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Flashcards in Behaviourist Approach Deck (20):

What are the main assumptions of the behaviourist approach?

Behaviour is determined by the environment and the stimulus response principle.

The behaviourist create laws of learning which can be generalised to everyone.

We learn through conditioning; operant and classical


Compare the behaviourists to the cognitive approach.

Cognitive disagree with behaviourist as they believe SR is too simplistic and that behaviourist have ignored important internal mental processes that occur between stimulus and response and therefore put forward SOR .


Compare the behaviourist to the biological approach.

They believe behaviour is determined by the environment and ignore the role of nature and biological influences.


Compare the behaviourist approach to the humanistic approach.

The humanistic approach disagrees with the laws of learning that can be generalised as they believe humans are unique individuals who shouldn't be generalised.


Define operant conditioning.

Operant conditioning believes that reinforcement increases behaviour and punishment decreases behaviour.


Describe Skinners experiment.

Skinner believed in operant conditioning where the learner operates in an environment leading to a consequence

He starved a rat and placed him in a box. Through trial and error, the rat pressed a leaver that releases food ( reinforcement). Hence, the lever pressing increased.
He then electrocuted the rat when the leaver was pressed so the leaver pressing decreased.


What is positive reinforcement?

It involves a pleasant stimulus.


Define negative reinforcement.

Performing a behaviour to avoid something unpleasant.


Define punishment.

A behaviour followed by something negative.


Compare the behaviourist to Social Learning theory.

Behaviourists believe all learning is linked to the environment whereas the social learning theory state we can learn through observation alone and via role models.


What are treatments and applications of operant conditioning?

Token economy which is where tokens are exchanged for desirables.

Language development which is where autistics and rewarded every time they attempt to communicate.


Evaluate token economy.

+ it is highly effective with young offenders.

- it is only short term and only works in confined places.


Evaluate language development.

+ can be used by parents and therapists

- only works with mild autism.


What did Thorndike do?

He investigated the laws of effect which refers to behaviour being stamped in and more likely to be repeated


Define classical conditioning.

It involves paired association between stimulus and response.


Describe Pavlovs experiment.

He wanted to investigate whether you could train a dog to salivate on demand to any object.

Draw table.


Describe watsons experiment.

Watson applied the principles of operant conditioning to a little baby called little Albert.

Draw a table


What are applications of classical conditioning?

Aversion therapy- treat substance abuse patients.

Systematic desensitisation - treating phobias where the patient is faced with the feared object in small stages.


What reset method is used by behaviourists and evaluate it.

Rigorous, objective, scientific experiments

+ establish cause and effect

- lack of ecological validity


Compare the behaviourist to the psychodynamic approach.

The behaviourist believe we should study objective and observable behaviour and as a result gained scientific credibility. However, they disagree with the psychodynamic approach because they reject the unconscious mind as you can't touch or measure it.