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Behaviourism Essay

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Below is an essay on "Behaviourism" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Behavioural Perspective and it’s Strengths and Limitations

For the first half of the 20th century the behaviourist perspective was a dominant approach in psychological studies. This has left psychology with some useful techniques which are still used today.
The main assumption of the behaviourist perspective is that behaviour is generated by the surrounding environment. For example, aggression, anger, kindness, caring etc. can be learnt and shaped by an individuals role models.
Behavioural psychologists argue that behavioural psychology is more scientific than the cognitive process as behaviour can be measured whereas the cognitive process can only be inferred.
There are two important learning theories that the behavioural psychologist perspective has introduced; operant and classical conditioning. Classical explains how behaviours are learnt through association and operant explains how the consequences of our actions shape our behaviour.
There’s an extension of behaviourism, a social learning theory, developed by Albert Bandura. It was influenced by the behavioural perspective but it recognised the cognitive process.
One of behaviourist perspectives strengths is that there has been a development of useful applications. Behaviourism has very practical methods of changing behaviour. Another strength is that there has been an emphasis on objective and scientific ways of studying behaviour.
The main limitation of behaviourism they may not fully recognise and focus on the cognitive process. Also many of the practical uses of the approach such as aversion therapy and token economy systems when used as a way of changing behaviour tend to be short lived. This means that they only change behaviour for short periods of time.

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