Outline And Evaluate The Behaviourist, Including Two Behavioural Therapies

1421 words - 6 pages

“outline and evaluate the behaviourist, including two behavioural therapies”


Behaviourist approach: All behaviours learned from experiences that a person has had in their environment. All behaviour is learned through reinforcement or punishment. This was through Watson (1913) Pavlov (1849-1936) and through Skinner (1904-1990).

The following pages outline operant and classical conditioning and behaviour therapies.

Classical conditioning

Classical conditioning is reflex behaviour and is voluntary to the appreciate stimulus. The theory aims to account the way a new stimulus is associated with reflex behaviour. Classical conditioning was later applied to humans ...view middle of the document...

Positive reinforcement-behaviour produces a consequence, satisfying or pleasant for the person, like food to a hungry animal (primary Reinforcement), praise to a child (secondary reinforcement).

Negative reinforcement is behaviour which terminates unpleasant stimulus so when something bad is removed behaviour is strengthened and pain stops.
Skinner thought that all behaviour is learned from the environment, consequences of operant handling. Punishment something unpleasant is added to a situation, so a child being taken from a game and placed on the naughty step this will weaken the behaviour hence you are taking the child away from something they like doing.
Super nanny uses this technique to encourage parents to control a situation and behaviour problems with their child. This is shaping and gradually changing the behaviour.
This is moving away from S and r and moving towards associates between behaviour and consequences.
Skinner believed that humans and animals can be taught to do anything that is physically possible. Skinners concept is part of the theory operant conditioning. Negative reinforcement, positive reinforcement, punishments are some of the methods by which behaviour is affected. Many associate negative reinforcement with punishment.
The negative reinforcement encourages positive behaviour by taking away the negative stimulus.
This is best illustrated through Skinners Box.
Case study: Skinners Box, a rat is placed in a box a lever is pressed and food is dispensed, after a period of time it learns that pressing the lever produces food, the food being released is reinforcing.
Strengths: Skinner developed the key ideas which are still used today.
Made behaviourism more widely known.
Weaknesses: Skinners theories treated people like animals.

He did not allow room for other perspectives, he was radical and closed off to other ways of looking at things.

Behaviourism is a scientific approach based on observable behaviour, it has clear testable concepts, objective therapies can be effective for treating phobias like eating disorders and can be applied to all, it offers support to the nurture side.
Strengths: its based on observable behaviour, so its easy to collect data and information when conducting research.
Effective therapeutic techniques such as intense behaviour intervention, token economies are all rooted in behaviourism. Token economy is a version of behaviour where that reinforcements are not given in the form of a reward but in the form of a token where a child can return it and swap it for the reward at a later date, like using a start chart. The approaches are often useful for changing harmful behaviours in both children and adults.

The weaknesses are that it neglects genetics and the biology brain functioning, these therapies are not effective for all disorders, it ignores free will and choices. Free will which is the ability to exercise your control over your behaviour and to enable you to make...

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