Behaviourist approach to psychology- ESSAY PLAN

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Discuss the Behaviourist approach in Psychology; refer to at least two topics you have
Classical Conditioning: > Learning through association between events that occur in the
> Occurs when a previously neutral stimulus is paired with an
unconditional stimulus. Overtime, through association the
previously neutral stimulus (now classed as a conditioned
stimulus) will trigger the previously unconditioned response (now
the conditioned response)
> Generalisation other stimuli, similar to the original conditioned
stimulus, produce the conditioned response also
> Discrimination When a conditioned response is only caused by
original conditioned stimulus
> Extinction When the conditioned response ceases if the
unconditioned stimulus doesn't appear after the conditioned
stimulus continually
Aversion Therapy: > One way in which classical conditioning of the behaviourist approach
has been applied is in Aversion therapy, a treatment used for
> The alcohol (neutral stimulus) is paired with an emetic
stimulus) resulting in the individual vomiting (unconditioned
> Through association the alcohol (now the conditioned stimulus) is
paired with vomiting (now the conditioned response) resulting in
> The individual must be able to discriminate between alcohol and
drinks so that the conditioned response of vomiting isn't triggered by
stimuli other than the original ( generalisation)
> Studies have shown that the therapy is most effective when repeated
a number of times at intervals to prevent conditioned response from
ceasing ( extinction)
Operant Conditioning: > Behaviour is learnt as a consequence and is then shaped and
maintained by consequences reinforcement and punishment
> Punishment Positive exposure to an unpleasant event as a
consequence of a behaviour e.g. a smack
Negative losing or not obtaining a reinforcer as a
consequence of a behaviour e.g. removing t.v
> Reinforcement Positive an environmental consequence that
strengthens the possibility that a behaviour will

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Negative unpleasant stimuli that strengthen a
behaviour by their removal
Schedules of reinforcement it is possible to
vary reinforcement in 5 different ways:
continuous, fixed ratio, fixed interval, variable
ratio and variable interval, e.g. fixed ratio is
where one reinforcer is given every fixed
of correct responses for example giving a child
once a week for making their bed every day. Of
interest to know which one produces the
strongest response e.g.…read more

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