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Behaviorist Approach Essay Typer

Comparing Behaviorist And Humanistic

The field of psychology is complex and fascinating precisely because there are many schools of thought on various matters related to the field. In the study of the human behavior and personality, there are two main directions in which researchers and professionals place themselves: the behaviorist direction and the humanistic one. Both of them study the same thing, yet they are very different in essence and sometimes they are even opposing.

Basically, behaviorists believe that human behavior can be measured and that it can be studied scientifically. For this branch of the psychology professionals, the behavior a human has is the result of his/her environment and, in one way or another, this is how animals’ behavior function as well. The most well-known experiment made in this direction is that of Pavlov’s dog that got to associate the sound of a bell with the meals it received precisely because Pavlov rang a bell each time he fed the dog. Even more though, for the behaviorists out there, the human being has absolutely no free will and that everything about the human behavior is a result of an external stimuli (such as in the case of the above-mentioned dog).

On the other hand though, humanists think the opposite. For this branch of psychology professionals, the human being has free will and it is responsible for its behavior and actions. For them, the human behavior is shaped by the inner desire each human being has when it comes to making the world a better place. In this light of things, humans are completely different from animals precisely because they can think, feel and speak about it. Unlike the behaviorist approach that uses laboratory experiments, this direction uses interviews and individual observations as main methods of research.

Up to the moment, psychologists and researchers in the field of psychology from all over the world have not agreed 100% on which of these approaches is more truthful to the actual nature of the human being’s behavior. In the end, the choice has to be made by each psychology professional out there, according to his/her own beliefs when it comes to this topic. While there can be a common bridge between the two of the directions in which human behavior studies split themselves, the truth is that nobody has managed to create a verifiable and palpable theory that would combine both of these schools of thought.

Describe and Evaluate the Behaviourist Approach in Psychology

1536 WordsDec 20th, 20127 Pages

Describe and evaluate the Behaviourist Approach

The basic assumption of the behaviourist approach is that all behaviour is learned through experiences a person has in their environment. From this we know that behaviourists are on the side of nature in the “nature vs. nurture” debate. In comparison bio psychologists will be firmly on the side of nurture.

There is also the argument between behaviourists to whether behaviour is learnt better through positive or negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is when someone does something correctly and we reward them with a sweet or chocolate. A strength of this is that the individual will repeat the action again, but a limitation is that the individual will expect the reward every time.…show more content…

Pavlov would take a dog and give it food, before the dog would salivate. Then Pavlov would ring a bell, and then give the dog food. After a while the dog began to salivate at the sound of the bell as it knew food was coming and it associated the two things. If Pavlov rang the bell too often without giving the dog food the response would be extinguished and the dog would no longer salivate. If Pavlov stopped the experiment for 6 months and then returned to it the dog would rapidly salivate at the sound of the bell, this is spontaneous recovery. If Pavlov rang a bell that wasn’t similar to the original bell the dog wouldn’t salivate, this is called stimulus discrimination. A limitation of the experiment would be the unethicalness, is it right to treat a dog like this? Unfortunately, because it took place in lab the experiment will not equal the outside world. We are humans. We aren’t dogs, we have language. Therefore it can’t be said that humans would act in the same way as we aren’t the same. But in a laboratory you have high control, this would be the results he collected would have been correct. Despite how unethical his experiment was, I think it was justified as it was such a big breakthrough.

The Biological Approach is the theory that all the knowledge we have is innate, and our behaviour is caused by activity in the CNS. Obviously, this is the polar opposite of the behaviourist

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