Classical Conditioning And Operant Conditioning

1693 Words Apr 8th, 2015 7 Pages
In this booklet you will find an overview of all the different approaches to psychology. This will consist of the key assumptions, examples of the relevant psychologists and examples of their work, as well as an exploration into the advantages and disadvantages that some of these approaches possess.

Behaviourism is a theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviours are attained through conditioning. Behaviourists believe conditioning occurs when we interact with the environment and that the environment we are in determines the way we respond to a stimulus. The behaviourist approach believes we learn behaviours through association between response and consequence. For instance, by touching a hot iron you will feel pain. Therefore, we learn from this, and know not to touch a hot iron as we associate feeling pain as a consequence of this action. There are two forms of conditioning within the behaviourist approach; classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Behaviourists believe that individuals are born without built-in mental content, known as a ‘blank slate’ and that all behaviours arise from experience or perception.

Classical conditioning says that we learn behaviours by associating the response to the stimulus. An example of this can be found from the work of Ivan Pavlov. In the 1890s Pavlov, a Russian physiologist, carried out some experiments with a dogs. He noticed that when a dog eats food, they salivate: this is an unconditional response to an…
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