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Key Approaches…read more

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Behaviourist Approach
Basic Assumptions:
O All behaviour is learned from experience.
O We are born a `blank slate' for experience to write on.
O All learning can be explained in terms of stimulus-response links.
O Reinforcement strengthens behaviour and punishment stops a
O Psychology should be scientific and objective. The only valid
material to study is behaviour.
O Internal mental processes cannot be studied scientifically. The
experimental method is the only objective and scientific method to
O It is valid to generalise from animal behaviour to human behaviour.
Most research is conducted on animals such as rats, pigeons and
monkeys.…read more

Slide 3

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Classical Conditioning…read more

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What did Pavlov learn
from this?
O Pavlov learnt that where there is a long time gap between the two
stimuli, the association between the two is not learned.
O If the bell (conditioned stimulus) is repeatedly sounded with the
food, salivation (conditioned response) slowly disappears. The
behaviour is extinguished.
O The conditioned stimulus could be change in tone and volume but
can still get the response of salivation. This is called stimulus
O A point is reached when the sound of the bell is so different that the
conditioned response does not happen. This is called stimulus
O If the conditioned response had been extinguished, then at a later
time the dog would sometimes salivate at the sound of the bell.
This is called spontaneous recovery of the conditional behaviour.…read more

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Example of classical
O Watson and Rayner (1920) used a nine month old boy Albert to
condition a fear to white rats.
O Initially, Albert was not afraid of white rats but he was afraid of loud
O Watson and Rayner the struck a metal bar with a hammer. This was
a unconditioned stimulus that caused an unconditioned response.
O They then placed the rat in front of Albert and at the same time made
the loud noise.
O After several pairings of the rat and the loud noise Albert showed fear
and moved away from the rat.
O They then place the rat (conditioned stimulus) without the loud
noise and Albert showed fear (conditioned response).…read more

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Operant Conditioning
O Burrhus Frederic Skinner (1904-90)
claimed that all behaviour is learned
from the consequences of behaviour.
He called this operant conditioning.
O This is when a behaviour becomes
more or less likely as a result of its
consequences. The consequences of
behaviour can be either rewarding or
O Behaviour that receives a punishment
are less likely to be repeated whereas
behaviour that receives a reward are
more likely to be repeated.…read more

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