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Psychology work

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(M1) Analyse how operant conditioning, classical conditioning and social learning theory contribute to behaviour management, and the understanding of behaviour with challenging service users. Case Study "Joe is 79 years old and has recently entered a private nursing home. His behaviour is proving a problem to all around him. He shouts at the nursing staff, is very demanding and constantly argues with other residents. He frequently hides the television remote control and insists that other people in the leisure room should be 'discussing important world events not watching trashy programmes'. The nursing home staff and other clients initially indulged him but his behaviour seems to be getting worse. He is showing signs of depression and lethargy which alternates with his difficult behaviour. It had reached the point where the person in charge of the nursing home is so concerned about the negative effect on other clients that she is considering asking him to leave." by Stretch, B, Whitehouse, M (2007) Operant Conditioning When relating Joe's behaviour to operant conditioning it seems that he has learnt how to get a positive reward in a negative way when with his past carers, by shouting his demands at them, and by causing arguments with his fellow residents so he can be given something to make him stop. ...read more.


Also, people's views have changed on how they look at obstacles in their way and how they can resolve them. Weaknesses of the perspective would be that it won't always work because people can just pretend to of learnt better behaviour so they get the reward, but soon after go back to the negative behaviour. (DePaul. 2004). Also, there can be ethical issues when using the perspective on what is negative and positive behaviour in certain situations. For example, some people can be brought up as children to always say 'please and thank you', whereas others can learn to 'take what you can get when you can get it'. This could be because of different cultural backgrounds and the geography on where they have been raised or what they have picked up from their social environment. Classical Conditioning When relating Joe's behaviour to classical conditioning, he could have picked up a stimulus of how to react when someone was to switch over the TV or not get his own way. For example, say Joe was watching something on TV with someone in his past and the TV was turned over and the other person got angry or shouted to turn the TV back, Joe may have picked it up that if the TV is turned over, if he shouts it will be put back to the previous channel. ...read more.


If this is the case he learnt to get his own way by observing someone else and then adapting it for the same situations he gets put into. To change his behaviour the nursing staff would have to put up with Joe's behaviour for a while until he realises that he won't get his needs met by shouting anymore. This could take some time to work as he may find it hard to understand why it isn't working, but he will soon see that it doesn't work in his new environment. Personally I believe this perspective to be one of the most effective when trying to change challenging behaviour. This could be because the social learning theory is closely linked to the operant conditioning perspective because they both are learnt through doing certain actions and observing the consequences. A main strength of this perspective is that most of what is learnt is through observations and interactions with other people socially, which can affect the way the others can act in similar situations. This can also be seen as a weakness though, for example, if Joe was to start shouting a demand at a nurse and they gave into him, the others may see the behaviour as acceptable and copy him, which is why the nurses should try to get to the bottom of why Joe behaves in these manners when he wants something or has and opinion. ...read more.

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