Behaviourist Approach: Understanding Learned Behavior

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Unit 8 Assignment 1 Chelsea Smalley The Behaviourist approach The idea of the Behaviourist perspective is simply that we are able to understand behaviour just by observing what has been learned. Many Behaviourist psychologists such as Ivan Pavlov and Burrhus Skinner say behaviour depends on experience. These two psychologists believe that everything we know and do in our lives has to be learned and that nothing is innate. Innate behaviour does not need to be practiced or learned, so Pavlov and Skinner both believe behaviour and all things humans do are learned so they don’t agree with innate behaviour as it is a so called ‘natural behaviour’. Ivan Pavlov and classical Conditioning Ivan Pavlov started from the idea to do with the salvation …show more content…

Overall Operant conditioning can be used to describe the process as modifying behaviour through positive (rewards for behaviour) and negative (punishment for behaviour) reinforcement. Burrhus Skinner was someone who investigated operant conditioning, he believed to really understand behaviour that you need to look at actions and consequences of behaviour. Burrhus skinner investigated his theory of operant conditioning with a rat. Skinner created a box in which the box contained a lever which released a food pellet when pressing down on the lever, which makes it a positive reinforcement as food isn’t a punishment its shown as a good thing when receiving food especially for animals. The Rat would be left in the box to figure out for itself that the lever would release food when pressed. To begin with the rat would accidentally press the lever and after a few times the rat quickly figured out that every time the lever is pressed they will receive food. After the rat realised the lever would release food it would result in the rat repeatedly pressing the lever. Skinner also investigated negative reinforcement, he did this by running a low electrical current through the box, then placing a rat within the box. When the lever was to be pressed the electric current would be switched off. When the rat would be placed in the box it would accidentally press the lever. Eventually the rats would learn to press down the lever to ensure they wouldn’t receive an electrical

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