The behaviourist approach (Evaluation (Limitations of classical…
The behaviourist approach
This approach rejected introspection as they perceived it as vague, therefore this approach focuses on observable events.
Discovered classical conditioning
He found that animals not only salivated when food was placed near their mouths but when a stimuli such as the dog bowl was near them
The natural stimulus= The UCS
The natural response to stimulus= UCR
During the learning phase, a NS which doesn't elicit the UCR is presented before the UCS (NS+UCS= CS) this CS produces a CR (ringing a bell)
Important features to note
TIMING is important- if the NS occurs after the UCS due to a long time interval then conditioning does not take place
EXTINCTION- Pav found that unlike the UCR, the CR does not become permanently established as a response.
SPONTANEOUS RECOVERY- Following extinction, if the CS and UCS are paired together again then the link between them is made more quickly
STIMULUS GENERALISATION- Once an animal has been conditioned, they will also respond to other stimuli that are similar to the CS.
The basic concept is that organisms produce different behaviours which then produce consequences, some may be positive (desirable) and some may be negative (undesirable)
Types of reinforcement
reinforcement= something in the environment that reinforces particular behaviour, making it more likely to reoccur.
Positive reinforcement= Occurs when behaviour produces a consequence that is satisfying or pleasant for the organism (food to a hungry animal)
Negative reinforcement= They are unpleasant (aversive) so restore the organism to its pre-aversive state. (Hitting snooze on an alarm clock because it allows a person to escape from unpleasant ringing
Strengths of classical conditioning explanations
Classical conditioning has led to the development of systematic desensitization and other treatments for the reduction of anxiety associated with phobias
The therapy aims at eliminating the learned anxious response (CR) that is associated with the feared object/situation (CS). By eliminating the learned response (anxiety) and replacing it with another (relaxation).
Limitations of classical conditioning explanations
Different species face different challenges to survive so are classically conditioned differently to eachother.
So the relationship between the CS and UCS are difficult to establish between different species.
Seligman (1970) proposed the concept of preparedness to explain this- Animals are prepared to learn associations that will benefit their survival (eg a dog learning that their owner will feed them), but they are unprepared to learn these associations if they arent relevant to their survival.
Strengths of operant conditioning
He relied on the experimental research which made his research stronger as it uses controlled conditions aiming to discover a cause/effect relationship between two or more variables.
He succesfully manipulated the IV (consequence of behaviour) to measure the DV (the effects on the rats behaviour).
Limitations of operant conditioning
Skinner received critisism because his results cant be generalised to humans.
Unlike animals humans have free will rather than having their behaviour determined by positive or negative reinforcement.