Bonus Blog: Miguel Case Study

--Original published at Victoria's Psych Blog

I think that there is a lot going on with Miguel in the case study. From a psychodynamic perspective, his parents must have put a lot of stress on him when he was little. I am guessing that his chores involved cleaning and it wasn’t considered complete until it was spotless. His parents also most likely put a lot of pressure on his academic work too and were not happy unless he has 100 percent in all of his classes. Tied in with my guess on his childhood is my behavioral perspective. When his parents put all of this pressure on Miguel, they were conditioning him to make sure he got perfect scores on everything. They must have had some punishment along with not getting good scores. One guess is instead of a physical punishment, his parents said they were disappointed in him. Miguel strives to be perfect just like his parents taught him, which being a disappointment is a cruel punishment for him. The humanistic perspective shows that Miguel is not being his true self. I think that Miguel should join a club on campus or pick up a hobby to help him start to discover his true self. Plus, if Miguel did manage to get more sleep, it would help Miguel be his true self. A cognitive perspective shows that Miguel might have depression or a lot of anxiety which prevents him from sleeping and focusing on his school work. I would suggest that Miguel go to the campus therapist and ask for coping methods to help him cope with anxiety/depression. Anxiety and depression can be the cause of irritability, anger, and lack of sleep and focus. A perspective from neuroscience would show that Miguel might have a disposition of having a mental disorder from genetics. If his parents have anxiety, depression or any other psychological disorder, he has a good chance of having it too. The final perspective is cultural. If he or his parents are from a different area or country, he might have some added pressures culturally too. If his parents immigrated to the United States for him to get a better education, it is an added pressure on his academics. His family could have cultural habits such as harsh self judgement and different views on different subjects. Such as he might have been pressured to be a major in a field of study he isn’t interested in, which would tie back to the humanistic view. There are many possibilities of what Miguel is going through. But, if anyone feels the way Miguel is, please get help from a counselor or trusted adult who can aid in getting help.

Case Study

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

Miguel’s behavior can be explained differently by each theoretical approach. The different approaches include psychodynamic, behavioral, humanistic, cognitive, neuroscience, and cultural.

According to the psychodynamic approach, Miguel’s behavior could be explained by childhood events. As a child he could have been encouraged to be good at all things. He may have been told that if he was not perfect at the things that he did then he was not good enough. An event like this could lead to his perfectionist tendencies. Also, from the psychodynamic perspective Miguel’s behaviors could be a result of his unconscious desires.

The behavioral approach focuses on observable behavior. Therefore, Miguel’s lack of success in coursework could be explained by other outside factors. These might include his inability to sleep, his perfectionist tendencies, or disagreements with his roommate.

The humanistic approach is centered around the individual and what is best for them. Therefore, Miguel should focus on himself to solve what is going on. He has the ability to be good and must focus on his personal growth to better himself. As his situation is now, it would seem as if he is not focused on himself enough.

Yet another approach is cognitive psychology, which focuses on the importance of mental processes. According to this approach Miguel’s behavior could be due to the fact that he is not cognitively mature. This means that he does not use information and solve problems the way that he should.

The next approach is neuroscience, or psychobiology. A neuroscientist may believe that Miguel’s behavior is due to genetics or another biological phenomenon.

The cultural perspective is based on how behaviors or processes differ by culture. Miguel’s behavior could be a result of his culture, whether that be that people in his culture are more likely to be perfectionists or have difficulty sleeping. Each theoretical approach presents a different explanation for Miguel’s behavior.

A Case Study

--Original published at Ariana's Blog

The psychodynamic viewpoint looks at how problems can be traced back to early childhood experiences. Miguel is behaving the way he is as a coping mechanism for his stress. There is a possibility that Miguel’s childhood is the reason for his irritability and behavior. His parents may have been strict which is where his OCD comes from. In a behaviorist viewpoint, we would observe that something triggered Miguel’s stress, whether it be friends, family, school etc. and that he is tired as a result of the stress. In a humanistic viewpoint, Miguel’s stress is preventing him from personal growth. His stress is making him unable to sleep so Miguel is not fulfilling the first step of the Hierarchy of Needs and cannot progress further. This may also be the reason for the self-doubt he is experiencing. From a cognitive perspective, Miguel has a lot on his mind, which may be negatively changing his mental process, making him behave the way he is. Lashing out and irritability may be the way Miguel processes his feelings and solves his problems. Neuroscience psychology suggests it is possible Miguel has anxiety or depression due to his OCD, and this could be the reason why he has a difficult time sleeping. A cultural psychologist standpoint would take Miguel’s background into account. His experiences and how he was raised could have changed his brain to make him react the way he does. Maybe Miguel grew up in a household where people would argue when things got tough, and that is why he argues with his friends when he is stressed.

A Case Example Extra Credit

--Original published at Grace's College Blog

Explanations for Miguel’s problems:

Psycho-dynamic: The idea behind psycho-dynamics is that your unconscious mind is affecting all your decisions. So, Miguel’s issue is that he can’t sleep because his unconscious mind is too concerned with his schoolwork and it being perfect.

