Behaviourist Approach - Social Learning Theory
- Behaviour can importantly be learned indirectly by observation as well as directly through experiences. - Observational Learning.
- Role models are observed and their behaviours are imitated, through process of modelling.
- Vacarious reinforcement- consequences of behaviours can be learnt by watching people be punished for a certain behaviour,
- Banduras Bobo Doll Experiment-
- 1961- 2 groups of children, aged 3-5.
- One group watched adults act aggresively towards the bobo doll, e.g hittting with mallet, saying POW!
- One group watched adults play non voilently with the doll.
- The group who observed agressive behhaviour by adults, also showed signs of aggresive behaviour, group who saw non voilent adults, also acted non voilently.
Behaviourist Approach - Systematic Desensitisation
- Aim: To remove a fear response from a phobia and substitute a relaxation repsonse.
- Used for treatments of phobias. Example of counter conditioning.
- Slowly introduces patient to object of fear in several stages, each stage getting closer to the fear. E.G.: Fear of heights, step 1 climbing the stairs ............ step 10 going on a airoplane.
- Uses classical conditioning and operant conditioning.
- Pairs a feeling of relaxtion with object of fear. Relaxation outweights anxiety- Reciprical Inhibition.
Links to Assuptions:
- - That mental disorders are learned, like any other behaviour.
- - New stimulus responses are made using classical conditioning, in order for the undesirable behaviour to be suppressed.
- In vitro sensitisation- feared object is imagined using pictures or thought.
- In vivo sensitisation - fears are directly confronted. - more successful - Menzies and Clarke
- Modelling- watching someone else deal with feared object, while practsing relaxation.
Behaviourist Approach - Strengths and Weaknesses.
- A scientific approcah - uses lab experiments, control over extraneous variables.- cause and effect can be clearly established.
- Successfull applications is psychology in real world - used to treat phobias- sytematic desensitisation.
- The comparison of animals and humans- research may be more relevent to animals, can't be generalised to humans- Pavlove classical condtioing- Skinner -operant conditioning.
- Determinist approach-( behaviour shaped be external or internal forces rather than the individual's choice) ignores the factors of free will of an individual- E.G Behaviourists say that a peros would not steal or murder, because of the punishments associated, not because the person may think it is morally wrong.
Behaviourist Approach- Methodology
1. LAB EXPERIMENTS:
- Links to assumptions: approach seeks to use scientific approach to understand behaviour.
- Operationalisation: Approach involves the manipulation of operationaised variables.
- Cause and Effect: Can be established how the IV affects the DV
- Control- Extraneous variables can easily be controlled e.g. Bandura's experiment was well controlled.
- Replication- Bandura carefully recoreded the method- other researchers can replicate experiment.
- Ecolgoical validity- Bandura's study was in a lab setting- lacks mundane realism.
- Demand characteristics - In Bandura's study some children thought Bobo doll was for hitting.
- Experimenter Bias- Resracher may accident;y give particiapnts cuses on how they should be behaving.
Behaviourist Approach - Methodology
2. Use of Animals in Research
How it Links to the Approach: That behaviour of all animals are built on the same building blocks (e.g. stimulus and respnse) - Can link animal behaviour to human behaviour. E.g. Pavlov's dogs.
- Real life applications - principles of operant and classical conditioning- started as animal research (e.g. therapies for mental disorders)
- Easier- Easier to do conditioning animals with animals- fewer ethical issues, no demand characteristics.
- Generalsiability- some behaviours (e.g. aggression) may be the same, but human behaviour is also governed by thought- animal research cannot be fully generalised.
- Ethical Issues- Animals cannot give informed consent- moral debate.