How do I write a paragraph using a made up student to describe how he would choose to become an airline pilot based on the 5 psychological perspectives? I am really confused, I am unsure how to...

How do I write a paragraph using a made up student to describe how he would choose to become an airline pilot based on the 5 psychological perspectives? I am really confused, I am unsure how to even begin to formulate a response.

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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This is what is called a "theory-application" essay. What it does is test your understanding of a group of abstract psychological theories to show how they can help account for everyday, mundane actions by ordinary people, in this case, a young man deciding on a career as a pilot. The key to doing well on the assignment is showing that you understand the difference between the different types of psychological theory. It sounds as if you are free to invent any details you wish about the young man (and that they can vary depending on the theory they are explaining). Thus you might look at:

  • Freudian: Perhaps the young man's father was a pilot and his choice is motivated by an Oedipal desire to reclaim his mother's affections after weaning by competing with the father figure.
  • Jungian: The young man sees the pilot as an archetypal hero and is engaging in a subconscious enactment of a quest.
  • Behaviorist: The young man did well at flying lessons and thus is encouraged to become a pilot by a system of rewards for successes at piloting.
  • Maslow: You would describe how piloting satisfies different elements in his hierarchy of needs. 
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