Psychoanalysis And Behaviorism: The Lotter Case Study

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Psychoanalysis and Behaviourism are two contrasting personality theories, each with strong viewpoints on how one’s behaviour is created and maintained. Through this essay, it is going to be determined as to which personality theory can best describe the causes and maintenance of the behaviour of the Lotter siblings, who murdered their parents in 2008. Both will be used to explain the situation, coming to a conclusion as to which theory can best describe their behaviour which resulted in parricide. Human behaviour is very complex and challenging to understand, categorise and analyse as there are so many interdependent factors to consider. Both Psychoanalysis and Behaviourism were considered highly influential theories in the early-to-mid-1900’s,…show more content…
The antecedent/precursor will instigate the behaviour which will then be promoted, changed or inhibited based upon the consequences of such behaviours (Weiten, 2014). Referring to the Lotter case, the children may have been told to do something, and if they didn’t then they may have been shouted at and given a smack, which would have instigated fear. The next time the children were told to do something, or not to do something, they would have immediately felt the fear which was conditioned into them. Living a life of fear and anxiety pays a toll on one’s psyche, which could well have led the siblings to the murder their parents as a result of psychological instability (this is more psychodynamic theory – anything that is deep in the psyche or causes psychological…show more content…
For example, even if behaviour is determined by unconscious drives and dysfunction enhanced by an underdeveloped ego and/or an overdeveloped superego, positive or negative reinforcement from the environment would still have an impact on the maintenance of such behaviours. In essence the two theories may complement each other in that Psychoanalysis considers the unconscious and the role of the psyche in behaviour and Behaviourism considers the influence of the
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