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Behaviourist Approach

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

The role of the Environment-

Behaviourists assume we are born as a `Tabula Rasa' meaning blank slate, and all our
behaviour is acquired through exposure to the environment. Who we become and how we
turn out will depend…

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Q1b) Describe the Social Learning Theory Aggression. (8 marks).

The behaviourist approach was extended by Bandura who developed the social learning
theory. The social learning theory suggests that we learn not only by conditioning but also by
observing others. The social learning theory has been used to explain aggression.


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Q2) Describe how the behavioural approach has been applied Aversion Therapy. (12 marks).

According to the behaviourist approach mental disorders have been learned through operant
and classical conditioning and so can be unlearned. Aversion therapy uses the process of
classical conditioning so that patients can unlearn abnormal behaviour such as…

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One of the strengths of the behaviourist approach is that it has practical applications. This is
because treatments have come from the approach that are widely used and are particularly
effective for phobias. One of the reason therapies are effective is because they concentrate
on the here and now. This…

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The Laboratory Experiment-

Behaviourists believe we can understand behaviour by carrying out scientific study in
laboratory conditions. An assumption of the approach was that all behaviour is shaped by the
environment we are exposed to, so, through experimentation we can change the
environment and see what its effects are on…

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Behaviourists conduct some of their research on animals to find out about learning.
Behaviourists may think it is a good idea to use animals because they can be easily
manipulated. Some people also believe animals and humans are quite similar so we can
generalise the findings in humans.

Animals can…

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

Internal Conflicts-

Freud claimed that there are three parts to the personality; The ID, Ego and Superego. He
suggested that there is often an unconscious conflict between the ID and the Superego. The
ego tries to balance these two parts.…

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The psychodynamic approach stresses the importance of early childhood experiences on
later personality development. Freud argues that every child passes through the 5
psychosexual stages and that if a child gets fixated (this is due to too much pleasure) during
developmental stage this will determine their adult personality.

During the…

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Dream analysis is based on the importance of the unconscious. Freud suggested the mind has three
parts; the conscious, the preconscious and the unconscious. He said the mind is like an iceberg-much
of what goes on inside the mind lies under the surface and that painful experiences may be

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A strength of the psychodynamic approach is that it does not blame the person for their
illness as it reminds us that experiences in childhood can affect us throughout our lives
without us being aware that it is happening.
Some experiences in childhood may be so emotionally painful that the…


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