Key Assumption- behaviour is measued buy using s+r
- Early behavioural theorists believed that we could set up a stimulus and observe it. And that we could also measure its response.
- This means that behaviour can be studied scientifically.
- Thorndike (1900) based his theory on the idea of the stimulus and response approach.
- A stimulus can be given to an animal and the response to the stimulus monitored.
- Behaviour is difficult to study and draw scientific conclusions. So we single out a specific behaviour and see what leads to it and what can stop it.
- EG- rat presses a lever to get food pellet. The rat will learn that it gets food only when the light turns green and not when it turns red.
- Scientist saw they needed reliable data, so they looked at measurable aspects of behavior and scientific methodology.
- All human mental actions and physical responses are conditioned.
- This is Thorndike’s “Law of Effect”.
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our environment shapes out behaviour in may differ
- Watson said that our behaviour comes from conditioning and reinforcement, from certain stimuli in the environment.
- Environment (nurture) shapes out behaviour not inherited characteristics (nature).Behaviour arises from experiences, theorists assume this from studying what causes an action (stimulus) and the action (response)
- Early behaviourists believed that inherited characteristics don’t cause behaviour and that actions don’t come from brain activity or inherited abilities but past experiences.
- EG- if a baby babbles “mmm” a mother will respond with “mummy” giving the child attention (reinforcement) the child is likely then to repeat the sound and eventually learn to talk.
- Punishment does the opposite to reinforcement when shaping behaviour, people are less likely to repeat the behaviour.
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- Classical conditioning is how a response is associated with a stimulus to cause conditioning.
- A stimulus is something that causes a response; the response is either a reflex or automatic behaviour.
- The responses are involuntary behaviours.
- Ivan Pavlov (1849) used operating theatres exclusively for animals to conduct his experiments in.
- The theatres were kept to the highest possible standard, this is because Pavlov realised if the animals suffered or in distress his results would not be reliable results.
- Pavlov deducted that a dogs responses were in anticipation of a stimulus.
- CC argues that there is an association between a neutral stimulus (something that doesn’t get a response) and an exsisting unconditioned stimulus which does.
- The stimuli are then presented together a number of times. When the neutral stimulus elicits the response on its own, it is then a conditioned stimulus and a conditioned response.
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