This is one of the very early approaches to understanding human behaviour; this was developed internally by Thorndike, Watson and Pavlov in the 19th century (Nicolson, Bayne 1990). Behaviourists are concerned with the questions relating to the conditions and events surrounding the behaviour, looking at the gaps in learnt behaviour, environment aspects, watching how they react. (Nicolson, Bayne 1990) This theory can be applied to John in the case study; he displays aggressive behaviour towards his wife Mary and son Anthony. From a behaviourist point of view, the behaviour would be looked at as followed; they would be concerned with what actually happened before John hits his son or wife, and what events took place in response. (Nicolson, Bayne 1990) So did Mary challenge her husband’s behaviour or show no reaction. This would also be applied to the son Anthony. This is direct opposed to their psychoanalytic approach which concentrates on the inner and unconscious lives of individuals, stresses and the significance of biological which looks at the individual’s development. (Nicolson, Bayne 1990) When looking at the displayed behaviour other factors are taken into account, emotional development, perceptions of the external world, social behaviour and personality. It is assumed that individuals learn by making connections between events in their environments. Two major theories have been developed from concerning learning behaviour. These are classical conditioning and operarant conditioning. Classical conditioning arrives from Pavlov, operarant conditioning occurs when an individual shows behaviour and from that behaviour there is a consequence. (Nicolson, Bayne 1990) This can be applied to John in the case study as follows; when he shows his unwanted behaviour towards Mary and Anthony there seems to be no consequences for his behaviour. So he has no reason to stop his behaviour, the behavioural theory can be applied to change the unwanted behaviour displayed by John, his wife and son can help this process of change by using methods mentioned earlier. These methods of helping service users can sometimes change on unwanted behaviour displayed for example, when John assaults his wife his wife must make John aware that there are consequences for his actions and his behaviour will no longer be tolerated.
This approach is based on the work of Simind Freud, other psychologists have also helped develop it further like Erikson, Melanie Klein, Adler and Jung. (Nicolson, Bayne 1990) social work relies heavily on this approach this is easy to see why when explained. Although social works find it very hard to prove Freud’s theories their focus on the understanding of human development and human relationships are highly important to social work practice.(Coulshed, Orme 2006) The approach of psychoanalytic theory within the case study can be largely applied to Douglas, Freud states that the sexual drive is the most important deriving from tries such as the life preserving drive and aggressive drive. Freud believes that there is a need to seek gratification and this process occurs throughout life.(Gross 2010) Douglas is finding it increasingly hard to achieve gratification within his life due to having a high super ego, their balance between the ego and superego are out of balance and the ID is unable to balance this due to Douglas low self-esteem in not being able to achieve promotion at work or feeling that he is not taken seriously by his team leader that is significantly younger than him and has relatively has not got as much experience within the job role as Douglas. Douglas may be suffering from anxiety in regards to not coping with these events. He may be resistant towards change which he may be displaying unconsciously due to the super ego suppressing this.(Gross 2010)
Social learning theory
In the 1960s Bundura developed social learning theory this combines behavioural psychology and the...