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Theories of behaviour and development in psychology

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Introduction

´╗┐Psychological Disorders for Health and Social Care ________________ Unit 8 The behavioural approach to psychology says that all behaviour is learned. Behaviourists believe that we all enter the world with a ?blank slate? and the environment surrounding us influences us to become the people that we are, influencing our behaviour. There are three assumptions of the behaviour approach. These are that behaviour is all that matters (the thought process behind the behaviour are not important). ALL behaviour is learned and that the same laws of human learning apply to animals. Watson argued that approaches which relied on introspection were vague and subjective. Learning can be accomplished through classical and operant conditioning and also social learning. In classical conditioning now new behaviours are learned, instead an association is made. An example of this could be of children lining up in the school yard when hearing the bell ring. At first they do not know what the bell stands for and would be confused. However they will learn to line up eventually after a few times of hearing it as they learn to associate the bell ringing with end of break and lining up. Operant conditioning was first proposed by Edward Thorndike. He suggested that learning can take place through trial and error, rather than just association. Thorndike?s law of effect states that positive effects (rewards) lead to an increase in behaviour and negative effects (punishments) leads to the stamping out of behaviour. ...read more.

Middle

By helping her with classical conditioning and explaining the development of phobic behaviours it can help with changing such behaviours that are taking over her life. A commonly used method of changing phobic behavior uses a method of treating acquired fears known as ?systematic desensitisation?. This would involve creating a hierarchy of fear. This would help achieve a state of very deep relaxation and the aim is to replace the anxiety and fear with a state of calm. The principles of classical conditioning are also used in treatment of alcoholism. The individuals are given a drug that when mixed with alcohol will lead to unpleasant physiological effects. The person then learns to associate drinking alcohol with these horrible side effects and with an adverse rather than desired response. On the other hand, if this approach cannot treat the underlying causes of the behaviour, it is likely the behaviour will return after a period of time. Behavioural treatments such as Systematic Desensitisation and Token Economies are effective for certain disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorders and phobias. However, they are not so effective for more serious disorders, such as schizophrenia. The cognitive perspective is also very important to health and social care practice. When working in a health and social care environment it is most likely that you will come in contact with a person that has learning difficulties. These individuals can experience frustration in their daily lives and they seek to make sense of what can be confusing experiences. ...read more.

Conclusion

If we are stuck on this stage then they will focus all their energy on getting this need met and will not be able to move on. When working in social care it would be important to refer to this hierarchy of needs in order to see whether they are getting their basic needs and progressing through the hierarchy in order to reach self-actualisation in their life. If they are not having their basic needs met or are stuck on a stage then something needs to be done in order for them to progress and so Maslow?s hierarchy will work in social care. Behaviourism works in social care practice such as schools when it comes to enforcing rules and reinforcment. According to this theory children learn through association, punishment and with positive and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement occurs when a required behaviour is rewarded with something pleasant as a result. An example of this would be if a teacher responds to a misbehaved, attention-seeking child, the attention it is likely to reinforce the child?s behavior. Negative reinforcement also strengthens behaviour but this time involves something unpleasant being removed until the required behaviour is shown. An example of this would be that if a child does not want to concentrate and do their work, sometimes it may be easier to not nag and keep on at the child as it can cause the child to act out, instead remove the unpleasant nagging and they may decide to do the work themselves when they realise it is for the best. ...read more.

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