Psychology

Psychology

Keeping in mind that I have chosen Psychodynamic Thoery –
Respond positively, specifically and substantially with a minimum of 100 words. No paraphrasing.

I definitely think that the social-cognitive theory interests me the most. I do like the idea of the humanistic theory but I find that it doesn’t consider one’s background (upbringing); to me, background is extremely important when it comes to behaviors.

What I like the most about the social-cognitive theory is that it considers what we are thinking about a situation (Myers, 2014), rather than just going off of what we have experienced in our childhood or basing it off of how we see our self now as compared to what we could be or want to be. I truly think that our behavior has a lot to do with how we perceive the situation. I also like how it takes into consideration our past behaviors and memories; When I see a situation, I will interpret it and think about what kind of situation it is. Then my past behavioral responses to similar experiences will influence my expectations of the current situation. For example, I see a spider. I remember previous experiences with spiders where they bit me. Additionally, I have observed others responses to spiders (most commonly fears). I now expect the spider to bite me, fear it, so I stay away from it (or tell my husband to kill it). I am thinking about the situation, how it affected me before, and how I perceive it to affect me now and behaving appropriately).

I do think that the social-cognitive theory has a weakness (I really couldn’t think of more than one). The one weakness I do think it has is I do not think it considers impulsive decisions. For example, I am scared of flying. I have had bad experiences with flying and have seen enough stories about mishaps that I refuse to fly. What happens, however, if I decide to fly because of an emergency? For example, what if my husband leaves me and heads to the airport telling me that he is taking the kids and I will never find them. I rush to the airport; I buy a ticket just to talk some sense into him, but find out that there is only 1 minute before they close the airplanes door. I make a split-decision to get on the plane and fly with him. I do not see how my past memories or behaviors or responses to previous similar situations would explain my behavior. In fact, I would think it would deter it. Yes my current situation would influence my decision slightly but it still seems unpredictable.

I am going to choose Obsessive Compulsive Behavior as the disorder to look at (mostly because I have it and find learning about it more fascinating). The symptoms of OCD are basically repetitive behaviors or thinking about something over and over (getting these both from experience and seeing it in the text (Myers, 2014). For example, I had a traumatic experience with my child when she was a baby where she was hurt. After that incident, everything safety related I checked again and again or thought about again and again. Whenever my husband is out of town I find that I have to check that the doors are locked over and over. I walk away from the door that I have just locked 3 times and once I get 5 steps away I think, “Did I REALLY lock the door or did I just think I did?”. Similarly, when I go to tuck her in at night I check that her nightlight is plugged in all of the way over and over again, because in my mind if it is pulled out a bit, it might spark and cause a fire that would injure her (not logical but I also have PTSD which causes a lot of anxiety related to her safety). I also have found myself thinking about certain things over and over again. Did I close the garage door? Am I SURE I closed the garage door? (I actually will take a picture of the closed garage door if I am leaving for an appointment so that I can check it later to make sure I really closed it).

I think that the social-cognitive theory would help understand what makes a person with OCD develop the disorder to begin with. For example, from my case, take my previous experience dealing with the safety of my daughter. I take potentially dangerous situations (in my mind) and think about the best way to handle the situation based on the experience I had. Additionally, some of my behavior towards potentially dangerous situations (the garage door being open and me forgetting to close it) is from observing others. I have observed (heard of) people in my neighborhood who had their garage open and had someone come in and enter their home. In one case, they were tied up and robbed. Therefore, my experiences with safety AND watching other people experience safety issues all contribute to my repetitive behaviors (as well as my general anxiety from my PTSD).

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