Behaviorist Psychology: Miguel has been conditioned to think that his work needs to perfect and he has expectations that are too high. He is so concerned with his work that he is losing sleep and thinks that his work being perfect is more important.

Humanistic Psychology: A psychologist from the humanistic perspective would work on the issues in Miguel’s life that is causing the lack of sleep and the irritable behavior. A humanist would tell Miguel he needs to not focus on being perfect and simply do the best that he can and he should be satisfied with that.

Cognitive Psychology: Cognitive psychology focuses on mental processes rather than behaviors. So, a psychologist would look at what is going on mentally with Miguel rather than the resulting behaviors. Miguel is struggling mentally with the idea that he needs to be perfect. He is also struggling with irritability and inability to sleep. One focus is attention in cognitive psych so a psychologist might find the correlation between Miguel’s attention to his schoolwork and his lack of sleep.

Psycho-biology: Miguel might have insomnia and that is the reason he can’t sleep. Because he can not sleep, then he is irritable during the day and that is why he is picking fights with his roommate. Psycho-biology would look more at the biology behind Miguel’s behaviors like neurological disorders.

Cultural Psychology: In Miguel’s culture he may have pressure to be perfect in all of the work he does and that is why he is unable to sleep because he is too concerned with everything going perfectly.

Theoretical Lense Case: Miguel

--Original published at MaddieHinson

To discuss the issues relating to Miguel, I want to look at it from a humanistic perspective. From this, it is believed that Miguel is generally a good person, but his psychological issues are because he is not his true self currently. These psychologists believe in the importance of the hierarchy of needs being met. Abraham Maslow’s model has self-actualization, love and belonging, as well as physiological needs that need to be met in order to have a fulfilling life. Currently, Miguel isn’t sleeping well (physiological), he is arguing with his roommates (love and belonging), and he is a perfectionist who is making small mistakes (Self-Actualization). Based on this theory, these are the reasons Miguel’s life is not going in the right direction.

From a behaviorists’ point of view, they will observe Miguel’s behavior and look at different factors that could be causing his issues. For instance, Miguel picking fights with his roommates is due to the fact that he is getting bad grades in school and not getting enough sleep.

Using a cognitive psychology perspective, we would look at Miguel’s brain activity and how it links with his behavior. Being a perfectionist, Miguel is having a hard time processing all of the issues going on in his life right now.

Culturally, looking at what’s wrong with Miguel would be to take into account where he grew up, and what types of customs he was raised with. Different areas deal with failure in different ways, and Miguel might have been around people who get down on themselves when they mess up. So a cultural psychologist, would say that this is why Miguel is having these issues.

From a neuroscience perspective, it would be determined that Miguel has some type of mental disorder, whether it being depression, or anxiety that is making him lose focus and miss out on sleep.

Looking at Miguel’s issues from a psychodynamic point of view, it would be said that Miguel is having these issues due to something that happened earlier on in his life. This could be from earlier failures in his childhood, where his parents could have been strict about getting perfect grades or being the best athlete.

Theoretical Lenses in Psychology

--Original published at Maddy Vingom's PSY105 Blog

According to the psychodynamic perspective Miguel may be arguing with his roommate as a defense mechanism known as displacement. He uses his roommate as a substitute for his anger and takes it out on him by picking fights. This behavior may also be influenced by Miguel’s past experiences or conflicts within his unconscious mind. For example, there is a possibility that as a child Miguel’s parents may have pressured him to do well in school which resulted in his need for perfection in his work.

The behaviorist perspective focuses only on how environmental factors influence a person’s response to a specific situation. In Miguel’s case the environmental factor may be the school he is attending, pressuring him to be perfect and greatly criticizing his work. Forcing his mind to make him to feel like any minor mistake he makes could be costly.

A psychologist using the humanist perspective views people as innately good and issues are the result of deviance. One way they may explain Miguel’s behavior toward is roommate and the way he views his work is caused by some form of deviance. They may also claim that he doubts himself as the result of his subjective perspective. As outsiders we view Miguel’s situation differently than him, he also has personal feelings that are affecting the way that he is reacting to the situation.

The cognitive perspective studies the mental processes. In Miguel’s case he is fighting with his roommate, losing sleep, and having doubts about his school work because he is struggling to process all of that information at one time.

The neuroscience perspective is used by psychologists to explain behavior though the biological level. They would say that Miguel potentially has a gene that causes this behavior, hormonal imbalance or issues with neural pathways within his body.

Cultural psychologists study the influence of a person’s culture on their behavior. They would claim that where Miguel is from caused him to stress about the coursework he is struggling with to the point where he feels that it must be perfect. He may also be lashing out on his roommate as a result of this behavior being normal in his family.

Bonus Posts

--Original published at Jess Principe's Blog

The psychodynamic approach could explain that Miguel may have grown up in a household with strict parents that consistently pushed him to do very well in school, thus making him constantly put too much pressure on himself. Miguel may have developed an anxiety disorder from this lifestyle of needing to do everything “perfect” in his life. This anxiety may be leading to depression since he is beginning to lose interest in his academic work and feeling more tired and irritable with the people around him.

