This assignment will explain the principle psychological perspectives and it will also assess the different psychological approaches to study. This will include behaviourist theory, social learning theory, psychodynamic theory, cognitive perspective and the biological and maturation perspective.
The Behaviourist theory states that psychology it should be seen as a science, to be studied in a scientific manner, behaviourism is primarily concerned with observable behaviour, as opposed to internal events like thinking and behaviour is a result of a stimulus, a response. An example of this can include all behaviour no matter how complex; it can be reduced to a simple stimulus, which is response features. This therefore results in behaviour being determined by the environment for example conditioning. Classical and operant conditioning are two important concepts central to behavioural psychology. While both result in learning, the processes are quite different. Classical conditioning was first described by Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist and it involves placing a neutral signal before a reflex and it focuses on involuntary and automatic behaviours. Whereas Operant conditioning was first described by B. F. Skinner, an American psychologist and it involves applying reinforcement or punishment after a behaviour and focuses on strengthening or weakening voluntary behaviour.
Ivan Pavlov provided the most famous example of classical conditioning. During his research on the physiology of digestion in dogs, Pavlov developed a procedure that enabled him to study the digestive processes of animals over long periods of time. He redirected the animal’s digestive fluids outside the body, where they could be measured. Pavlov noticed that the dogs in the experiment began to salivate in the presence of the technician who normally fed them, rather than simply salivating in the presence of food. Pavlov called the dogs anticipated salivation, psychic secretion. From his observations he predicted that a stimulus could become associated with food and cause salivation on its own, if a particular stimulus in the dog's surroundings was present when the dog was given food. In his initial experiments, Pavlov rang a bell and then gave the dog food; after a few repetitions, the dogs started to salivate in response to the bell. Pavlov called the bell the conditioned stimulus because its effects depend on its association with food. He called the food the unconditioned stimulus because its effects did not depend on previous experience.
Skinner believed that we do have such a thing as a mind, but that it is simply more productive to study observable behaviour rather than internal mental events. He also believed that the best way to understand behaviour is to look at the causes of an action and its consequence, he called this approach operant conditioning. Skinner’s theory was produced from placing a rat in a cage that has a bar or pedal on one wall that, when pressed, causes a little mechanism to release a food pellet into the cage. The rat is moving around the cage when it accidentally presses the bar and, as a result of pressing the bar, a food pellet falls into the cage. The operant is the behaviour just prior to the reinforcement, which is the food pellet. In a relatively short period of time the rat "learns" to press the bar whenever it wants food. This leads to one of the principles of operant conditioning a behaviour followed by a reinforcing stimulus results in an increased probability of that behaviour occurring in the future. The Social learning theory produced by Albert Bandura, posits that learning is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context and can occur purely through observation or direct instruction, even in the absence of motor reproduction or direct reinforcement.
The strengths of this theory include that behaviourism is based in observe behaviours, making it easier