Essay on The Theory Of Classical And Operant Conditioning

727 Words Dec 6th, 2016 3 Pages
The behaviourist approach assumes that behaviour is a byproduct of environmental stimuli, such as family or the media, and supports that human reactions can be predicted through classical and operant conditioning (class notes, 2016). Classical conditioning is utilised in experiments that involve producing a new behaviour by linking together two stimuli, whereas operant conditioning is the process in which a new behaviour is learned through the consequences of people’s actions (McLeod, 2016). Along with classical and operant conditioning, this approach supports the “Social Learning Theory”, which refers to learning through observation, imitation and modeling (class notes, 2016). The approach also upholds the idea that humans are born “tabula rasa”, meaning blank slate, and that behaviours and reactions are learnt through experience (class notes, 2016). Due to the nature of the approach’s beliefs, its theories can be easily tested and repeated, but some of the research is often conducted on animals, such as Skinner’s rats and pigeons experiments (McLeod, 2016). As a result, this leads to an inaccurate representation of human reactions, and often unethical treatment of the animals. Moreover, these experiments are conducted in laboratory settings that allow the scientist complete control, which makes the approach highly reliable, but also artificial due to its low ecological validity (class notes, 2016). Finally, this reductionist approach breaks down complicated information…

Related Documents