Psychology in Health Care

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Psychology in health care is a modern and quickly evolving field. It is used to study behaviours that are relevant to health and illness in the health care sector. This essay will show two theories and research which will help back up these theories. It will then explain how each theory can be used to resolve health related issues.

The behaviourist theory was founded by JB Watson in 1915. McGraw-Hill describes behaviourism as “the study of behaviour change. It is based on the assumption that behaviour change signifies that learning has taken place.” Ivan Pavlov highlighted the possibility of learning by association widely known as classical conditioning. This is when a stimulus results in a response and through repetition the event and reaction become associated. In 1974, Skinner researched into Operant conditioning. This is when behaviours are learned through reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is used to make us do that thing more and negative reinforcement strengthens us not to do it. The social learning theory researched by Bandura showed how we learn by modelling like someone else. (Cherry (a) 2012)

The research completed by Ivan Pavlov showed how classical conditioning can be seen in animals and humans. He used his dog to easily show this. Before conditioning, Pavlov rang a bell and in response the dog did nothing but when Pavlov showed food the dog would salivate. So he then started conditioning the dog by ringing the bell then showing the dog food therefore the dog would salivate. After doing this multiple times the dog began to salivate just when the bell was rang as it had learned that the noise would mean he would be given food. Thus, proving the dog has learned through association because the bell became associated with food resulting in salivation. (McLeod (a) 2007)

Skinners research into Operant conditioning showed how positive and negative reinforcement cause the things we learn. He created a box in which there was a lever which when...
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