Thursday 25th July,2013
Gordon Gyasi Yeboah 13001716
Collins Kanyir Kuunaangmen 13001314
Boakye Kofi Isaac 13001612
Kuusiemeh Andrews 13001693
Behaviourism is a theory which explains the process
of learning as the establishment of bonds or
connections between stimuli and responses.
To the behaviourist, learning is a process of forming
association or connection between either stimuli or
responses or between responses and reinforcement.
This theory states that, human or animal psychology
can be accurately studied only through the
examination and analysis of objectively observable
and quantifiable behavioural event, in contrast with
subjective mental state.
In short the term behaviourism refers to the school of
psychology founded by John B. Watson based on the
belief that behaviours can be measured, trained and
Behaviour, whether good or bad, is viewed as a
The process of behaviour change is a matter of
All behaviour, appropriate as well as
inappropriate, is learned.
Behaviour is controlled by antecedents - events
which occur before a behaviour is exhibited, and
by consequences - events which occur after a
behaviour is exhibited.
These antecedents and consequences can be
changed in order to increase or decrease the
chance that a given behaviour will continue to
o B.F Skinner coined the term operant
conditioning; it means roughly changing of
behaviour by the use of reinforcement which
is given after the desired response.
o Skinner identified three types of responses or
operant that can follow behaviour.
• Neutral operants: responses from the
environment that neither increase nor decrease
the probability of a behaviour being repeated.
• Reinforcers: Responses from the environment
that increase the probability of a behaviour
being repeated. Reinforcers can be either
positive or negative.
• Punishers: Response from the environment that
decrease the likelihood of a behaviour being
repeated. Punishment weakens behaviour.
Reinforcement is a stimulus which follows
and is contingent upon a behaviour and
increases the probability of a behaviour
Positive reinforcement can increase the
probability of not only desirable behaviour
but also undesirable behaviour. For example,
if a child whines in order to get attention
and is successful in getting it, the attention
serves as positive reinforcement which
increases the likelihood that the student will
continue to whine.
Reinforcement must be consistently delivered,
according to a planned reinforcement
schedule. If it is not, no connection will
develop between appropriate behaviour
and the reinforcement and the behaviour
will not change.
Behaviorism is a worldview that operates on a principle of
“stimulus-response.” All behaviour caused by external
stimuli (operant conditioning). All behaviour can be
explained without the need to consider internal mental
states or consciousness.
Behaviorism assumes a learner is essentially passive,
responding to environmental stimuli. The learner starts off
as a clean slate (i.e. tabula rasa) and behaviour is shaped
through positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement.
Both positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement
increase the probability that the antecedent behavior will
happen again. In contrast, punishment (both positive and
negative) decreases the likelihood that the antecedent
behavior will happen again.
Positive indicates the application of a stimulus; Negative
indicates the withholding of a stimulus. Learning is
therefore defined as a change in behavior in the learner.
Lots of (early) behaviorist work was done with animals
(e.g. Pavlov’s dogs) and generalized to humans
Constant practice – in the training session,
practice is one of the most important aspects in
training. Prolonged practice is needed for
polishing skills acquired at training.
Trainers should provide satisfying consequences
or positive reinforcement for correct responses
such as praises to strengthen good responses.
Wait till trainees are ready to learn since adult
learning is voluntary.
Training materials should be provided in a varied
way so that novelty may be maintained.
Training objective should be stated in
behavioural and observable terms. It should be
specific and well defined.
Training materials to be learnt should be
arranged in a systematic and sequential steps
from known to unknown.
Trainers should avoid lecture as much as
possible and encourage question and answer
Trainers must relate well with the trainees to
B. F. Skinner
Fred S. Keller
Charles E. Osgood
Richard J. Hernstein
Tolman (moving toward cognitivism)
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