Social learning theory - Studies
Bandura's Bobo Doll Experiment (1961)
- Method: Children watched an adult act violently towards a bobo doll, they were then placed in a room with the doll to see how they would behave
- Results: After observing the adults behave violently, the children would also act this way towards the doll.
- Conclusion: Children imitate the behaviour that they see
- Evaluation: Ethical issues - Exposing children to violet behaviour. - children didn't have right to withdraw. - Lacks external validity. - They proved the hypothesis.
The behaviourist approach - Studies
Watson's Little Albert (1920) - Classical conditioning
- A boy was presented with a rat (NS). Everytime he had the rat there was a loud noise (UCS) created a fear reaction. (UCR)
- This was repeated until the rat alone (CS) created a fer reaction (CR)
- Results: When Albert was shown a rat he would start to cry
- Conclusion: A fear response to white fluffy objects has been connditioned - abnormal behaviour can be learned.
- Evaluation: Unethical. Experiment couldn't be repeated today, lab study-lacks ecological validity as situation was artificial. It supports Pavlov's study.
Skinner's Box (1938) - Operant conditioning
- A rat moves around a box and when it accidentally presses a lever, a food pellet (reinforcer) drops into the cage. The rat is conditioned to keep pressing the lever to recieve food.
- If the food stops the rat will press the lever a few more times then stop (extinction)
- results: positive reinforcement meant the rat would repeat the same action
- conclusion: behaviour paired with reinforcement encourges same behaviour
- evaluation: it wasn't human, people claim free will plays a part.
Social learning theory - Assumptions
- People learn through observation and imitation
- Learning can occur by observing role models
- Believes that meditational processes (between stimulus and response) affect our behaviour
- learning can be the result of direct and indirect reinforcement
The biological approach - Strengths and weaknesses
- Scientific methods - Scanning techniques (fMRIs and EEGs), twin studies and drug trials. Technology ensured it is possible to accurately measure biological processes.
- Real life application - Development of psychoactive drugs that can treat serious mental illnesses such as depression. - sufferers able to manage their condition and live relatively normal life.
- People have more control over their life - If people realise they have a genetic problem (crime or mental disorder) they can seek help early.
- Experiments lack ecological validity
- Too deterministic - Ignores other factors like emotional and cultural factors and the effect of the mind.
- Cannot seperate nature/nurture - Twins are often exposed to similar environments so findings could be down to nurture rather than nature.
Social learning theory - Strengths and weaknesses
- The importance of cognitive factors in learning - We use the mind to question how right our answers are. Shows better reasoning for learning than classical and operant conditioning alone
- Explains cultural differences in behavious - Explains how the world is different
- Less determinist than behaviourist - not as determinist, acknolodges free will
- Over-reliance on evidence from lab studies - Controlled experiments. Participants behaved the way they were expected.
- Underestimates influence of biological factors - Little reference to biologicial factors. Ignores that factors such as hormones explain behaviour.
The behaviourist approach - Assumptions
- Behaviour is learnt from the environment
- Animals and humans lern in the same way
- The mind is irrelevant. (personality shouldn't affect how you learn something)
The biological approach - Studies
The Jim Twins:
- Seperated as babies, reunited at 39
- Same wife's names and son's name
- Similar IQ, interests, habits
- 500,000/1 odds
- Twins grown up seperate as alike psychologically as twins brought up together
Canadian ice hockey team - Hormones:
- Levels of testosterone were higher when they played in their home town.
- The hormone energised the players to defent their home teritory.
Buss (1989) - Evolution & Behaviour:
- Studies 37 different cultures.
- Woman desired mates with resources to provide for offspring.
- Men desired young, physically attractive women
The cognitive approach - Assumptions
- The mind, like a computer, encodes, stores and outputs data
- The human mind can and should be investigated scientifically
The cognitive approach - Strengths and weaknesses
- Looks at throught processes which were ignored by other psychologists - processes such as memory and attention have been studied as they affect our behaviour
- It is reductionist - Reduces human behaviour down to individual processes (such as memory) this is a weakness because the human is a product of all processes working together not individually
- Too mechanical - compares humans to computers because we have similar processes. Humans are more complex than computers e.g. emotions can affect a human's output.
The behaviourist approach - Strengths and weakness
- Easy to quantify and measure
- Scientific credibility - measurable evidence that is objective and can be replicated.
- Ethical and practical issues(animal experiments) - Animals have no right to withdraw, they cannot mirror human responses and they are subject to poor conditions
- Mechanistic view of behaviour - Reduces human behaviour to a mechanical like state.
- Environmental determinism - behaviour is determined by past experiences and ignores free will
The biological approach - Assumptions
- All behaviour/characteristics is down to genetics
- Genes evolved to match behaviour with our environment
- The mind is irrelevent