Behaviourist and Social Learning

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With reference to chosen theory of learning (behaviourist, social learning) discuss its application to patient education in context of general nursing. It may be said; why is psychology significant in nursing care and why do we use learning theories to assist in patient care? Well according to Walker et al (2007), in the caring profession nurses, spend most, if not all of their working lives interacting with other people. A key part of a nurse’s job is to promote healthful behaviour. When a patient is admitted to hospital it is often their physical illness that can cause a lot of emotional distress. This means gaining a better understanding of how people cope with illnesses whether acute or chronic. Understanding health psychology will…show more content…
He deciphered that dogs like humans salivate (reflex response) when they see food; it is a natural physiological reflex response. However he also demonstrated that a signal such as using a bell (stimulus) just before he gave the dog food would eventually lead the dog to salivate at the sound of the bell even if there was no food present. Pavlov verified by pairing or associating another stimulus (the bell) with food he could train the dogs to salivate. This theory could then be applied to people as well. According to Richard et al (2007) it was found that pairing one stimulus with another stimulus could also provoke a reflexive response in people. This is also called a stimulus – response theory of learning. Operant conditioning according to Walker et al (2007) pg 86 refers to learning that involves changes in voluntary responses those over which we normally have conscious control. Operant conditioning was developed largely by B.F. Skinner (1974,1989). According to Bastable (2003) pg 57 chap 3 operant conditioning focuses on the behaviour of the organism and reinforcement that occurs after the response. A reinforcer is a stimulus or event applied after a response that strengthens the probability that the response will be performed again. Skinner (1974) suggested that giving positive reinforcement i.e. (reward) greatly enhances behaviour and the likelihood that a response will be repeated in a similar circumstance. A second way to increase behaviour is by applying
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