• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Behaviorism essay

Extracts from this document...


Behaviorism is the philosophical position that says that Psychology, to be a science, must focus its attention on what is observable - environment and behavior, rather than what is available to the individuals - thoughts, feelings and so on. Behaviorism is based on learning - the change of behavior, which happens as a result of experience. First Ivan Pavlov, a Russian psychologist, came up with theory of learning. Pavlov experiment was based on observable. His dogs were connected to machine which collected salivate. When he gave them food their salivated production increased. Moreover, he noticed that as soon as he opened the door, the dogs started salivate just because of the sound of open door. Dogs learned to response - open door - food coming --salivate in process. Pavlov called that Classical Conditioning. ...read more.


As he began to touch a rat, the noise was made behind his head. After a few repetitions Albert began to cry just on the view of white rat. That was emotional response and quickly generalized from rat to other white objects - rabbit or Santa Clause mask. This is called stimulus generalization and demonstrate that human emotional response could be manipulated using the classical conditioning. Other psychologist EL Thorndike did research and extended classical learning theory to include instrumental learning. His experiment included a hungry cat which was on box and fish outside the box. The cat scratched and meowed trying to escape and accidentally pushed the latch, escaping and grapping the fish. Second time it took less time to escape and repeatedly the cat had learned to get out immediately. ...read more.


Skinners experiment was a rat in a cage and a bar, which if the rat pushed it, would receive food. What he demonstrated was that the bar pressing resulted in reinforced the rat with food, which increased the pressing- positive reinforcement. The principles of learning theory do provide explanations of observed behavior in specific situations. However, human beings have rich mental life which is ignored in the behavioral approach. All people are capable of thinking and feeling and these mental processes are ignored in it. Nova days, learning theory is applied in society as it is used from psychologists to cure mental illnesses and alcoholism. The image of a drink is paired with image of being sick or other negative images, which increase the number of people stop drinking. As a conclusion, according to Pavlov, Watson and Skinner, the Behavioral Approach is based on the learning theory, excluding feelings and thoughts. People behave on some way as a learned response that has previously been reinforced from stimulus. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

This is a reasonable good essay on the founding and assumptions of the behaviourist perspective to psychology. The candidate goes to good levels of depth with regard to theories of learning such as operant and classical conditioning. However some information ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This is a reasonable good essay on the founding and assumptions of the behaviourist perspective to psychology. The candidate goes to good levels of depth with regard to theories of learning such as operant and classical conditioning. However some information is slightly skewed and not entirely accurate. In classical conditioning it is a neutral stimulus paired with an unconditioned response that produces and conditioned stimulus and and conditioned response, as is correctly identified, but the neutral stimulus in Pavlov's experiment is the sound of the bell, not the opening of the dog pound door.

The rest of the essay is similarly flawed, in that the majority is accurate but minor discrepancies creep through which will eventually accumulate to have a significant effect on the potential mark. I greatly recommend checking over facts and ensuring that your writing does not appear ambiguous (the description of the processes of operant and classical conditioning are not very clearly augmented and may confuse those not familiar with the processes) to ensure maximum clarity in written expression.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis (AO2; critical evaluation) is not measured here. AO1 (knowledge and understanding) is, and so that will be marked instead.

The candidates knowledge of behaviourism covers everything it needs to in order to satisfy the question, although it can be said that perhaps a bit more clarity would help give the examiner a better indication of how confidently the candidate can talk about it. It's one thing to write about certain things, and another to write about them confidently and with flair. This candidate often appears to be regurgitating knowledge remembered from regimented lessons and so whilst they cannot achieve the A* grade, a low A is more plausible for their efforts here. Examiners want to see personal touches and a confident candidate who can stray away from exam-board/text-book wording of certain things - understanding psychology in your own right is what pulls you up to the A*.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication here is fair. The candidate makes a good use of English though sometimes their grammatical precision and accuracy slips up and the fluidity of the discourse is disrupted. I would strongly recommend re-reading every paragraph written so as to iron out these writing discrepancies because without them, the essay would be undoubtedly clearer.

Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 30/08/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    In this essay I will evaluate and explain the Social Learning Theory (SLT), which ...

    5 star(s)

    Bloomberg and Lucken (2000) support the notion of the "convict subculture" and suggest that these inmates are influenced by deprivation prior to imprisonment. They bring these values into the prison from the outside world and so whenever they feel relativley deprived within the prison setting, they aim to reduce this deprivation; often through aggression.

  2. Highlight the key features/tenets of Freud's and Murray's theories of personality. Identify key similarities ...

    He attempted to bring the repressed feelings from unconscious to conscious in order to help his patients who suffered from mental illnesses. Murray also speaks f the conscious and the unconscious. He and his colleagues used the TAT to uncover the basic 'themes' that recur in the unconscious in order to find out their own personal dreams or wishes.

  1. Critically Evaluate Freud's Theory.

    the patients actual memories and imagined memories, constructed due to the influence of the analyst leading questions According to Thomas (1990) transference has become so central to the theory and practice of psychoanalysis that many analysts believe that making interpretations about transference is what distinguishes psychoanalysis from other forms of psychotherapy.

  2. Personality, is the deeply ingrained and relatively enduring patterns of thought, feeling and behavior.

    Freud in his theory liken personality to that of an iceberg, stating that our personality exists below the level of awareness, just as the massive part of an iceberg is submerge beneath the surface of water. In John Holland's personality theory Holland attempts to predict the behavior of persons in

  1. To a criminal psychologist, however, it is not just the external factors surrounding an ...

    It again relates to the witness personally and again is related to considering the characteristics of the witness as well. These sets of characteristics this time however, are ones that will be different for each different witness. So a witness for one crime could be a twenty year old female

  2. Different Theories and theorists in Human behaviour

    cannot move to the next level, because she is constantly concerned for her safety. Love and Belongingness have to wait until she is no longer cringing of fear. A lot of people in our society shout out for law and order, as they don't feel safe enough to go for a walk in their neighbourhood.

  1. Psychoanalytical Theory.

    The acceptance, or internalisation results of development of the conscience. Freud believed that development was a discontinuous process that proceeded in a series of discrete stages. In each of the stages, certain biological forces played central role in organising the infant and child how to relate to the world.

  2. In what way is the technique of 'Free Association' valuable for the practice of ...

    I could feel that he was not relaxed because he felt obliged to say something. When I told him that he could stay silent if he wanted or just say anything that came to his mind even if it seemed to be of no importance, he sat back and looked quite relieved.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work