Behaviourist Perspective and Studies

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  • Behaviourist Perspective
    • It assumes that behaviour is learned from the environment after birth, this is a nurture approach.
      • Classical Conditioning- Pavlov (Association) (Stimulus- Response)
      • Operant Conditioning- Skinner (Reinforcement)
      • Observing and Imitating Others- Bandura (Social Learning Theory)
    • Strengths
      • Useful- helps us understand the effect of the environment on behaviour. Also has practical applications e.g. the watershed, after 9pm is when you can start to show aggression, violence or sexual content on TV.
      • Scientific- research ONLY looks at observable behaviour, not thought processes or emotions. They use controlled lab experiments, therefore you can be confident that the IV causes the DV.
    • Weakness
      • Reductionist- it only focuses on one factor such as learnt stimulus-response and reinforcement, as an explanation of behaviour, and ignores other factors such as cognitive, social and biological factors.
      • Generalisability of Research- many studies use animals, which cause problems when generalising to humans, as animals are simplistic and humans are very complex.
    • Studies
      • Savage-Rumbaugh
      • Bandura
      • Milgram


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