This essay will explore and analyse four different theoretical approaches within psychology; the behavioural, psychoanalytic, humanistic and cognitive approaches. Assumptions and theories of each approach will be described and evaluated. The behavioural approach involves two different types of conditioning, which are classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Watson suggested that human behaviour is learnt and that we are born as a ‘blank slate’ or ‘tabula rasa’ (McLeod, 2013). An example of classical conditioning was displayed by Watson as an observational experiment. It was undertaken on a 9 month old baby known as Little Albert. At the beginning of the experiment Albert showed no fear of a white rat. Watson wanted to see if he …show more content…
In 1930, BF Skinner conditioned rats through reinforcement and punishment. Positive reinforcement resulted in the rat receiving a reward of food when a bar was pressed. Skinner then noticed that the rats would go to get food more often. After some time, Skinner added an electric grid to the boxes and shocked the rats occasionally; this was punishment and led to the rats eating less food. Pressing the bar lead to a reduction in electric shock, this is known as negative reinforcement – where a removal of a stimulus is likely to increase the occurrence of behaviour (Bustamante et al, 1996). The social learning theory to aggression involves both the assumptions above, which determines that behaviour is influenced by the environment. Children are likely to be influenced by people who are similar to themselves, people who they admire and role models (Collin et al, 2012). Their behaviour is learnt through observation and imitation and is encouraged by awarding that behaviour. The person’s direct environment has an effect on their behaviour as well as learning it from other people, known as the vicarious experience (Breakwell et al, 2012). The Bobo doll experiment, which was done by Albert Bandura in 1961, determined that children are likely to imitate and learn from adult behaviour. Children who saw an aggressive model produced more aggressive acts on the doll than the children who observed non-aggressive models (Nolen, 2015). This experiment holds inconsistencies,
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One famous behaviourist was Skinner (1904-1990) who was an American psychologist and believed in the role of reinforcement. There are two types of reinforcement: positive and negative. Positive reinforcement occurs when a particular behaviour is followed by a consequence that is desired such as receiving food, money or verbal praise. Whereas negative reinforcement takes place when a particular behaviour removes something unpleasant. Skinner used both positive and negative reinforcement in his experiment where he worked with rats and pigeons. He used a “Skinner box” to investigate the key values of learning new and challenging behaviours. Skinner used the theory of operant conditioning and would place the rat or pigeon into the “Skinner Box” the animal would then be curious and sniff and run around the box until eventually it would press the lever, which would release a food pellet. After a while the animal would carry out this behaviour many times, as it has learnt that after pressing the lever it will receive a food pellet as a consequence. As the pellet is experienced as reinforcing and something that the animal desires, this increases the chance of the behaviour being repeated. This is called
The fundamentals of the social learning theory significantly describe offenders and their criminal behavior which is learned based on observation and imitation. A researcher by the name of Albert Bandura along with coworkers tested the social learning theory with several experiments on children and their imitation of aggression based on what they saw and were exposed to. Bandura’s focus was to prove that human behavior such as aggression is learned through social imitations and copying the actions of others. Walters (1966) gives details about the Bobo doll experiment and explains its purpose related to learning a violent behavior based on observation. In the experiment, the tested subjects were children of both sexes, ranging from the ages of three to six years. Some of the children were exposed to a non-aggressive adult, while the other children were placed in a room with an aggressive adult who would both physically and verbally attack the Bobo doll. The control group in the experiment was not exposed to any adult. During the second phase of the experiment, the children were left in a room by themselves with the toys, and watched to see if they would demonstrate the aggressive behavior like that of which they observed adults doing earlier. Walter (1966) describes the results as “children who had been exposed to an aggressive model showed more imitative physical and verbal
Behaviourists regard behaviour as a response to a stimulus; pioneering the belief that internal cognitive processes are unnecessary when explaining behaviour. This view is supported by the behaviourist John Locke who proposed that children are born as ‘blank slates’ (‘tabula rasa’) whereby children are shaped by experience (Neaum, 2010). The behaviourist approach assumes that the process of learning is the same in all species; therefore concluding that human and animals learn in similar ways. Early behaviourists include Edward Thorndike, Edward Tolman and Edwin Guthrie conducted experiments on animals, under carefully observed conditions (Collin, 2011). However the three theorists, most associated with behaviourism are: Ivan Pavlov, John Watson and B.F. Skinner. These theorists identified two types of associative learning: classical and operant conditioning; these methods underpin the behaviourist perspective.
Psychology is a discipline that involves monitoring mental processes and behaviour scientifically. Psychologists try to delve into the basic functions of a person and animals cerebral activity. This usually involves studying relationships, emotions, personality and many more areas of a person or animals day to day life. Psychology tends to steer towards finding reasons for a person or animals actions in an attempt to resolve them.
