The Behavourist Approach - detailed

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  • Created by: Grace
  • Created on: 11-06-11 17:11


"Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specific world to bring them up in, and i'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist i may select - a doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant, and yet, even a beggar man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors."

This famous quote was taken from the mouth of Watson, who took an extreme position known as RADICAL BEHAVOURISM. This extreme position claims that all learning comes from experience. For the radical behavourist, biology (nature) has an insignificant influence on how people behave and what they do. Not all pyschologists working within a behavourist approach adopt such an extreme position though.

Learning may be defined as follows: 'any relatively permanent change in the behavour, thoughts or feelings of an organism that results from prior experience.' However, radical behavourists would not accept this definition of learning since it refers to thoughts and feelings. radical behavourists were only concerned with what is observable, that is, behavour, thoughts and feelings can only be inferred so are more useful to cognitive pyschologists.

The behavourists approach is made up of a number of different theories of


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