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Comparison of Six Different Psychological Theories

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Industrial-Organizational psychology applies to psychology that deals with organizational and workplaces and it involves carrying of psychological research to aid in identification of how behaviors and attitudes can be improved at workplaces and organizations through practices like conducting of training programs, hiring processes and using of feedback systems. I-O psychology subsumes two categories of Industrial and Organizational elements but in reality the two cut across each other and they examine the role of working environment in terms of performance health and job satisfaction (Delamater, 2003).

The Maslow’s theory of motivation and the Hertzberg’s theory of motivation are both industrial/organization psychological theories relate to each other in that they both deal with motivation of workers at work place and how their needs can be satisfied to improve their performance. Another similarity between the two there is the hierarchical nature scale where for one stage must be first fully completed for one to advance to the next level of satisfaction.

Hertzberg idea of hygiene corresponds with Maslow’s elements of esteem and self actualization and both base their arguments on the criteria of growth, achievement and basic pay. The two theories are subject to influence by environmental conditions which in turn affects the employee attitudes resulting to an influence on their performance levels at work place. In addition to that, both theories argue on the basis of human needs in that humans behave as they do in an attempt to satisfy some internal needs.

On the other hand, despite the fact that the two theories deal with similar subject of worker motivation there are various differences that exist between them when it comes to how they deal with the four causes of Aristotle: the material, formal, efficient and final causes. First Maslow’s law is based on the concept of human needs and their satisfaction whereas Hertzberg’s theory bases its arguments on the use of motivators like achievement, recognition and opportunity to enhance growth. Secondly mallows theory is based on hierarchy on hierarchy of human needs where he identifies five set of human need in order of their priority and their motivating factor when they are satisfied while the Hertzberg theory is based on motivating and hygiene factors where hygiene factor are dissatisfies and motivating factors motivate subordinates.

In nature Maslow’s is theory simple, descriptive and is based on long experience on human needs while the Hertzberg theory is prescriptive and is based on actual information collected through interview of engineers and accounts. Another contrast between the two theories of motivation is that Maslow’s theory is widely applicable in developing countries characterized poverty hence a motivating factor is money whereas Hertzberg theory is narrowly applicable and applies mostly to developed and rich countries where money is a less motivating factor. Finally in Maslow’s  model any need can act as motivator provided that it is not yet satisfied or its less satisfied while Hertzberg model lower level needs like hygiene factors do not act as motivator s but it’s there order needs like ,recognition and challenging work that forma the basis  of motivation to workers.

Social psychology theories centre their interests on explaining some specific social phenomena like pro-social and group behaviour, leadership, non-verbal behaviour, social perception and aggression and prejudice obedience, conformity, love issues and social influence. Such theories help on understand thinking, feeling and behavior of humans are influenced by implied or imagined presence of other human beings.

Social identity theory and social categorization theory are both social psychology theories which deal with specific behavioral phenomena in individuals and thus offer a deeper understanding on the social psychology. Social identity theory is a was formulated by Tajfel and it diffuses with other interrelated psychological therefore is like that deal with individual identity behavior, social groups and shared attitudes for example it is closely interrelated with social categorization theory. Social identity theory is concerned with both psychological; and sociological aspects that are associated with a group behavior (Bandura, et al, 1963).

On the other hand the self categorization theory seeks to explain the assumption made during the formation of a psychological groups conducted by Tajfel. It also seeks to offer an understanding on the social categorization and the inter-group behavior. The theory states that self conception occurs at different levels of inclusiveness and this exists in three distinct levels of self categorization which plays a crucial role the concept of social categorization.

The theory of social identity theory argues that in a group prototype describes members and their behaviour hence stipulating an appropriate behaviour for the in-group members as swell as out-group member and this determines group distinctiveness and differentiation from other. This argument of stereotyping corresponds to the argument that self-categorization makes group members to lose their personalized perception and conduct processing individuals to be embodiments of the contextual silent group prototype.

Unlike the social identity theory Self categorization theory considers the fact that people identify themselves both at a group level and at a personal level hence the individual identities and group identities happen at different levels. The hierarchy of identities in self categorization theory replaces the aspect of continuum found in the social identity theory hence giving an individual, range of identities based on the social context e.g. on can be in group oneself in gender ,occupation, nationality as well individually as a male or female. This self categorization I intended to enable an individual to achieve the kind of behavior that they did the last time they were in the same situation. in this case individuals categorize themselves in the group that is associated with the highest status  and are fostered to maximize on inter-group differences rather than on intra-group differences and in so doing gives the group a coherent and distinct structure with clear boundaries (Chattopadhyay, et al 2004).

Social identity theory argues that each individual have a open social and personal repertoire of identities  and according to the social context one can be well informed on who they are and what such identity entails to them. Social identity theory states tat depending on the saliency of individual identity, one can chose to relate to others on interpersonal level depending on once character traits but in some cases the group identity precedes personal identity (Bruning, 1984).

