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According to behaviourists, the principles of conditioning can be applied to many aspects of human behaviour.

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Introduction

According to behaviourists, the principles of conditioning can be applied to many aspects of human behaviour. Outline what is meant by operant conditioning and briefly explain how it can be applied to any one human behaviour. Operant conditioning is when a way of learning by consequence. To put it basic, an action which is rewarded is more likely to be repeated, along with an action that is punished is less likely to be repeated. To apply this to an example of human behaviour, young children may have shaped behaviour due to operant conditioning; where desireable behaviour is rewarded (e.g. by giving a toy) the behaviour is being positively reinforced and is likely to occur. If a young child behaves in an undesirable way, then they may be punished (e.g. ...read more.

Middle

Some psychologists believe that principles of operant and classical conditioning do not offer adequate explanations of all types of learning. With reference to 2 examples of behaviour, discuss how observational and imitative learning provide a better explanation for some types of learning. Observational learning is seeing what happens to other people and whether they are rewarded for their behaviours, or punished for their behaviours. The imitative side to this is repeating the desirable behaviour which was observed, or avoid repeating the undesirable behaviour. E.g. Kevin is walking down a street and sees a gentleman drop his wallet on the floor without knowing. Somebody then quickly picks up the wallet and runs and gives the gentleman the wallet, who then offers to buy the person a drink for their help. This is a reward for the person, and Kevin would recognize this, and learn from the occasion, even though Kevin was not directly reinforced. ...read more.

Conclusion

Observational learning can also be related to morals, such as the example given previously. Outline what is meant by the term mediational processes, and use an example in your answer. Mediational processes are the cognitive processes or mental events that take place between stimulus and response. Usually referred to as stimulus-organism-response. Whether these be conscious of unconscious. The organism stated may be an animal, not just a human. Mediation processes may occur at the conscious or the unconscious level, and if it is at the conscious level, the person should be able to report on them, but not if unconscious. Jack is a young inexperienced lawyer who finds that he often loses his temper at work. Outline how Cognitive Psychologists might attempt to explain why Jack loses his temper at work. Karl Wilson ...read more.

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