Behavioral Theories Of Abnormal Behavior

731 Words3 Pages
The behavioral perspective is a theoretical perspective that says that abnormal behavior is caused by flawed learning experiences (Halgin and Whitbourne, 2013). B.F Skinner, the most common behaviorist, believed a person’s environment or anything external can influence a person mentally (AllPsych, 2011). The main point of the behavioral perspective is how the environment affects a person’s overall behavior (AllPsych, 2011). The three types of behavioral theories are classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and contiguity theory. Operant conditioning is when a person learns behaviors through reinforcement (Halgin and Whitbourne, 2013). Skinner studied operant conditioning by doing experiments using dogs that he placed in a “Skinner Box” (McLeod, 2011). Contiguity theory says that any stimulus and response that is connected will be associated with each other (Ramo and Howe-Tennant). Contiguity theory comes from the work of E. R. Guthrie (Ramo and Howe-Tennant). Classical conditioning is a learning connection between an original stimulus and a naturally evoking stimulus that causes an automatic reflexive reaction. Classical conditioning was the first type of learning to be discovered (Halgin and Whitbourne, 2013). Classical conditioning was also the first to be studied by behaviorist (Halgin and Whitbourne, 2013). Classical conditioning was discovered by Ivan Pavlov (AllPsych, 2011). During Pavlov’s experiments, he would put meat powder in dogs mouths that had tubes inserted in different organs to measure the dogs body responses (AllPsych, 2011). Pavlov found that the dogs began to salivate before the meat powder was presented to them (AllPsych, 2011). He also found that the dogs began to salivate as soon as the person feedi... ... middle of paper ... ...ems have been successful in diverse populations such as those suffering from addiction, those with retardation, and delinquents (Ramo and Howe-Tennant). Participant modeling is a type of therapy where the therapist shows the client a wanted behavior and then guides the client through the behavior change (Halgin and Whitbourne, 2013). In most treatments clients have homework assignments, like detailed records of the behaviors that aren’t trying to be changed or specific tasks that the client needs to perform (Halgin and Whitbourne, 2013). This approach is very effective, because the different issues such as phobias and depression are learned behaviors, and they can be unlearned (Ougrin 2011). This theory is different from all the other theories because it focuses on the behavior. A clinician would view this behavior as if it’s just a behavior that needs adjustments.

More about Behavioral Theories Of Abnormal Behavior

Open Document