Behaviourism focuses exclusively on external and observable behaviours Essay

Behaviourism focuses exclusively on external and observable behaviours. There are two main believers to that all behaviour is determined by environmental influences (i.e.

learning). They are Ivan Pavlov and Burrhus Frederic Skinner. They both say that all behaviour can be explained in terms of conditioning. There are two main types;-Classical conditional- learning by association- which was Pavlov main theory, he used this by doing an experiment on dogs- Pavlov harnessed a dog to an apparatus which, by means of a tube inserted in the animals cheek, and measured the amount of salvation obtained during the experiment. Salvation is the normal reflex response to food in the mouth, what he found was that hungry untrained dogs do not salivate when a bell is sounded, but if food was offered after sounding a bell, eventually the dog would associate the bell with the food and would salivate merely at the sound of the bell.The second was Operant conditioning- which was mostly connected through Skinner, this conditioning was learning through consequences (i.e.

positive and negative reinforcement stamp behaviour in or out). Skinner experiment was an apparatus known as ‘skinner’s box’ which was an empty box apart from a lever and a food tray. A rat was placed in the box and when the rat pressed the lever a pellet of food was released into the food tray.His theory relies on the law of reinforcement which states actions which are immediately followed by rewards. The rat in skinners box learnt food was provided when ever it pressed the lever.Reinforcement- can be positive and negative reinforcement.

Positive is tangible rewards- toys, sweets, money or intangible rewards, such as praise or affection. This is connected to Skinners experiment through the fact that the rat was getting food at some point from pressing on the lever there for being rewarded for doing something.Negative reinforcement is when a negative condition is stopped or avoided as a consequence of the behaviour.All of these can be used in health and social care-Classical- if a child is in hospital and afraid of needles, if someone was to come to them with a needle the child would become apprehension therefore creating anxiety but if they were to see someone they are fond of and are an idol to them having a needle placed inside them they would become more at ease and maybe start modelling there actions.

Operant-this is an example of positive reinforcement of smiling- if two children who infrequently smiled at other people were taken on walks and if they smiled at passers by, give them a treat of some kind (i.e. sweet).

It would cause the two children to smile much more often then they had before.Reinforcement- A child misbehaving would be shouted at but when they stop being naughty you take away the negative condition by stop yelling at them, so you’ve enforced negative reinforcement. For a positive reinforcement you would reward the child every time they do something good therefore they would keep doing good things to be rewarded.


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