Behavioural approach, SLT, Systematic desensitisation for WJEC PSY1

I teach A level psychology and these are notes made for my students. They cover everything need to know in detail including strengths, weaknesses, methodology and theory. Also has some practice questions. Hope it helps! Everything you need to know to achieve an A*

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  • Created by: Rachel
  • Created on: 20-12-12 15:13

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Behaviourist approach



Classical conditioning

Operant conditioning

Social learning theory

Match the answers

Quick Quiz

Social learning theory of aggression

Bandura study ­ detailed analysis

Systematic desensitisation

Aversion therapy

Key points for full marks in exams

Sample exam answers

Multiple choice questions on Bandura

Exam style questions


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Behaviourist approach


`nurture over nature'

The behaviourist perspective was a dominant approach in psychology for the first half of the 20th
century and has left psychology with some useful techniques. The behaviourist approach is in the
nurture corner where the nature/nurture debate is concerned, believing…

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Behaviourist approach

Pavlov tested this `learning' (sound of footsteps = food). After presenting the food on a dish on
many occasions, the dog eventually salivated to the dish alone. In other words, the sight of the dish
produced the reflex response of salivation. Salivation had become conditioned to an empty…

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Behaviourist approach

response (UCR) because it is not learned.
The white rat is called the conditioned stimulus (CS).
When the fear response has become associated with the rat,
it becomes the conditioned response. (CR).

Let's see this in a diagram:

Stimulus Response

Before conditioning starts Loud noise (UCS) Fear response…

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Behaviourist approach


B.F. Skinner developed and tested the idea that behaviour can be shaped by rewards and
punishments. He devised the `Skinner box', which contained a mechanism (such as a lever) for
delivering a good pellet to the animal inside. When a rat or pigeon…

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Behaviourist approach


Skinner proposed a number of principles that he claimed were also applicable to human beings. It
believes that the behaviour of people and animals (as it believes that there is little difference between
people and other animals) is the result of stimulus response…

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Behaviourist approach

might be used, depending on the situation. In both cases, the goal of reinforcement is always to
strengthen the behaviour and increase the likelihood that it will occur again in the future.
In realworld settings, behaviours are probably not going to be reinforced each and every time they…

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Behaviourist approach

being used is no longer desired or rewarding, the subject may stop performing the desired


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Behaviourist approach


In SLT, learning is primarily through observation (indirect). Individuals observe role models and
learn about the consequences of behaviour through vicarious reinforcement. These consequences
are represented as expectancies of future outcomes and stored as internal mental representations.
Observation may lead to learning, but the performance…

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Behaviourist approach

Not all observed behaviours are effectively learned. Factors involving both the model and the learner
can play a role in whether social learning is successful. Certain requirements and steps must also be
followed. The following steps are involved in the observational learning and modelling process:
In order…


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