Classical and operant conditioning are two important concepts central to behavioral psychology. While both result in learning, the processes are quite different. In order to understand how each of these behavior modification techniques can be used, it is also essential to understand how classical conditioning and operant conditioning differ from one another. Both classical and operant learning are psychological processes that lead to learning. Here learning refers to the process by which changes in behavior, including actions, emotions, thoughts, and the responses of muscles and glands,
Human behaviors are learned emotion through interaction with each other. A child’s brain is like a sponge. It absorbs the behavior of its surroundings. Serial killer’s treatment and view of other people is a learned behavior through interaction with others in society. The Bobo doll experiment conducted by Albert Bandura in 1961-1963 at Stanford University shows how children’s behavior depends on adults that are around them. In the experiment, adults acted aggressively to the Bobo doll and the study was on how the children will react to it after they saw the adults’ interaction with the doll. Bandura conducted the experiment on two models where one of the models contained children exposed to the aggressive act performed by the adult on the Bobo doll. The other model contained children who saw adults act in a pleasant way to the doll. The result of this experiment showed that children exposed to the aggressive model were more likely to act physically aggressive than those who were not (McLeod). This study proved the social learning theory which basically states that children learn behaviors from
Psychology is the scientific “study of the mind” (Gross, 2015) and behaviour, which includes the study of humans and animals. There are various approaches in modern psychology. A theoretical approach is a perspective which is someone’s view about human behaviour, there can be many different theories within an approach, however they all piece together the same assumptions. (McLeod, 2007). A theory is an attempt by theorists to try to explain behaviour. Theories are not facts but can be verified by testing. Theories can then be evaluated which I aim to achieve through this essay, where I will briefly explain the theoretical approaches in psychology and aim to focus on an analysis of each perspective which consists of the psychodynamic,
Psychology is the scientific “study of the mind” (Gross, 2015) and behavior, which includes the study of humans and animals. There are various approaches in modern psychology. A theoretical approach is a perspective (view) about human behavior, there may be several different theories within an approach, but they all share these common assumptions and principles. (McLeod, 2007). A theory is an attempt by theorists to try to explain behavior. Theories are not facts but can be verified by testing. Theories can then be evaluated which I aim to do through this essay, where I will briefly explain the theoretical approaches in psychology and aim to focus on an analysis for each perspective which consist of the psychodynamic, humanist, cognitive and behavioral approaches where I will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each approach separately.
Skinner conducted a series of research experiments with rats and pigeons under controlled laboratory conditions using a specially designed cage. By doing so he sought to demonstrate that behaviour can be created and reinforced by external factors. The puzzle box he created for his experiments has become so widely used that it is now known as the “Skinner box”. Animals would be placed in a cage which had a bar lever mechanism used to dispense food; Skinner would measure the frequency of the bar pressing and introduce different variables into the experiments. This led to his discovery of 'partial reinforcement' and its correlation to the slower extinction of shaped behaviour. When food pellets would only be dispensed once in a while (as opposed to every pressing) Skinner noticed that it took longer for the learnt behaviour to become extinct. The powerful phenomenon of partial reinforcement can be noticed in gambling establishments; a player on a slot machine is more likely to keep up their behaviour of playing if the rewards are unpredictable and occasional. The player becomes more persistent in their gambling in the hope that the next coin will be the winner (Hunt, 1993).
Social learning theory, in its simplest form, can be described as learning through observation. We learn through watching the interaction between others: How Mom responds to Dad, other women, her parents, etc. Observing social interaction teaches us the ‘correct’ behavior for our culture, our society. Social Learning Theory, as outlined in our textbook, holds that children imitate their parents’ social behavior. If a child is exposed to violence in the home, they are much more likely to repeat the observed behavior in their own relationships. (Intimate Relationships, Marriages & Families.) Albert Bandura believed that aggression was a socially learned behavior. He stated that children learn aggressive behaviors by watching those violent behaviors in family, friends, neighbors, and the media (TV, video games, etc.) He said that,” Those who figure prominently in children's lives serve as indispensable sources of
Psychology is not just philosophical speculation and reasoning over the years it has evolved and it is now also recognised as a science, to understand what psychology is all about it is necessary to know it’s origins and the theorist who brought it out of obscurity, Sigmund Freud. He developed the Psychodynamic or Psychoanalytical perspective to enable better understanding of human behaviour these concepts will be discussed further later in this study. After Freud opened the gateway other perspectives and approaches have been developed, now with five main areas of psychology - Cognitive, Behaviourist, Biopsychology and Humanist approaches. For a comparison with the Psychodynamic theory, Behaviourist Theory will be discussed.
Bandura, A. Ross, D., & Ross, S. A. Transmission of aggression through the imitation of aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology.
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.
“Why don’t we make what can be observed the real field of psychology” (Watson, 1929). Watson (1878-1958) was born into a poor family in South Carolina. His mother was a religious woman, and his father drank a lot and had multiple affairs (Watson, 1999). Watson himself married twice, having two children in each marriage. He didn’t seem to have good relationships with his children – it is said that one of the main reasons for this may be because he used his children throughout his research. He studied in the University of Chicago where he later became known as the founder of Behaviourism. He wrote an essay in 1914 titled “Psychology as the Behaviourist views it” where he stated that behaviourism is an objective experimental branch of natural science (Watson, 1914). Behaviourism is a theory of learning that argues that all behaviours are acquired through conditioning (Carver & Scheier, 2012). Behaviourists believe
Behaviourists regard behaviour has a response and stimulus which is determined by the environment one lives in. With this reductionist idea, it is therefore easy for behaviourists to control experiments. Behaviourists carry out experiments with control over variables, precise measurements objectivity and observability, resulting in very reliable results. However, some critics may argue that behaviour is studied under artificial conditions which do not match real life environments, resulting in low ecological validity. Furthermore, another strength of this approach is that all three of its theories, classical conditioning, operant conditioning and social learning theory have succeeded when applied to its studies. For instance, classical conditioning is when new behaviours maybe acquired through association between an environmental stimulus and a neutral stimulus. An example of this is Watson’s little Albert experiment (1920) where the neutral stimulus (white rat) and