Comparing Behaviorism And Psychodynamic Approaches To Psychology
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Behaviourism and Psychodynamic both vary in their approaches to psychology. Behaviourism is “the view that the basic datum of psychology should be visible behaviour, rather than mental states” (Lieberman, David A. 2012). Psychodynamic is the “theory of mental structure and function, consisting of a loosely connected set of concepts and propositions” (Coleman, Andrews M. 2008).
Both ways vary in terms of there theoretical assumptions and the methodology used by each approach. Prominent psychologists associated with the behaviourist approach are John B. Watson and B.F Skinners. Watson believed that psychology couldn’t depend on introspection and that it should rely on observation. Methodology associated with the behaviourist approach are classical conditioning…show more content… Classical conditioning is when “an organism learns to associate two stimuli such that one stimulus comes to elicit a response that was originally elicited only by the other stimulus” (Holt, 2012). An experiment associated with this method is ‘The Little Albert Experiment’ (Watson and Rayner 1920). This proved that fears and phobias could be conditioned. Therefore it can be assumed that if fears can be learned that they can also be unlearned. Skinner was a part of the neo-behaviouristic approach. Skinner introduced the idea of operent conditioning. Operent conditioning refers to “a change in probability of a response as a result of the consequences that follow it” (Lieberman, David A. 2012). An experiment associated with this type of methodology is ‘Skinners Box’ (Skinner 1948). As a result of this experiment, it was proved that “organisms generally learn to increase behaviours that are followed by favourable consequences and reduce behaviours that are followed by unfavourable consequences” (Holt, 2012). There can be two reactions to operent conditioning, operent generalization or operent discrimination. Operent generalization