behavioural approach

the biological approach to explaining mental illnesses

HideShow resource information


  • mental illness caused by real life experiences
  • abnormality seen as development of behavioural patterns, through operant and classical conditioning, which are maladaptive for the individual
1 of 3

classical conditioning

  • learned through assoication. neutral stimulus pared with a unconditioned stimulus leading to a conditioned stimulus creating a conditioned response
  • applies to emotional learning and behaviours as long as the feared object is related to a fear from the past
  • conditioned stimulus creates a fearful response characterised by avoidance of the feared object and the emotion of fear when the object is encountered
2 of 3

operant conditioning

  • learned through reinforcement. if a response is reinforced, the proberbility of it being repeated is increased. if a resopnse is punished the likelyhood of it being repeated decreases
  • psychological disorders occur when a maadaptive behaviour is rewarded, so these behaviours may be functional for the time they are being learned.
  • If a child gets attention everytime they have a panic attack then these attacks will be more frequent and harder to stop
3 of 3


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Approaches resources »