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AS Behaviourist Approach

Key Concepts

Sarah Cockayne

on 5 October 2013

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Transcript of AS Behaviourist Approach

The Behaviourist Approach
Classical Conditioning
Operant Conditioning
Learning through association

Pavolv's dogs!

Watson and Raynor (Little Albert)
Learning through the consequences of our behaviour (rewards and punishments)

The "Skinner box"!
Key Assumptions
1) Mind is a tabula rasa (blank slate)
3) We can learn through classical conditioning
4) We can learn through operant conditioning (Skinner)
5) Psychology
is scientific and objective (only study obervable behaviour)
Research Methods
Psychology should be scientific and objective and we should only study observable behaviours

(Can't scientifically study internal mental processes)

Use controlled laboratory experiments (to establish cause and effect)

Crticised Freud for conducting subjective case studies (unscientific) and investigating the "unconscious mind" (which is not observable)

Watson argued the experimental method is the only objective, scientific method.
E.g. The behaviourist approach sees all our behaviour as being a result of the environment and past experiences.

This is a weakness because it ignores the role of free will and sees us as powerless to change.
E.g. The behaviourist approach attempts to explain all human behaviour in terms of stimulus-response.

This is a weakness as it ignores the role of biological factors and is therefore oversimplified.
E.g. The behaviourist approach has been applied to develop useful treatments for phobias (such as systematic desensitization)

This is a strength because it shows the approach has made significant contributions.
Scientific Methods
E.g. The behaviourist approach uses controlled laboratory experiments and only studies observable behaviour.

This is a strength as the findings will be high in internal validity.
Compared to Cognitive
E.g. The behaviourist approach focuses on observable behaviour, whereas the cognitive approach studies internal mental processes.

It is a weakness that the behaviourist approach ignores the role of mental processes.
S =
Strength - Emphasises the role of the environment (which is ignored by the biological approach).

Weakness - However, it ignores the importance of thinking and emotions.
Tabula rasa:
This means that we are
born a blank slate
all behaviour is learned
as a result of our environment and experiences
2) All behaviour is a response to stimulus in the environment
that causes a response

which is elicited by a stimulus in the environment

= an
response (e.g. salivation)
“Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified 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 might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.”
John B. Watson (1919)
Full transcript