Psychology's five major perspectives explained

Why do you feel the way you feel, think the way you think and behave the way you do? Here are 5 possible explanations.

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  • Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior, but did you know there are actually 5 different perspectives to psychology?
  • The earliest study of human psychology can be traced back to 400-500 BC.
  • The biological approach, the psychodynamic approach, the behavioral approach, the cognitive approach, and the humanistic approach offer valid yet opposing ideas on why humans behave the way we do.
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Haven’t found your niche? This might be why.

Most people don't know what they're passionate about.

  • A niche, in terms of the economy and what you do for a living, is often considered a special talent or service that speaks to you on a different, secondary level. Adam Davidson, co-founder of NPR's "Planet Money" argues that when a niche finds an audience and becomes a successful business, it evolves into its own primary economy.
  • For most people, finding something you're passionate about can take a long time. The search should happen concurrently with your current job and life, not in place of them.
  • It won't be easy and there will have to be sacrifices, Davidson says. But when it's something that you can't live without doing, then it is worth investing the time and effort.

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Kids today are lacking these psychological nutrients

The key to raising indistractable kids is to first determine why they're distracted.

  • When it comes to the rules and restrictions placed on children, author and Stanford Graduate School of Business lecturer Nir Eyal argues that they have a lot in common with another restricted population in society: prisoners. These restrictions have contributed to a generation that overuses and is distracted by technology.
  • Self-determination theory, a popular theory of human motivation, says that we all need three things for psychological well-being: competence, autonomy, and relatedness. When we are denied these psychological nutrients, the needs displacement hypothesis says that we look for them elsewhere. For kids today, that means more video games and screen time.
  • In order to raise indistractable kids, Eyal says we must first address issues of overscheduling, de-emphasize standardized tests as indicators of competency, and provide them with ample free time so that they can be properly socialized in the real world and not look to technology to fill those voids.

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Finding your purpose: A less intimidating approach

Removing the pressure of finding your "dying passion" makes it easier to connect with the "why" of your work.

  • Do you know your purpose in life? If not, London Business School professor Dan Cable says that's OK. It's normal, even.
  • Many people have trouble finding their purpose because the task itself is too demanding. One way to solve this problem is by connecting with the end user of your work.
  • For example, Microsoft will take its teams on site to interview clients and find solutions. Programmers understand who's using their products by hearing it straight from the source, and this gives more meaning to their work.
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Master the skills of negotiating in everyday life

Learn how to negotiate like a shark. Here are Shark Tank investor Daymond John's tips for powerful communication.

  • You're negotiating every day of your life, whether it's a huge business deal or something as small as getting the remote control from your partner, says Shark Tank investor Daymond John.
  • Over 65 percent of communication is body language. Only seven percent is what you say. Using body language effectively is a simple way to shift power to your court during negotiations or strategically shift power over to others.
  • Used-car salespeople have this down to a fine art, says John. They are the best because they listen to clues in the way potential customers talk and then they engage your senses: sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste.

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