Describe different contemporary approaches to psychology.

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Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are at least three contemporary approaches to psychology. The most widely used approach is the psychoanalytic approach. Psychoanalytic psychology emphasizes subconscious motivations, drives, and habits. Sigmund Freud popularized the psychoanalytic approach.

The humanistic approach emphasizes self-consciousness and self-concept. It focuses on the way in which human beings seek to construct and maintain a cohesive human identity. Carl Rogers is a well known humanistic psychologist. 

The behaviorist approach, popularized by B.F. Skinner, emphasizes learning and reaction to external stimulus in psychological inquiries. These three approaches, though distinct, may at times overlap in their methodological approach.