Assumptions of the behaviourist approach


Humans are born like a balnk slate

When born our mind is a 'tubula rasa'. We're not born with built in content. All behaviour learned through interactions with the environment. Nurture over nature as ignore factors like genetics and evolution in explaining behaviour. Environmental Determinism - our behaviour is determined by the environment we grow up in. Early associations (dentists=pain) and punishments/reawrds (slapped for bad behaviour) predetermine ourlater reactions to other people and situations.

Classical Conditioning

Ivan Pavlov (1904) developed the theory, suggesting behaviour is shaped through the associations we make. He demonstarted how dogs could be conditioned to produce salivation to the sound of a bell, if the bell was repeatedly sounded as food was presented. 

Before coniditioning, food is an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) and salivation is the unconditioned response (UCR).

During conditioning a neutral stimulus (NS) such as the bell is presented alongside the UCS (food). Repeated several times and this is where association…


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