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AssumptionsAll behaviours (normal and abnormal) are learned Learned responses from environmental stimuli Study observable behaviour
Causes 1.Classical Conditioning Learning by association 2. Operant Conditioning Learning by reinforcement 3. Social LearningLearning by watching others being rewarded
Classical Conditioning- Learning by association- Creating a new response to a stimulus- Classical conditioningschedule UCS = UCR UCS + NS = UCR CS = CR
Operant ConditioningLearning by reinforcement Reward = encourages certain behaviours (increases chances of them being repeated)Punishment = discourages certain behaviours(decreases chances of them being repeated)
Social Learning TheoryOperant Conditioning from a distance... Behaviours can be encouraged/discouraged by watching others being rewarded/punished for them – this is known as vicarious learning
How would the behavioural approach investigate abnormality?Animal StudiesThe same basic laws of learningapply to human and non-human animalsWhat do you think the problem would be in using non-human animals? Extrapolation – it’s difficult to apply the findings from non-human animal research to humans
Scientific For example, the behavioural approach focuses on what is observable and measureable This is positive because it allowsconcepts such as classical conditioning tobe demonstrated scientifically – allowing for empirical support for the theory
DeterministicFor example, the approach suggests that if we are rewarded for losingweight that we will develop an eating disorderThis is a weakness because it ignores the concept of free will and the idea that someone might exercise conscious control over their behaviour
Reductionist For example, it suggests that mental illnesses are the result ofreward/punishment (e.g. Rewarded foraggression results in more aggression)This is a weakness because it reducesthe complex mental disorders down to basic elements, it’s too simplistic!
ExtrapolationFor example, rats have been widely used by behaviourists to demonstrate conditioning (so the research tests animal behaviour – not human) This is a weakness because that research can’t be applied to humansbecause they are biologically differentand may not respond in the same way at animals