The behavioral approach could identify that Miguel’s initial behavior as being very hard on himself to the point of frustration with himself and towards other. This pressure has made him increasingly tired and he is beginning to struggle with his course work, and may be even losing interest in activities he once loved if he feels he “can’t do anything right.”

The humanistic approach can explain that Miguel, being a perfectionist may feel that if he does everything right then he can do anything. However, this high pressure that he is placing on himself is causing him to doubt everything he does to the point of struggling in his academics and social life with people like his roommate, for example. In addition, the pressures are becoming exhausting to Miguel, making him extra tired and more irritable.

Miguel’s cognitive psychology can reveal his initial mental processes are to be a perfectionist and if every little thing is not correct then he is unsatisfied. His problem solving skills most likely are to do everything correct or else it is wrong in his eyes. His language is becoming rude and aggressive since he has been picking fights with his roommate. In addition, Miguel is beginning to lose confidence in himself due to doubting all the things he does in his life.

Miguels biological/neuroscience perspective could reveal his parents may have had strict parents as well that consistently pushed them to be the best they could be and accept nothing less. This mentality then transferred to Miguel, who throughout his life may have felt the need to hold himself to high standards to not disappoint himself or his parents/family. It is possible that there is a family history of anxiety or depression in Miguel’s family, since he is beginning to reveal the general symptoms of both of those psychological disorders.

From a cultural psychology perspective Miguel’s problems can be seen across the world no matter what cultural background he has because if he were, for example, developing depression and anxiety, that is a mental illness present in all parts of the world because it is a cognitive universal process. We also do not know about Miguel’s ethnicity or where he was born, so no assumptions can be made about how those environmental factors of his cultural background may have influenced the current problems he is having in his daily life.

Bonus Blog Prompt

--Original published at Emily's college blog

From a psychodynamic perspective, it may be that Miguel is irritable during the day and picks fights with his roommate because he is releasing his anger as an outlet for unconscious hostility. Miguel may not want to be hostile or cause fights with his roommate, but he is finding it hard to keep his behavior together.  Behavioral psychologists would believe that Miguel is having these outbursts of anger because he is sleep deprived and tired most of the day.  Scientists from a cognitive perspective might believe that Miguel is negatively interpreting his situation with his roommate which then affects his overall way of thinking. This could be why Miguel has doubts about his ability to do anything correctly leading him to think very negatively about himself and others.  Humanistic psychologists could say that he has harsh and strict parents or guardians who have very high expectations of him and limit his needs of feeling accepted. This could be why Miguel is angry at himself when he makes simple, tiny mistakes.  Neuroscience psychologists may believe that he could be suffering from a mental illness due to him being a perfectionist, having an inability to fall asleep at night, and showing unconscious hostility.  From a cultural perspective, Miguel may have been exposed to violent video games, movies, and TV shows during his childhood that now have contributed to his angry outbursts towards his roommate.

A Case Example

--Original published at Jill Distler's Psychology Blog

The Case:

Miguel has been struggling with his coursework lately. He has felt very tired in recent weeks and has found it difficult to focus on his studies. Even though he is always tired, he has trouble falling asleep at night, is irritable during the day, and picks fights with his roommates. He is a bit of a perfectionist and gets mad at himself when he makes even tiny mistakes. It’s gotten to the point where he doubts his ability to do anything right.

By looking closely at Miguel’s symptoms using Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis, we can begin to conclude that Miguel’s symptoms may be caused by childhood experiences and unconscious conflicts. He is using defense mechanisms, such as his irritability to cope with his sleep deprivation and also his arguments between roommates and himself. Miguel is also experiencing anal tendencies because of his obsessive compulsiveness about having things be perfect. Not only is he using defense mechanisms, and experiencing anal tendencies, he is also facing depression as a result of the listed. It is possible that his unconscious may be experiencing minor forms of an oedipal complex between himself and his peers causing him to feel as though he needs to defend himself in social environments. I feel that Miguel would benefit greatly from therapy to talk through the issues he is experiencing, along with beginning to analyze his dreams once he is able to fall asleep. Once Miguel is able to get a good night’s sleep, he will start to notice positive changes in his mood.

Bonus Blog Prompt – Theoretical Lenses in Psychology

Hand writing on a notebook

Last week in class we discussed a number of different theoretical approaches to understanding human behavior and mental processes. For practice using these different theoretical lenses to explain behavior, you can use the following example:

Miguel has been struggling with his coursework lately. He has felt very tired in recent weeks and has found it difficult to focus on his studies. Even though he is always tired, he has trouble falling asleep at night, is irritable during the day, and picks fights with his roommates. He is a bit of a perfectionist and gets mad at himself when he makes even tiny mistakes. It’s gotten to the point where he doubts his ability to do anything right.

If you write a blog post where you explain what is going on with Miguel from the perspectives below, I will award you 1.5 extra credit points. You must post your explanation by the beginning of class on Wednesday 1/23 and use the tag “Bonus Posts” to earn credit. Explanations can be brief but need to be at least a couple of sentences to show you grasp the basic concepts. You must use all the following theoretical approaches:

  • Psychodynamic
  • Behavioral
  • Humanistic
  • Cognitive
  • Neuroscience
  • Cultural
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