Assignment On Psychological Theory Behaviourism

2015 words - 9 pages

IntroductionThe term psychology originates from two Greek words 'psyche', meaning soul or mind and 'logos' meaning study or knowledge. Therefore by its original definition psychology was initially described as 'the study of the soul or mind'. By the late 19th century, when psychology became an independent scientific discipline, it was described as 'the science of mental life'. At this time psychologists studied the mind by asking their research participants to describe their mental experiences, by asking questions such as "What are you thinking" or "What are you feeling?" Today the discipline of psychology is defined more precisely as the study of the nature and development of mind ...view middle of the document...

BehaviourismJohn B. Watson developed behaviourism. In an article entitled 'Psychology as a behaviourist views it' published in the Psychological Review in 1913 stated:"Psychology as the behaviourist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behaviour. Introspection form no essential part of its methods…"(Watson 1913, p.158)Watson firmly rejected consciousness as the primary subject matter of psychology and argued that objectively observable behaviour should be the target for enquiry. Although Watson drew on the views of other before him and was strongly influenced by the work of Ivan Pavlov, who discovered the process of conditioning, his ideas were nevertheless bold, clear and enticing for those concerned with the scientific study of human behaviour.Although Watson's ideas were perhaps overstated, his research had a marked effect on the development of modern psychology.B. F. Skinner, "the greatest contemporary psychologist", agreed with Pavlov and Watson. Skinner had a simple approach: "Behaviour changes as a result of consequences.Behaviour approachConcentrate on explaining and treating the compulsions, rather than obsessions. They say that people happen upon their compulsions quite randomly. Eg. In a stressful situation, they just happened to wash their hands. When the threat lifts, they link the improvement to that particular action.After repeated accidental associations, they believe that the action is bringing them good luck or actually changing the situation. The act becomes a key method of avoiding or reducing anxiety.In a behaviour treatment called exposure and response prevention (or exposure and ritual prevention), clients are repeatedly exposed to objects or situations that produce anxiety, obsessive fears and compulsive behaviours, but they are told to resist performing the behaviour they feel so bound to perform.The Behavioural ViewpointThis approach views disorders as stemming from positive reinforcement of inappropriate behaviours and punishment of inappropriate behaviours.Behavioural Approach in the Justice fieldWhen police are gathering information about a particular suspect's behaviour, they usually use four steps/stages.·The first stage is about the event before the behaviour - Did someone/something provoke them.·The second event is what did the suspect do - a statement of the offenders behaviour is when provoked the suspect starts assaulting people for no reason.·The third stage is consequences - Occurs after the behaviour and a punishment can be given out. If we reward the suspect for not assaulting people than the suspect is not going to assault people. In a prison this could mean extra privileges such as a television in your cell.·The fourth and final steps/stages is Evaluation - Was the consequence a success? If there wasn't a success then we need a new strategy needs to be implemented.Theoreti...


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