Behaviourist Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Created by: Ana3144
  • Created on: 08-04-17 18:04

Behaviourist Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Highlights the role of nurture in learning and shows the important influence that our environment has on our behaviour
  • Can have many practical applications, including clinical ones (suggests how phobias can be unlearned)
  • Focuses on studying observable behaviour in controlled lab experiments which can help give psychology scientific credibility


  • Ignores the influence of nature on our behaviour and fails to take into account how genetics and biology can affect our behaviour and place limits on what we can learn
  • Can be difficult to apply the lessons that we learn and are open to inappropriate use (how can we control what children are exposed to?)
  • Can lack ecological validity by favouring lab experiments so it can fail to recognise real life behaviours


Although the behaviourist perspective ignores the influence of nature on our behaviour, it highlights how important it is to recognise the influence that our environment has on our behaviour. It also has many practical applications (suggesting how phobias can be unlearned), even if these applications can be put to inappropriate use (deliberately exposing children to inappropriate content to influence their behaviour). Lab experiments are highly favoured by the behaviourist perspective, and these can lack ecological validity and fail to recognise real life behaviour. On the other hand, lab experiments can increase objectivity with their quantifiable measurements and help to give psychology scientific credibility.


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