Behavioural Model of Abnormality

Classical Conditioning 

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  • Created by: RHC75
  • Created on: 13-04-14 09:47

Classical Conditioning

- Learning a new behaviour via the process of association 

1) Before Conditioning 

    - The unconditioned stimulus produces an unconditioned response - the natural response hasnt been learnt 

2) During Conditioning 

    - Conditioned stimulus 

3) After Conditioing 

     - The conditioned stimulus has been associated with the unconditioned stimulus to create a new conditioned response 

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Operant Conditioning


Positive Reinforcement 

- E.g. if your teacher gave you £5 everytime you did your homework you would continue this behaviour to get as much money as you could 

Negative Reinforcement 

- E.g. if you didnt complete your homeowrk you would have to give the teacher £5, this would make you complete your homework as to avoid paying £5 

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Strengths and Weaknesses of Classical Conditioning


    • Emphaises the importance of learning from the environment and supports nurture over nature 
    • based on empirical evidence carried out by controlled experimenters in a controlled laboratory 


    • Limiting to describe behaviour soely in terms of either nature of nurture - underestimating the complexity of the human nature 
    • lacks validity - incomplete explanations 
    • doesnt allow any free will in the individual - they have no control over how they will respond to the experiment 
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Strengths and Weaknesses of Operant Conditioning


    • Can be used to explain a wide variety of behavoiur 


    • Fails to take into account the role of inherited cognitve factors 
    • Incomplete explanation of the learning process in humans and animals 
    • Be careful when generalising as it would be hard to generalise from animals to humans 
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