The Behaviourist Approach + Systematic Desensitisation

  • Created by: chlopayne
  • Created on: 13-04-19 11:51
View mindmap
  • The Behaviourist Approach
    • Key assumptions
      • Humans are born like a blank slate
        • Newborns are neutral. We are shaped by our environment and experiences.
      • Behaviour is learned through conditioning
        • Classical conditioning - learnt through association.
          • Ivan Pavlov (1849-1946). Test on dogs.
        • Operant condiitoning - learnt through consequence
          • BF Skinner. Test on rats.
          • Reinforcement increases behaviour. Punishment decreases behaviour.
          • Positive ---> something is given. Negative ---> something is taken away.
      • Humans and animals learn in similar ways
        • Both humans and animals are product of their environment. No differences in how they learn.
          • Behaviour is learnt through stimulus-repose. Test on animals and generalise to humans.
    • Systematic desensitisation
      • Behaviourists argue phobias come about through learning. Not born with them, but develop due to negative experience.
      • Developed by Wolpe (1958) and used to treat phobias.
        • The therapy aims to extinguish undesirable behaviour (fear) by replacing it with a desirable one (relaxation).
      • Evaluation
        • Effectiveness: Lang and Lazovik (1963) found SD successful with snake phobias. McGrath (1990) found SD successful for a range of anxiety disorders - 75% response
        • Biological preparedness:Not everyone who has a phobias has had a negative experience.
          • We are predisposed to have phobias of certain things. Seligman (1970) said we are likely to fear snakes and spiders. It provides us with a survival advantage,
        • Symptom substitution: SD is only treating the symptom of the fear, not the actual cause. The phobias may return when therapy ends.
        • Ethical issues: anxiety is controlled, it can only be used to treat phobias, informed and valid consent, work through at their own pace, it can still cause stress.
      • The process
        • (1) Trained in deep muscle relaxation techniques.  (2) Create a hierarchy of fear.             (3) Work their way through. Visualise each step utilising relaxation techniques.  (4) Moves at their pace.    (5) The client reaches the top.
          • In vivo = direct experience.   In vitro = visual a situation.
    • Evaluation of the approach
      • Usefulness
        • Real world applications. Reward and punishment is used. in schools, work and legal system.
          • Token economy (operant)
        • Aversion therapy (classical) is used to help with addictions.
      • Scientific approach
        • Controlled but can't be generalised, may be different in a natural setting.
        • Based on evidence.
        • Valid because studies found what they intended to.
        • Not reliable because studies may find different results.
        • Biased and not objective.
      • Focus on the here and now.
      • More relevant to animals.
    • We are all born neutral. The environment shapes who we are.
      • Thoughts and feelings aren't measurable.
      • Behaviour can be reduced to stimulus-response relationships.


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Approaches resources »