy sessions making it an attractive option when seeking help with emotional difficulties.

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