the behavioural approach to psychopathology

  • Created by: olm1997
  • Created on: 12-04-15 15:50
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  • The Behavioural approach
    • Behaviourists believe that normal and abnormal behaviours are acquired as a result of experiences that we have in life
    • Abnormal behaviours are learned
      • Psychological disorder produced when a maladaptive behaviour leads to desired increased attention for the individual
        • Maladaptive behaviour - any behaviour that inhibits a persons ability to cope with situations
    • Learning environment may enforce maladaptive behaviours
      • Therefore, such behaviours may be learned because they are adaptive for the individual in those environments
      • e.g. for those with agoraphobia, not leaving home lowers anxiety
    • Social learning theory
      • Assumption that people learn through indirect as well as direct rewards by observing the behaviour of models
        • Observ-ational learning
      • And then imitating such behaviour if others have been rewarded for this behaviour
        • Vicarious reinforcement
    • Evaluation
      • Behaviourist explanations are limited b/c they ignore important influences that might contribute
        • e.g. thought processes such as emotional influences, neurotransmitter imbalance and genetics
      • Support for this approach comes from the success of therapies based on the behavioural approach
        • e.g. systematic desensitisation and modelling


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