Evaluate the behaviourist approach in psychology

Topics: Behaviorism, Classical conditioning, Psychology Pages: 3 (916 words) Published: February 5, 2015
Describe and evaluate the behaviourist approach in psychology

Psychology as a subject offers a number of different approaches contributing in their own specific ways to the understanding of behaviour. Each perspective begs of certain assumptions on the functioning and behaviour of humans. Amongst the various approaches, each boasts several theories, all contributing to the strengthening of the core assumption. All perspectives carry their own individual strengths and weaknesses, playing their part in psychological comprehension.

In summary, there are 5 key perspectives in psychology; behaviourist, psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive and biological. There are a number of key debates in psychology that are applied to each approach, differentiating between their assumptions and defining the perspective. These being whether the approach is considered to be more concerned with nature or nurture, whether it believes in free will or determinism, does it consider psychology in a holistic or reductionist manner is it ideographic or nomothetic, and generally is the perspective based on science or common sense? The Behaviourist approach derived from the dissatisfaction at the time with the psychoanalytical school of thinking. at the time of Behaviourism is said to be a scientific approach, being based predominantly on observable behaviour and facts – and only crediting these. Behaviour is said to be all that matters. FOCUS OF ESSAY Throughout this essay, the behaviourist approach will be evaluated and compared with the Humanistic approach, both of which are of invariably different concepts to one another. A number of case studies and psychological experiments will be considered in order to fully assess the approach in it’s complexity.

P The behaviourist approach is of the belief that all humans are born as blank states, and that ‘All behaviour is learnt’ from experiences a person has in their environment. EX...
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