Behaviourist Approach

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  • Created on: 30-03-12 15:40
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Behaviourist Approach
"Nurture over nature"
Conditioning, conditioning and social learning
Behaviourists leave psychologists yearning!
Assumption 1: Behaviour can be explained in terms of classical
New behaviours are acquired through association. Ivan Pavlov first described the process of
classical conditioning in 1904, through his observations in salivation in dogs (pictured above). A
"behaviour" is defined as a stimulusresponse unit ­ in his example, food (a stimulus) produces
salivation (a reflex response).
Before conditioning, the food is an unconditioned stimulus and salivation is an
unconditioned response.
During conditioning, a neutrall stimulus such as the sound of a bell occurs at the same time
as the UCS and therefore acquires its properties.
After conditioning, the sound of the bell is now a conditioned stimulus which produces the
salivation response, now a conditioned response.

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Assumption 3 Behaviour can be explained in terms of social learning theory
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 of the learned
behaviours is reliant on other factors.…read more

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Bandura and his collegues conducted the classic "Bobo Doll" study in order to
demonstrate the way children learn aggressiveness through modelling ­ observing
someone else behaving and then imitating this behaviour.
Bandura et al (1961) arranged for some very young children (aged 35 years) to
watch an adult playing with toys. Each child was taken individulally to a room where
there were toys.…read more

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Aversion therapy is a psychological treatment designed to reduce a behaviour
pattern. Before aversion therapy takes place, the subject has an undesirable
behavioural trait, which the therapy removes by conditioning the subject to
associate it with undesirable stimuli, which will lead to a decrease in the
undesirable behaviour.
This therapy treatment is used as a deterrent for alcoholism, smoking, drugs
and gambling addiction. In the past, it has been controversially used for the
treatment of sexual perversion, aggressive behaviour and even
homosexuality.…read more

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