The learning approach: Behaviourism

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  • The learning approach: Behaviourism:
  • AO1:
  • Key assumptions of the behaviourist approach:
  • The behaviourisnt approach is only concerned with studying behaviour that can be obserned and leasured. It isn;t concerned with mental processes of the mind. Introspection was rejected by behaviourists as its concepts were vague and difficult to measure. Behavioursits trid to maintain more control and objectivity in their research and relied on lab studies to achieve this. Behavioursts suggest the processes tha govern learning as the same in all species, so animals (rats, cats, dogs and pigeons) can replace humans as experimental subjects. 
  • Classical conditioning (Pavolv):
  • Classical conditioning is learned through association. Pavlov revealed that dogs could be conditioned to salivate to the sound of a bel if the sound was repeatedly presented at the same time a food. Pavlov's dogs learned to assocate the sound of the bell (a stimulus) with the food (another stimulus) and would produce the salivation response every time they heard it. Pavlov was able to show how a neutral stimulus (a bell) can come to elict a new learned response (conditioned response) through association. 
  • Operant conditioning (skinner):
  • Skinner addressed that learning is an active process whereb humans and animals operate on their environment. Behaviour is maintained and shaped by consequences. Skinners research - rats and pigeons, in specially designed cages (Skinner boxes). When a rat activated a lever (or a pigeon pecked at a disc) it was rewarded with a food pellet. A desirable consequence led…


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