Dynamic psychology and psychiatry approach the study of human behavior by examining underlying forces of motivation. This approach contrasts with the descriptive approach, which concentrates on the study of readily observable events such as the symptoms of disorders, the contents of consciousness, and the objective facts of behavior.The descriptive approach is more concerned with naming, classifying, and diagnosing; the dynamic, with tracing behavior to its origins in prior experience. The dynamic approach is therefore concerned with the development of the individual and the events which have molded his personality, as well as the unconscious factors that are now influencing his attitudes and adjustment. A personality characteristic, a significant act or attitude, a symptom or syndrome—all these are viewed as products of many forces interacting within the individual. Among these forces are the basic physical drives, emotional needs, personal aspirations and ideals, self-concept, moral code, and defense measures that govern his behavior.In a word, the dynamic approach is an inquiry into the whys and wherefores of the individual’s adaptation to life. To carry it out it is necessary to explore past relationships with parents and siblings, early crises and how they were handled, present interpersonal relations, anxieties and reactions to anxiety, basic conflicts, and the unconscious motivations that influence adjustment. A descriptive approach merely notes that the individual is highly prejudiced or extremely competitive, or has chronic headaches or inhibiting fears; the dynamic approach probes beneath the surface to discover the reasons for these phenomena.In the dynamic point of view, which dominates most of psychiatry today, the human being is conceived as active, changing, constantly adjusting and readjusting to the demands of life. In the history of psychiatry, Charcot, Janet, and particularly Freud laid the groundwork for this approach, and Adler, Jung, Sullivan, Homey, and many others have developed it in their own ways. In the field of psychology the dynamic approach is equally dominant, as evidenced by the vast amount of observation and experimentation devoted to the subject of motivation. See MOTIVATION,MOTIVATION RESEARCH, PSYCHOANALYSIS (THEORY), ADLER, JUNG, HORNEY, SULLIVAN, JANET, CHARCOT

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "DYNAMIC APPROACH," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/dynamic-approach/ (accessed August 8, 2022).


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