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Wriyte to analyze the psychological basis for behaviour by considering theories of learning, theories of emotion, personality disorders, stress, and group influence.

Theory of learning

The incident involves a 58-year old man named Udo Haan from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, who was charged with the death of Edra Haan, 58, his wife. The incident took place in Kitchener on August 22 when the quiet residential area was rocked with an explosion (Cbc.ca, 2018). The police found that the incident was not an accident but homicide because Edra was killed before the explosion took place and Udo was the prime convict (See Appendix).

The aim of the essay is to unveil the psychology of Udo Haan behind his act. The story is of particular interest because it concerns the lives of the common people, who are not publicized like celebrities but are the integral part of the society.

In order to understand Udo’s psychological behavior, it is first essential to examine the various theories of psychology starting with the theories of learning. Cognitivism, experiential learning, constructivism and behaviorism are the major theories of learning that help explain a person’s psychological behavior.

While constructivism focuses on the collective practicality and subjective experience of people, behaviorism emphasizes that people learn through either classical conditioning or operant conditioning (Fuller, 2013). Classical conditioning involves learning through response to stimulus while operant conditioning involves learning where stimulus follows the response. Cognitivism states that people learn through reflection, thinking and motivation whereas experiential learning focuses on learning through experience.

In Udo Haan’s case, it can be stated that he must have had a bitter experience with his wife, which led to him killing her. This behavior could be thus explained from the experiential learning theory. He must have first experienced something that upset him, and then he must have reflected upon what had happened and conceptualized it. In the end, he must have applied the learning attained from his experience and murdered his wife. The police found that Edra was killed prior to the explosion and hence, Udo’s plan to explode the house could also have been a part of his learning through experience.

Many theories of emotion are there in the lexicon among which, the James-Lange Theory, the Cannon-Bard theory, the Two-Factor theory of Schachter and Singer and the Cognitive Appraisal theory are main. As per the James-Lange theory of emotion, humans respond to a stimulus, which in turn produces an emotion (Laird & Lacasse, 2014). The Cannon-Bard theory holds that the stimulus and response producing an emotion happen at the same time. The Two-factor theory proposed by Schachter and Singer on the other hand state that two factors play a role in arousing emotions (Dror, 2017). People think about the situation, their bodily reaction ad then decide which way to feel. According to the cognitive appraisal theory, thinking occurs prior to experiencing (Troy, Shallcross & Mauss, 2013). 

In case of Udo Haan, the James-Lange theory is appropriate in describing the emotions that must have caused him to murder his wife and then make the house explode. Udo must have seen an event – an external stimulus – that led to his physiological reaction after interpreting the physical reactions. He must have been in an argument with his wife Edra (the external stimulus) and he must have interpreted her reactions in a way that must have aroused his anger (emotion). In this way, Udo must have killed his wife.

Theory of emotion

Similar to the theories of emotion, James-Lange, Cannon-Bard and Schachter-Singer also proposed certain theories of stress. James-Lange proposed that stress does not occur unless emotions arouse. Emotions such as feeling of fear, according to them, only begin after an individual experiences bodily transformations. In contrast to this, Cannon-Bard stated that emotion in reply to stress could also occur with any changes in the body (Yew et al., 2015). Schachter-Singer, on the other hand, put forward the argument that people could become aware of the cause behind the emotional response and the subsequent stress when they begin to look for clues within the environment for properly interpreting the emotion (McCarty, 2016).

From the above examination, it is clear that Udo’s behavior could be explained by the Cannon-Bard theory of stress where bodily changes are not necessarily important as opposed to the emotional changes. The reason behind Udo murdering his wife could have been the stress that occurred simultaneously with the emotion of anger. It is also possible that due to this stress, Udo would have decided to end his life as well by exploding the house.

It is a known fact that social psychological factors also trigger various emotions in people that sometimes cause harm to others as in the case of Udo. As per the social psychological phenomenon, people’s emotions or actions are triggered by either the actual, imagined or implied presence of others (So, 2013). It suggests that human behavior is the result of not only the actual presence of another being but also the interaction with other elements such as watching a television or playing a video game. According to social psychologists, the mind constructs conditions under which humans go through certain feelings that ultimately shape their behavior.

In Udo Haan’s case, the behavior must have been caused by the absence of his wife at some time and his interaction with the television that might have prompted him to doubt his wife. He must have confronted his wife and interpreted her reactions in his own way, which could have been influenced by other social psychological factors. Ultimately, he must have felt something wrong with his wife and that he needed to do what he eventually did.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it could be said that several other unknown psychological factors could have caused the unfortunate incident that ended a family. The essay highlighted the incident involving a 58-year old Canadian national, Udo Haan, who was charged with homicide involving the murder of his wife and explosion of the house. The essay then explained the various theories of learning, emotions and stresses to understand and associated these with the situation of Udo to understand his psychological behavior. The essay also discussed other social psychological phenomenon that could have played a role in his behavior. It was found that the experiential learning theory, the James-Lang theory of emotional, and the Cannon-Bard theory of stress best explained the behavior of Udo Haan.

References:

Cbc.ca. (2018). Husband charged with murder, arson in Kitchener house explosion that killed wife | CBC News. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/house-explosion-man-faces-murder-arson-charges-1.4855304

Dror, O. E. (2017). Deconstructing the “two factors”: The historical origins of the Schachter–Singer theory of emotions. Emotion Review, 9(1), 7-16.

Fuller, A. (2013). Critiquing theories of learning and communities of practice. In Communities of practice (pp. 27-39). Routledge.

Laird, J. D., & Lacasse, K. (2014). Bodily influences on emotional feelings: Accumulating evidence and extensions of William James’s theory of emotion. Emotion Review, 6(1), 27-34.

McCarty, R. (2016). The fight-or-flight response: A cornerstone of stress research. In Stress: Concepts, cognition, emotion, and behavior (pp. 33-37).

So, J. (2013). A further extension of the extended parallel process model (E-EPPM): Implications of cognitive appraisal theory of emotion and dispositional coping style. Health Communication, 28(1), 72-83.

Troy, A. S., Shallcross, A. J., & Mauss, I. B. (2013). A person-by-situation approach to emotion regulation: Cognitive reappraisal can either help or hurt, depending on the context. Psychological science, 24(12), 2505-2514.

Yew, S. H., Lim, K. M. J., Haw, Y. X., & Gan, S. K. E. (2015). The association between perceived stress, life satisfaction, optimism, and physical health in the Singapore Asian context. Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences (AJHSS), 3(1), 56-66.

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My Assignment Help (2021) Analyzing Psychological Basis For Behavior: The Case Of Udo Haan, An Essay. [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/psyc1010-introduction-to-psychology/social-psychological-phenomenon.html
[Accessed 24 February 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Analyzing Psychological Basis For Behavior: The Case Of Udo Haan, An Essay.' (My Assignment Help, 2021) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/psyc1010-introduction-to-psychology/social-psychological-phenomenon.html> accessed 24 February 2024.

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