Briefviourism Theory Explain Human Behavior

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This essay will discuss how the behaviourism theory can explain human behaviour. Psychology is the science of behaviour, mind, experience and mental processes. ‘All behaviour is observable and measurable’, it is what we say and do or what we see or hear, meaning the behaviour of a child or an adult is observable if they express how they feel. There are different theories that behaviourist use that help psychology describe human behaviour, for example the behaviouristic theory which expands psychology into many groups that could not be studied by introspection, and the social learning theory which is how people acquire new behaviours by observing and imitating others. This essay will cover three theorists who studied the field of behaviourism …show more content…
Pavlov was the creator of ‘Classical Conditioning’. Classical conditioning occurs when a stimulus evokes a response because of being paired with a stimulus that naturally evokes a response (McLeod, S. 2007). In his experiments, Pavlov showed that dogs began to salivate to neutral stimulus such as a buzzer after it was associated with another stimulus that naturally evokes salivation such as food. The experiment included Pavlov showing the unconditioned response by presenting a dog with a bowl of food and measuring its salivary by implanting test tubes into the cheeks of the dog. Pavlov soon discovered that he could make the dog salivate to stimuli that don’t usually make animals salivate, such as the sound of a buzzer. Pavlov paired food with the sound of the buzzer; he then found that the dog started to salivate to the sound of the …show more content…
Skinner studied operant conditioning of voluntary behaviour; he believed that all behaviour is a result of rewards and punishments in the past. He dismissed the importance of inherited traits and instincts about human behaviour.
Skinners work was based on the Thorndikes (1905) law effect, he introduced a new term into law of effect .e.g. reinforcement. Skinner studied operant conditioning by completing experiment’s using animals by placing them into a box which was similar to the Thorndikes puzzle box. The ‘skinner box’ allowed the researcher to study the behaviour of small organisms in a controlled environment. Skinners theory aimed to generally modify behaviour through the use of positive and negative reinforcement
Firstly skinner showed positive reinforcement by placing a hungry rat in his skinner box, the box contained a lever which fell over when the rats moved about, therefore a food pellet would drop into a container next to the lever. The rats learned to go straight to the lever after a few times of being in the box, as the consequence was receiving food which is positive reinforcement in this experiment so they ensured that they would repeat the action multiple times. The conclusion to positive reinforcement is that because the rats knew they were being ‘rewarded’ they will continue to repeat the same actions, this indicates that actions will be repeated if they are reinforced with positive

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