Behaviourist Approach

Finally done some revision notes!! :D Took me ages but enjoy :P

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  • Created on: 05-05-13 12:25
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Behaviourist Approach-Psychology notes!!
Behaviourist Approach- revision notes
1. Psychology should be the study of observable behaviour only in a scientific way
Behaviourist = overt behaviour only, they are not concerned with the mental processes of the mind.
John B Watson (an early psychologist) rejected the idea of `introspection' an early form of
psychology that tried to investigate and describe people's conscious experience.
2. All behaviour = learnt behaviour
Everyone is born as `Blank slates' all our behaviour is determined by our environment.
Ignores NATURE ­ our genes?-some people are born clever others are not.. some people are born
with skills others are not.
3. Two basic laws of learning
Operant and Classical conditioning.
Operant = Learning by reinforcement
BF Skinner `Learning is an active process whereby humans and animals operate on their
environment' Thorndike's `Law of effect'
Learning is due to the consequences in the environment, if behaviour is followed by pleasant
consequences then it is more likely to be repeated in the future. If however, it is followed by
unpleasant circumstances, for example punishment, then the behaviour is less likely to be
repeated. Operant conditioning involves using the use of consequences, such as gaining rewards or
receiving punishments, in order to modify and shape behaviour.
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Behaviourist Approach-Psychology notes!!
In the Skinner box, if instead of a reward of food for pressing the lever, the rat receives an electric
shock! The lever pressing behaviour will be extinguished
An everyday example a child does something undesirable (draws on the wall) and is smacked! The
unpleasant consequence of being smacked stops the child drawing on the wall again!
Classical = Learning by Association
Little Albert
WATSON and RAYNER- Classical conditioned a fear of mice and white beards in little Albert who
was 11…read more

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Behaviourist Approach-Psychology notes!!
Evaluations!!
BEHAVIOURISM MADE A POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION TO PSYCHOLOGY = with its focus on the
SCIENTFIC, EXPERIMENTAL METHOD, it gave psychology GREATER CREDIBILITY as a discipline.
BEHAVIOURISM HAS MANY PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS = particularly in terms of TREATMENTS
and THERAPIES of ATYPICAL BEHAVIOUR. EG Token economy, behaviour shaping had modified
speech in autism.…read more

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