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Describe and discuss the behaviourist approach. Refer to evidence in your answer (10 marks)
Behaviourism is an approach in psychology that states that all behaviour is learned from experience.
Behaviourists claim that humans are a blank slate for experience to write on, which is developed by life experiences and events. They dismiss the idea that biology is a deciding factor of who we are and believe that all learning can be explained in terms of stimulus response links, reinforcement and punishment.
Behaviourists use methods such as laboratory experiments to study their theories in greater depth. They use animals to experiment on rather than humans, as it is seen to be more ethical but still results in valuable information. The behaviourist approach uses 2 main applications for explaining and studying behaviour, which are called classical and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning is a form of learning in which a stimulus adopts the ability to cause a specific behavioural response, which was originally evoked from another stimulus. An example of classical conditioning is Pavlov’s dog experiment (1902). Pavlov noticed that when a dog saw food (food being the unconditioned stimulus (UCS)), the dog then started to salivate (the salivation being the unconditioned response (UCR)). Pavlov then realised that if a dog associated food with any event/object, it would result in the same response (salivation). Whenever Pavlov gave the dog food, he would also ring a bell (neutral stimulus (ns)), so the dog would associate the bell with the food. After conditioning, the dog would then salivate (conditioned response (cr)) after only hearing the bell. The experiment is very important in proving the behaviourist approach and has evoked other experiments like it, like the case study of Little Albert.
The 2nd main application in behaviourism is operant…...

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