The And Social Learning Theory

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In this essay I will talk how behaviourism and social learning theory contribute to our understanding of learning, the strengths and weaknesses of the theories of Psychologists B F Skinner and Stanley Milgram and also critically discuss the limitations of their theories. Then finally weigh up how Skinner has impacted the understanding of behaviour.
How Behaviourism and Social Learning Theory contribute to the understanding of learning
Behaviourism is the theory that human beings and animals can be conditioned to act a certain way. This started with the observations from Pavlov in 1902, in which he conducted and experiment with a dog. He started his theory from the idea that there are many things a dog does not have to learn. …show more content…

Watson took the observations of Pavlov and proposed that he was able to explain all aspects of human psychology using this theory. This theory is called classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is the theory that a person learns a new behaviour through the process of association. Two stimuli are brought together to produce a new association with that person or animal. For example before conditioning, a person may associate the smell of perfume with happiness, this is an unconditioned stimulus. However during conditioning they may instead associate the smell of perfume with a specific person. At this point the unconditioned stimulus has become a conditioned stimulus. After conditioning, the person whom found the perfume to be associated with a specific person, now finds the smell of that perfume to be attractive. This is a conditioned response. As well as this, John B Watson conducted the Little Albert Experiment. Pavlov demonstrated that classical conditioning worked on animals, but Watson wanted to find out if it also worked on humans. Little Albert was 9 months old, and was tested on his reactions to various animals and objects which included a rat, rabbit, monkey, as well as various masks. He showed no fear to any of them, however did show a reaction when a hammer struck a steel bar behind him, causing him to cry. When Little Albert was 11 months old, he was again presented with the rat, however seconds later the hammer struck the steel bar. This was

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