Behaviourist Approach

  • Created by: Annagc
  • Created on: 27-05-19 13:32

Basic Assumptions

  • All behaviour is learnt from our environment 
  • Believes we can only learn from observable behaviour 
  • Humans and animals learn in the same way so use animal studies 
  • Psychology is a science therefore lab experiments are used 
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Classical conditioning and Pavlov's dogs

  • Learning through association 
  • Before conditioning: Food is UCS and produces salivation UCR
  • During conditioning: Food and bell is UCS and salivation is the UCR 
  • After conditioning: Bell is CS and produces salivation CR 
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Operant conditioning and Skinner

  • When humans and animals act in their environment there are consequences, if the consequences are positive they repeat the behaviour, if they are negative they do not repeat the behaviour 
  • Positive reinforcement: rats were put in a box and when they pushed a lever food was released, they learnt to go straight to the lever 
  • Negative reinforcement: rats were put in a box which gave them an electric shock when they moved around the cage, pressing the lever switched off the electric current, they quickly learnt to press the lever 
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Positive Evaluation

  • Real life applications - understanding attachment and phobias, has helped with treatments such as systematic desensitisation and token economy 
  • Scientific method means there is good control of extraneous variables, objective data which can be replicated 
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Negative Evaulation

  • Sees humans and animals as the same when we are diffreent cognitively and physiologically and have mor complex social norms meaning resukts of the experiments may apply more to animals than humans 
  • Ignores free will as it states all behaviour is a result of previous conditioning 
  • Ignored the role of mediational processes in learning 
  • Ignores biological factors e.g. high dopamine levels in OCD 
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Stance on debates

  • Strong determinism 
  • Nurture 
  • Reuctionist
  • Nomothetic 
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