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Critically Consider the Methological Orientations of any two Perspectives

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Introduction

Critically Consider the Methological Orientations of any two Perspectives Both the biological and learning perspective use controlled environments as well as observations of natural behaviour for their studies. Behaviourists (learning perspective) only study overt behaviour, behaviour that can be viewed, without looking into the biological reasons for it. Biopsychologists study physiological processes and their relation to behaviour, they are not limited to overt behaviour like behaviourists are, and always look to the biological causes for behaviour. The Behaviourists make the assumption that a person's personality is determined by their learning and experience of their environment. The main methods of learning and teaching are called classical and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning is based on association, and is the behaviourist's explanation for the creation of, and cure for, phobias. A behaviourist named Pavlov, trained dogs to salivate when a bell was rung, by associating the sound of the bell, with food, which would normally make a dog salivate. ...read more.

Middle

Although a biopsychologist would not argue that operant and classical conditioning work, they would point out that it probably has a basis in the brain, as would the fact that humans can generalise, discriminate, enjoy rewards or dislike punishments. Most physiological experimentation involves the patient being subjected to a situation that will induce a behaviour, and then the results recorded using many biologically based methods, such as blood samples, heart rate or blood pressure measurements. This type of experiment was used to research causes and effects of stress, such as Brady's 'Executive Monkeys', where a monkey was put under the stressful situation of being forced to repeat a simple action continually or receive an electric shock. The appearance of ulcers was recorded in some of the executive monkeys, who were kept on a certain schedule. Some of the monkeys who developed ulcers died. One benefit from these types of experiments is their ability to generate quantities and qualitative result. ...read more.

Conclusion

Biopsychology is sometimes criticised for its overemphasis of physiological links with behaviour, which may lead to reductionist explanations that detract from the value of psychological explanations. Behaviourism can also be criticised though, for its failure to consider the role of biological factors in the development of behaviour and for its view of humans as passive beings at the mercy of the environment. Both of the two psychological perspectives have many things in common, their use of animals, their practical uses and their experimental methods. This may be because Biopsychologists do not dismiss overt behaviour, or the ability to learn, and Behaviourists do not deny that behaviour has a biological basis, they just do not wish to study it. Because behaviourism's limit being that it will only study overt behaviour, all that can be learned from watching subjects will be studied eventually, but Biopsychology's current limitation is science, which is advancing, and so Biopsychology may one day give us the reasons behind many behaviours, as well as cures, aids and control as technology advances, the concept and methodology of this perspective will continue on for a long time into the future. ...read more.

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