Behavioural Perspective of Abnormality

Topics: Psychology, Behaviorism, Classical conditioning Pages: 3 (353 words) Published: December 28, 2012
Behavioural Perspective of Abnormality

(Behaviour is determined by our experiences

(Concentrates on behaviours- the responses an organism makes to the environment

(Behaviours can be external (actions ) or internal (feelings or thoughts)

(Behaviourists believe that people are the sum total of their learned behaviours

(Believe that abnormal behaviours/functioning can be learned.

(Applied principles of conditioning and social learning theory to explain development of psychological disorders

Behavioural explanations

(Classical conditioning (Pavlov): learning by temporal association- two events occurring closely together repeatedly become fused. Over time both events elicit same response-Pavlov’s dog

(Operant conditioning (Skinner)- learned behaviours as a result of feedback received as a consequence of behaviour.

(Positive reinforcement/rewarding leads to recurrence of behaviours. If abnormal behaviour is rewarded it is reinforced positively.

(Social learning/observational learning (Bandura)
occurs when we imitate or model our behaviour on our observations of others behaviour.

Behavioural Therapies

(Aim of behavioural therpy is to identify responses that cause problems and replce them with more appropriate responses.

(Systematic desensitization -step-by-step procedure where people learn to react calmly to the stimulus causing the fear/anxiety 1.Establish fear hierarchy-list of feared objects /situations: lowest to highest 2. Develop relaxation techniques

3. Imagine/confront hierarchy items
4. Combine 2&3
5. Over time clients learn not to fear stimulus- phobias

Other behavioural therapies involve using classical and operant conditioning to change learned responses through repeated exposure to anxiety causing stimuli.

Assessing the behavioural model

(Theories can be easily tested scientifically. Lead to increase in popularity of model

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