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Behaviourist Approach
Behaviour is learned. Everything to do with your behaviour can be explained by the things you learn.
Behaviourists also believe that you are born a blank slate. They also believe that psychologists
shouldn't be concerned about analysing thoughts and feelings.


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Limitations of the behaviourist approach

1. Behaviourism does not see innate behaviours as significant. Animals have a predisposition
to perform some behaviour over others (theory of preparedness) and so will learn some
behaviour more readily than others.

2. The reduction of learning to stimulus-response associations is an oversimplification.
Learning is…

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The History of Behaviourism
* Pavlov (1903) published the results of an experiment on conditioning after originally studying
digestion in dogs.
* Watson (1913) launches the behavioural school of psychology (classical conditioning), publishing
an article, "Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It".
* Watson and Rayner (1920) conditioned an orphan called…

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Lab Experiments
Stimulus - Response
Little Albert
Classical Conditioning & Operant Conditioning
Edward Thorndike (the cat in a puzzle
Reinforcement & Punishment (Skinner)
Objective Measurement
Skinner box (rats & pigeons)
Social Learning Theory (Bandura)
Pavlov's Dogs
Bandura Bobo Doll Experiment
Ethical Considerations

Basic Assumptions Areas of Application…

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Biological Appoach ­ Chromosomes and hormones (testosterone) influence our behaviour too, in
addition to the enviroment.
Cognitive Psychology - Mediation processes occur between stimulus and response, such as
memory, thinking, problem solving etc.

Pavlov Dogs
Like many great scientific advances, classical conditioning was discovered accidentally.

The nineteenth-century Russian physiologist Ivan…

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Pavlov showed the existence of the unconditioned resonse by presenting a dog with a bowl of food
and the measuring its salivary secretions (see image below).

However, when Pavlov discovered that any object or event which the dogs learnt to associate with
food (such as the lab assistant) would trigger…

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The response to this is called the unconditioned response (or UCR). The neutral stimulus (NS) is a
new stimulus that does not produce a response.
Once the neutral stimulus has become associated with the unconditioned stimulus, it becomes a
conditioned stimulus (CS). The conditioned response (CR) is the response to…

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Apart from ethical considerations, there are two other issues relating to the use of aversion
First, it is not very clear how the shocks or drugs have their effects. It may be that they make the
previously attractive stimulus (e.g. sight/smell/taste of alcohol) aversive, or it may be that…

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Imitation is copying behaviour and is the fastest type of learning in both humans and animals.
Behaviour may be imitated because it is seen as rewarding, but if positive reinforcement does not
follow imitation will cease.
Study: Bandura (1965) ­ Evidence of the Role of Imitation…

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If a child imitates a model's behaviour and the consequences are rewarding, the child is likely to
continue performing the behaviour. If parent sees a little girl consoling her teddy bear and says
"what a kind girl you are", this is rewarding for the child and makes it more likely…


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