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Behaviourist approach

1.a) Outline two assumptions of the Behaviourist approach [4 marks] One assumption of the behaviourist approach is classical conditioning, where behaviours are learnt through association. This assumption was developed by a psychologist called Pavlov, through his research into dogs. After conditioning the neutral stimulus (the bell), it produced a conditioned response, (salivation). This is because the dog had associated the bell with food. Another assumption of the behaviourist approach is operant conditioning, where behaviour is learnt through the consequences of the behaviour. Operant conditioning shapes behaviour through positive and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement involves rewards to encourage desirable behaviour, and negative reinforcement is when a desirable behaviour is required to escape and unpleasant situation. 1.b) Describe the social learning theory of aggression [8 marks] One assumption of the behaviourist approach is the social learning theory, where behaviour is learnt though observing. Therefore the individual will observe the role model and if it identifies with the role model it will imitate the behaviour displayed by the role model. This is learnt through vicarious reinforcement where individuals observe the role model being punished or rewarded and learn behaviours accordingly. Psychologist Bandura conducted further studies into this matter and claimed that the way in which aggression is learnt can also be explained through the social learning theory. Bandura carried out a study in which he divided 66 school children into 3 groups and made them watch a small video clip in which an adult model displayed aggressive behaviour towards a bobo doll. He set 3 conditions: Condition 1 where the model was rewarded for displaying such behaviour; condition 2, where the model was told off for displaying such behaviour, and condition 3, where the model was neither punished nor rewarded. The finding of the study...
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