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Graded Discussion Board

INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY (PSY101)

 

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This is to inform that Graded Discussion Board (GDB) No. 01 will be opened on November 20, 2013 for discussion and last date for posting your discussion will be November 21, 2013.

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 “How to understand human behavior?”

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Basic Assumptions of the Humanistic Approach
i. In order to understand behavior we must consider the subjective experience of the person.
ii. Neither past experience nor current circumstances constrain the behavior of the person.

Central Themes of Humanistic Approach
o Human beings are capable of shaping their own destiny.
o They can think and design their course of action and can follow it in the way they like.
o People can overcome or minimize the environmental, and intrinsic influences
o “Here and now” is important.
o “Wholeness” or “completeness” of the personality is important rather than its separate,
disintegrated, structural parts.
Humanistic approach emphasizes:
o Individual’s freedom in directing his future
o Capacity for personal growth
o Intrinsic worth
o Potential for self-fulfillment

Understanding human behaviour
The reason most people fail to understand human behaviour correctly is that they look at their behaviour without taking other variables into consideration.

If you had the goal of understanding a car's wheel, can you analyze the wheel alone without trying to understand its relationship with the other parts of the car?

If you did so then you might get the wheel incorrectly or fail to understand its function. For example you might never understand why the wheel has certain holes in the middle and even assume that its faulty but when you come to know that this wheel will fit into a rotating shaft then the holes in the center will make all the sense in the world.

The same goes for humans, You wont understand human behavior correctly before you take into consideration the person's beliefs, values, lifestyle, way of thinking and all other variables that affect him directly or indirectly.

A perfect real life example for understanding human behaviour
Brian,a self made millionaire, was a confident and charming person. Brian was so proud of himself and the main psychological identity he used to identify with was being a self made millionaire.

One day Brian discovered that he developed a weird obsessive compulsive disorder that forced him to check whether he left his car's door unlocked or not every few minutes!

For the first instance it might seem to a person who knows little about psychology that a problem happened with Brian's brain chemistry, which is a part of the truth, but he will never be able to guess what was going on unless he analyzes Brian's personality in more details. (see How to analyze someone's personality)

In the past few weeks Brian has been seeing a recurring dream where his car gets stolen. Again to a person who knows little about the human nature it might seem that Brian is afraid to lose his car and that his fears were fed by this dream but that conclusion is wrong as well. (See Dreams and personality disorders)

In the past couple of months Brian faced serious problems with his business that threatened its continuity and threatened his main and most important psychological identity. After all if he went out of business he wont be that self made millionaire anymore and he will lose his money.

Understanding Human nature by connecting the elements together
Because dreams always come in the form of symbols the loss of the car in Brian's dream was just a reflection of his fear of loss of his status. In other words the dream meant that Brian was concerned about losing his status or prestige! (see what does your dream mean)

Because the subconscious mind thinks using symbols and because logic is ignored to a certain extent during its operation Brian's mind forced him to develop that obsessive compulsive disorder because it was so concerned about the threat of the loss of his status.

In other words, Brian developed that disorder because he was too afraid to lose his status and checking whether the car was locked or not was a reflection of his fear of losing his car if he became poor.

This is how to understand human behaviour
When trying to understand human behaviour don't ever examine a single item without examining all the items in the system.

If a woman fears cats then instead of quickly assuming that a traumatic experience with cats happened to her when she was young you should try to look at other aspects of her life.

Could this fear of cats be a reflection of her fear of other women?
Could her low self esteem made her vulnerable to the presence of other women who were symbolized in the form of cats by her subconscious mind?

Understanding Human Behavior

Human behavior is absolutely fascinating.  Observing people and trying to predict what they will do next can provide a real learning experience.  Human behavior is quite predictable in many instances.  Personalities can be extremely complex but there are areas that can be understood with a high degree of accuracy.  That is part of the value in using validated personality assessments.  It's a lot like on the job training in the human behavior department.

You are probably wondering how you would use that information.  If you are considering promoting an employee into a new position with higher levels of responsibility, wouldn't it be beneficial to know ahead of time how he would perform in the new job?  You can also use this information and understanding when putting together a team to manage a new project. You will even know who should be assigned certain tasks in order to play to each members strengths instead of to their weaknesses.

All industries are having to handle technological change.  Which employees will be able to respond to those changes without difficulty?  Which employees should be targeted for specialized or advanced training?  Wouldn't it also be beneficial to know which employees would need supplemental or remedial training?

Another interesting fact about human beings is that they sometimes behave badly just because they don't know any other way to express themselves.  You can effectively spot those individuals and defuse potential problems before they ever get out of the box.

The more that you work with a personality assessment instrument, the more proficient you will become in understanding and reading people accurately.  This is an enormous help when interviewing and screening applicants or in conflict resolution.  When you understand what is driving the behavior, you will be able to predict the outcome much more successfully. You will not become a guru overnight, but a little coaching can take you a long way very quickly.

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