From the discussion above on comparisons and differentiation of various psychology theories, it’s easy to conclude that different theories relate and diffuse into each others in terms of argument and ideas it presents on a particular phenomena despite the fact that the theories are very different in contextual basis and this often leads to a common assumption that the theories presented have a common content which in many cases is not true. So to understand the similarities and differences and to appreciate the uniqueness of their content one has to analyze them by considering if it follows the four causes stated by Aristotle or not.

Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal psychology is a situation where by an individual develops a pattern of behaviors that is generally unusual that may make the person harm himself or others.  For one to explain fully what abnormal behaviors entail, the following criteria are used. First is the personal distress. This is where the person is subjected to different experience of suffering. The second one is statistical rarity that shows person’s abnormal behavior. The third criterion is maladaptive behavior. The behavior impairs the normal functioning of the person suffering. It causes such thing as insomnia the forth criterion defining abnormal behavior is social norms violation. This is where an individual portrays antisocial behaviors (Leibowitz, 2003). The last one is the danger sign towards oneself or others. This is mainly brought by poor judgment. The entire criteria should be put in consideration as none can fully define abnormality alone.

Abnormal behaviors cause impairment of the ailing person leading to malfunctioning of daily chores. It causes distress leading to anxiety and emotional suffering. This can eventually became fatal and lead to death due to self-mutilation

There are four main theories of abnormal behaviors namely; Biological theory, Psychological Theories, Bio-Psycho-Social Integration and The Diathesis-Stress Model Theories. However, for my case, I will compare Biological and Psychological Theory.

Biological Theory

This is a theory that discusses malfunctioning of the nervous system leading to abnormal behaviors of the individual. There are different types of biological defects and abnormalities as discussed below.

The first one is defective genes. The human body has very many chromosomes containing millions of genes. The DNA (Deoxybonucleic acid) carries the genes in the chromosome. Genes influences the growth of an individual. This development can be either psychological or physical.  Any defect on the gene leads to affect the development leading to abnormality. Example of an abnormality that is brought up by defects of genes is the Down syndrome due to defect called trisomy.  In phenotypic study of individual differences that are caused by their genetic makeup, several genes are altered to bring a notable disorder in an individual (Hollingworth & Poffenberger, 2010). This study is called behavioral genetics that is used to establish the genes defects.

The second biological abnormality is structural brain abnormalities.  This is brought by lack of fully developed brains are or the changes have occurred in the brain area. An example is enlargement of ventricles in the brain that hold the brain fluid.

The third abnormalities are Neurotransmitter imbalances. The neurons in the Central Nervous System operate through chemical messenger called neurotransmitter.  These chemical messengers can become imbalanced. Their medication is through biological approaches. Neurotransmitters are of four types. They are serotonin, dopamine, norepineprine, and GAPA. They are released through a small gap that is between the axon and the dendrites of the receiving neuron. They are used to regulate the person’s anxiety level, mood and the cognitive functioning.

 The imbalances of the Neurotransmitters are caused by various factors. One of them is the number of the neurotransmitter and the functioning of the receiving branches of the neuron. The other one is the amount of neurotransmitter that is in the vesicle that is reabsorbed by the neuron that is receiving the information. The last one is the degradation of the neurotransmitter by enzymes.

The last abnormality is the hormonal imbalances. Hormones are chemical in the body that are used in regulation of ones behavior and help in the functioning of the nervous system. When the hormones are imbalanced, they increase curtisol that is a stress related hormone.

The functioning of the hormones and the neurotransmitter is based on the environmental and biological factors.  There are various method used in the assessing the biological factors. The first on is twin studies. This is the study of the monozygotic and dizygotic twin concordance rate. The twin disorder is discovered being stronger in one of the genes at this rate. This help to discover the type of the disease suffered. The next one is the study of the family background to see the percentage of the first family who has the same disorder. While the last one is the adoption study which compare the rate of the disorder in the adoptive relatives.

Psychological Theory

This is a theory that discusses a persons mind and conflicting forces in it. The theory has some assumptions. The first one is psychic determinism that means the mind of an individual is lawful. The next one is unconscious motivation meaning that most of the mental life works outside the awareness. The theory dealt mostly in shaping of the behaviors via reinforcing them. It is brought into existence by learning by observing others how they behave (Jenkins, 1998). The human behavior is seen to have misconception of the world experiences leading them to belief things that makes them to have negative thoughts. It also focus on human responsibility in decision making to fulfill one’s potential.


Both theories are meant toward helping the human behaviors to get to the normal by getting the initial cause of the abnormal behaviors. They are all detailed about in the outside behaviors of an individual and the harm they can bring to the outside world. They do focus in the repercussion of the abnormal behaviors in social places.


Biological theory put a lot of emphasis on the operation of ones behavior drawing their attention from the genetically disorder while the psychological theory focuses on human effects through their deeds. Psychological theories put in place assumptions made meaning it is not accurate as it is biological theory (Brulotte, 2010). There is a lot of testing and analysis made in biological theories as compared to psychological theory

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