Behaviourist Approach: Classical And Operant Conditioning

Words: 511
Pages: 3

Behaviourist approach emphasised the role of environmental stimuli to determine the way people act; focusing on learning, changes in behaviour that occur as the result of experience. Behaviourism considerably added to our understanding of learning through the study of what they called classical and operant conditioning (Glassman & Hadad, 2009).

In classical conditioning, behaviourists believed that, learning refers to involuntary responses that result from experiences that occur before a response; for example, a person who is afraid of heights may climb to the top of a building, and look down (environmental stimulus) may start to feel nausea and dizziness (response). Another example is Watson and Rayner’s study of little Albert, where a white fluffy rat has been associated loud noise, that made little Albert developed fear every time he saw a white rat. Eventually, little Albert associated fear to anything that is white and fluffy (McGinley et al, 2008). Whereas in operant conditioning, requires a reward or unpleasant consequence during the learning process to
…show more content…
In real work, particularly in the treatment of mental disorder, behaviourist approach has had many successful applications. Davey (2010) metioned that, the work of Ivan Pavlov supported this theory in classical conditioning that it has been applied to aversion therapy in order to help those with addictions; for example, an alcoholic might be made to drink. It has also contributed to another therapy that was developed by Joseph Wolpe, which is systematic desensitisation; in order to help people who suffer from phobias. These theories developed by this approach have been used throughout the society for education purposes (programmed learning) such as shaping behaviour for autism and the use of token economy for intstitutionalised patients (Davey,