The idea of neo-Psychoanalytic theory was the function of the unconscious mind

The idea of neo-Psychoanalytic theory was the function of the unconscious mind (Cervone & Pervin,2019). This theory was proposed by Sigmund Freud who believed that our unconscious, subconscious, and conscious mind give way to a certain behavior (Cervone & Pervin, 2019). Emotions like fear, violence, immoral needs, selfishness lives in unconscious part of the brain and in certain situations come out as denial, dreams, speech by mistake and manners (Cervone & Pervin, 2019).

The idea of Behavioral Theory: Behavioral theory explains that the human behavior is a result of his experiences with the environment he lives in and his reaction to the external stimuli (Cervone & Pervin, 2019). Its emphasis is effect of behavior on mind (Cervone & Pervin ,2019). According to (Phelps, 2015) Behavioral theorists do not infer internal structures to account for behavior but look instead to the past or present environment to explain behavior. Behavior is studied only for what it reveals about non-observable, inferred constructs, said to be inside the person (Phelps,2015). The presence of any such non-observable structures is only inferred from behavior, never observed independent of behavior (Phelps,2015).

Difference between both theories

The psychoanalytic theory stresses upon significance of conscious, unconscious, and subconscious mind and how it results in the behavior while behavioral theory states that external stimuli affect the behavior of person which in turn affects human mind. So, behaviorists are least interested in studying the mental image of unconscious mind while neo psychoanalysis supports studying human mind.

Similarities Between these 2 theories

The similarly between the two theories is that both the theories study human behavior as their goal. One studying human thoughts while the other studying external stimuli, but the result is the same. i.e., human behavior. I feel, behavioral theory is more applicable as per my viewpoint since our actions and responses to the environment only decides our behavior.


Cervone, D., & Pervin, L. A. (2019). Personality: Theory and research (14th ed.). Wiley.

Phelps, B. (2015). Behavioral Perspectives on Personality and Self. Psychological Record, 65(3), 557–565.

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