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

Critically evaluate the Learning Perspective in terms of the following categories: a) Reductionism vs. non-reductionism b) Structuralism vs. functionalism c) Objectivity vs. subjectivity d) Nomothetic vs. ideographic

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

10/1/2009 Written Assignment in Psychology Critically evaluate the Learning Perspective in terms of the following categories: a) Reductionism vs. non-reductionism b) Structuralism vs. functionalism c) Objectivity vs. subjectivity d) Nomothetic vs. ideographic The learning perspective and its study have given birth to numerous issues and debates in the world of psychology. There happen to be four main debates which arise from the behaviorist approach, one of the five major approaches in psychology. The particular issues are i) reductionism vs. non-reductionism, ii) structuralism vs. functionalism, iii) objectivity vs. subjectivity and iv) nomothetic vs. ideographic. In this short report, we will be examining these four major debates and attempt to evaluate the learning perspective based on the ideas hidden behind the issues studied. The first debate we are examining is reductionism vs. non-reductionism. We are going to go over the main arguments of this debate. On one hand, we have the approach of reductionism. Reductionism revolves around the idea that behavior can be reduced to minute (tiny) ...read more.

Middle

Additionally, supporters of structuralism suggest that the structure of consciousness and immediate mental experience can be broken down. The concept of functionalism rivals that of structuralism and states the following: Behavior should be studied in terms of its functional value (what the behavior is for) in adapting the person or animal to its environment. The concept is actually based on Charles Darwin's ideas of evolution in species, ideas that would later on influence behaviorism heavily. Furthermore, functionalism suggests that the primary function of consciousness is to enable humans to behave in ways in which will aid survival through adaptation to the environment. Behaviorists generally agree with the belief that behavior has a functional value. However, they disagree with the possibility sensations and feelings being elements of conscious experience, an idea present in structuralism, as well as with the use of introspection as a way to investigate these conscious experiments. We are now moving on to our third debate which happens to be that of objectivity vs. ...read more.

Conclusion

Individuality is not considered important. On the contrary, the ideographic states that research addresses the wholeness and uniqueness of the individual. Its target is to provide a complete and in-depth picture of the individual. Generalisability and predictability of findings are of no importance. Once again, it is apparent that the ideas of the nomothetic feature greatly in behaviorism, considering the research conducted by psychologists such as Pavlov and Skinner on animal subjects. These experiments helped to develop specific theories like those of operant and classical conditioning. The father of behaviorism himself, J.B. Watson, stated that the objective of learning psychology is to arrive at laws that govern human behavior and can help in controlling it. Having made an attempt to critically evaluate the learning perspective based on a number of major debates in psychology, I can safely state the belief that a number of concepts that actually spawn from the learning perspective itself, including reductionism, structuralism, objectivity and the nomothetic, form the basis of those major debates and provide us with the opportunity to understand the entire concept of behaviorism much more smoothly. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

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

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 International Baccalaureate Psychology essays

  1. EE PSYCHOLOGY

    Many range of species are capable of solving a range of problems arguably involving abstract reasoning. (Scott, 1958 :153) 2.2.3.Relation between training method and animal intelligence Certain animals have shown capability of distinguishing between different amounts of rudimentary counting. A known example of this are the Elberfeld horses.

  2. Free will Vs Determinism essay

    He strongly believes that people behave the way they do because of the environment surrounding them. We are brought up by people or things that are always affecting us. B.F. Skinner, the spiritual heir to Watson's work, has commented, "A shortage of facts is always a problem in a new

  1. Free essay

    How to handle emotions better. Understanding emotions helps to see the world form a ...

    (Developing Emotional Awareness, 2011). But if you cannot control emotions you loose control of yourself and it is more difficult to communicate with others. The power of developing emotional awareness helps to enjoy more fulfilling relationships.

  2. Understanding Childrens Behaviour. The purpose of this writing is to explore the theoretical ...

    One such trait is intelligence. An alternative approach on which biology leaves its signature is Evolutionary Psychology. Behaviour genetics is a field in which variation among individuals is separated into genetic versus environmental components. The most common research methodologies are family studies, twin studies, and adoption studies.

  1. Social Psychology - Blue Eyes vs. Brown Eyes Jane Elliot Film Analysis

    There was division between the in-group and out-group within the film, it was easy to see the formation of social comparison. Therefore, by being part of the in-group, a person would be able to improve their self-esteem. 6. The explanations and shared beliefs held by the in-group within the film

  2. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah--A Psychological Analysis ...

    Ishmael had highly inflated expectations of those around him; he also had a highly exaggerated pride in his military identity. Violence and aggression was how he came to resolve conflict and get what he needed day-to-day. Essentially, Ishmael needed to be re-socialized if he was to be returned to society.

  1. Psychology biological level of analysis revision

    Melatonin production helps us sleep and thus regulates the circadian rhythm (24 hour sleep/wake). Researchers have looked into melatonin to treat insomnia and jet lag. The seasons affect the production of melatonin, as in summer there is longer day and shorter night; this means that there is more light thus a decrease in melatonin levels and we get less tired.

  2. Where does Schizophrenia Lie in the Spectrum of Nature vs Nurture?

    Furthermore, both doctors subdivided schizophrenia into different categories, which include disorganized, catatonic, paranoid, residual, and undifferentiated. They were classified based on ?positive? and ?negative? symptoms. By doing this, it was hoped that they would be able to determine the causes of this mental illness.

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