Behaviourists Explain Maladaptive Behaviour in Terms of the Learning Principles That Sustain and Maintain It

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By carlg1966
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: “ BEHAVIOURISTS EXPLAIN MALADAPTIVE BEHAVIOUR IN TERMS OF THE LEARNING PRINCIPLES THAT SUSTAIN AND MAINTAIN IT. DISCUSS THIS STATEMENT AND SHOW HOW A BEHAVIOURIST’S APPROACCH TO THERAPY IS IN STARK CONTRAST TO A PSYCHOANALYTIC ONE”
Behaviourism is a movement within psychology that works on the principle that all behaviour is “learned” , that we were all born with a “blank slate”. Behavioural approaches use strict experimental measures to study observable behaviour ( or responses ) in relation to the environment, thus resulting in the maladaptive behavioural approaches that we employ to deal with our learning.
Behaviourism was first developed in the early 20th century by an American psychologist John B Watson, who at the time was working in the field of animal psychology. He believed that all behaviour was observable and therefore scientific, and worked on the principle and study of the association between a stimulus and response. ( Watson did not deny the existence of inner experiences, but insisted that they could not be studied because they were not observable ) Watson’s stimulus and response theory of psychology claimed that all complex forms of behaviour – emotions, habits etc – are seen as composed of simple muscular and glandular elements that can be observed and measured, and that emotional reactions are learned in much the same way.
Watson aimed to prove his beliefs with laboratory experiments, and one of these experiments was known as “ The Little Albert Experiment”. Little Albert was a small young boy of about 18 months of age , Young Albert would sit happily on the floor and play with a white rat. Young Albert did not like loud noises, and on the presentation of the rat, scientists would clang two metal rods together behind Young Albert’s head, which resulted in screaming from young Albert. The result of this “ conditioning” experiment was that…...

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