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Behaviourist Approach


Q1) Outline two assumptions of the behaviourist approach. (4 marks).

One assumption of the behaviourist approach is that the environment shapes our actions.
Behaviourists' believe we are born as a `Tabula Rasa' meaning blank slate, and all our
behaviour is acquired through exposure to the environment. Behaviourists assume…

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Will the observer retain the aggressive behaviour?
Is the observer capable of reproducing the aggressive behaviour they have seen?
Is the observer motivated?


According to the social learning theory, children can learn aggression from watching role
models in the media for e.g. watching an aggressive violent movie. This led to…

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UCS (Emetic Drug) + NS (Alcohol) UCR (Sickness)

CS (Alcohol expectation) Vomiting UCR (Expectation to vomit)

Research has been carried out to show the effectiveness of aversion therapy. Duker and
Seys treated 12 children with learning difficulties that self-harmed. They were given an
electric shock (UCS) every time they tried…

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Another weakness of the behaviourist approach is that it focuses on the environment as a
way of shaping behaviour. Therefore the role of nature in determining behaviour is ignored.
For example behaviourist would not consider how our genes could influence personality and
behaviour. Also the role of nurture is exaggerated…

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Another strength is that animals lack the emotional involvement that may happen in
humans. They do not know what is happening and what the aim of it all is. This means the
problems of participant reactivity in lab experiments with human participants do not apply in
experiments with animal participants.…

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