Behaviourist approach

Lab experiments.

These are used by the approach. They are good as they clearly let us see cause and effect and has a high level of control over the Iv and Dv. It also has a high control over extraneous variables. However they lack in ecological validity as they are conducted in an artificial setting.

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  • Created by: kenno23
  • Created on: 18-03-14 19:50

Lab experiments

These are used by the approach. They are good as they clearly let us see cause and effect and has a high level of control over the Iv and Dv. It also has a high control over extraneous variables. However they lack in ecological validity as they are conducted in an artificial setting.

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Blank slate

Watson belived that he could train a healthy infant to become whatever he wanted them to. This is because he belived that all of our characteristics and behaviours are learned. Therefore he belived that we are born without any of these within us which completely disagrees with the bioligical approach.

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External observable behaviour

The Behaviourists are only interested in EOB as this is what they can see on the outside of the body. Anything else is considered as unscientific. This means they reject the work of the biological and cognitive approach. This means that when they are conducting their research they are not interested in the inner workings of the mind they are only interestedin things that they can observe

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Nurture

They are heavily on the side of nurture in the nature vs nurture argument. This is because they belive that all of our behaviours are learnt and are not innate (born with)

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Animal research

They believe that we can conduct research on animals and generalise it to humans. Other approaches such as the Humanists would arbue that you cant do that as humans and animals are qualitatively different meaning that we cant genralise

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Classical conditioning

Classical conditioning is were an automatic association is made with a stimulus and a response. Pavlov classic conditioned a Dog to relate the sound of a bell with being fed. eventually every time that the dog heard the bell on its own it would salivate which it would usually do when presented the food. The stimulus required no learning.

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Operant conditioning

Skinners work on operant conditioning showed that a behaviour can be learned through a trained association. This can be through positive reinforcement to stamp in the behaviour such as giving a reward. negative reinforcvement is the stamping in of behaviour through the removal of a punishment to increase the frequency of the desired behaviour. There is finally punishments to stamp out unwanted behaviour.

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Strengths and limitations

The strengths of the behaviourist approach are that they use experimental methods such as lab experiments. These are good because they have a high level of control over allb variables and we can be sure that the Dv is down to the IV. It also has practical applications for shaping behaviour. For example a teacher and a student.

It has its limitations as well. It denies the fact that we have free will. The humanists would argue that we have complete choice. Its also too deterministic as it reduces human behaviour and ignores the roles of mental processes and free will

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