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What Is The Meaning Of Equilibrium In Psychology? - …
Piaget developed the notion of equilibration, which relates to a person’s attempt to balance psychological schemas with the new information that he or she processes. During the process of equilibration, children assimilate new information and new ways of thinking, and then accommodate that new information by changing their psychological schema.
Third, therapists experience regression – to one degree or another – as they provide a holding environment for their clients’ and their own primitive cognitive-affective-sensate states (Winnicott, 1949). They regress “in the service of countertransference” (Bigras, 1979, 312) as they contain their clients’ distressful communication. They even risk experiencing disequilibrium within their right brain that leads to deterioration in technical competence (Spence et al., 1996).
A glossary giving definitions of common psychological terminology.
Because of the diversity of meanings of equilibrium, psychologists use the term in ways and in contexts that may vary substantially. For instance, the regulatory drives associated with hunger and thirst bear little resemblance to the experience of holding two mutually inconsistent attitudes that must be reconciled. The glue that binds them is the need to maintain a balance. It is this basic need that gives the construct of equilibrium its central role in explaining human and nonhuman behavior at multiple levels.
The humanistic psychologists took a very different approach to understanding people, their motivations, and their behaviors. Whereas the psychodynamic theories rely greatly on unconscious drives and instincts and have a negative cast (i.e., people are always working to resolve crises in order to restore equilibrium), the humanists suggest that people are aware of their motives and are predisposed to full functioning or self-actualization, and that problems arise only when the normal state of equilibrium is breached.
Bernstein et al., Psychology, 6/e Chapter Outlines
According to Hull, an organism rests when in a state of equilibrium. When a drive, like hunger or thirst, develops, the organism is motivated to alleviate this disequilibrium by engaging in appropriate behavior regarding that drive. The act of eating to reduce hunger or drinking to reduce thirst is known as drive-satisfying behavior. Hull developed a complex mathematical theory to characterize the emergence of behavior. The theoretical shortcomings of his concepts led to modifications of the model, however. Contemporary psychologists now employ theories based on the concept of optimum-level. In this framework, the body is viewed as having an optimal level of arousal that differs from one person or animal to another and that differs in varied settings. When arousal is either too high or too low for comfort, the organism engages in behaviors to return the arousal level to the optimal level.
Outside the realm of developmental psychology, social and cognitive psychologists have described the role of equilibrium in social interaction. For instance, Fritz Heider speculated that people embrace new information that is consistent with what they already know and reject incompatible information because of the need to retain balanced cognitive schemas. For example, research has shown that when people engage in a behavior that is inconsistent with a stated attitude, they experience what is known as cognitive dissonance and will often change the attitude to be consistent with the behavior. There are, however, circumstances in which people are able to maintain inconsistent attitudes and behaviors.
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The concept of equilibrium plays an important role in diverse domains of psychology. At a basic physiological level, an organism strives to regulate drives and to maintain homeostasis—that is, physiological equilibrium. On an emotional level, people work to balance the dictates of competing desires and instincts. At a more cognitive and social level, people strive to reconcile discrepancies among different types of thought, behavior, and attitude. The existence of competing drives, conflicts, and inconsistencies leads to the need to restore equilibrium when a system is out of balance.
Whose philosophy is the antecedent to cognitive psychology
An alternate developmental viewpoint conceived by Lev Vygotsky (1978) postulates that the source of disequilibrium is external. In this view, the disequilibrium that moves children from one stage of development to another is based on social interaction. Vygotsky suggested that differences across cultures affect what children learn and how they learn it. That is, a teacher or parent can elevate children’s cognitive complexity beyond the level the children have attained on their own by appropriate help during a learning session. In contrast, Piagetian theories of how children move to new levels of cognitive sophistication are focused on internal processes.
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