Behaviourist Perspective (3)
Strengths: A main strength of the behaviourist perspective has been the development of useful applications. Behaviourism offers very practical ways of changing behaviour from for example therapies through to advertising. However at the same time this does raise an ethical issue as if the behaviourist perspective is able to control behaviour who decides which behaviour should be controlled or changed. A further important contribution of the behaviourist perspective has been the emphasis on objective and scientific ways of studying behaviour. However, this does raise the issues of generalisation as it is difficult to generalise finding from laboratory studies and especially so when generalising from non human animals to humans.
Weaknesses: Perhaps the main problem with the behaviourist approach occurs because by not focusing on cognitive processes it is only giving a partial explanation of human experience. However the influence of the behaviourist perspective can be seen in more modern perspectives such as the cognitive behavioural approach which still takes a behaviourist approach but recognises the role of cognition. Bandura’s later research can be seen as taking a cognitive behavioural approach.A further problem with the behavioural perspective is that many of the practical uses of the approach such as aversion therapy and token economy systems when used as a way of changing behaviour do tend to be short lived. That is, they do change behaviour but often only for a limited time.