Evaluate The Behaviourist Approach Analysis

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Evaluation of the Behaviourist Approach. The behaviourist approach is a term most predominant in the 1900s. Behaviourists are only interested in human behaviour that can be visually observed and monitored in a laboratory condition, as they believe focussing on introspection is too subjective and can achieve no conclusive results. Behaviourists believe that all humans are born as a “blank slate” or tabula rasa, and our behaviour is controlled and shaped through stimulus-response connections from our external environment. This theory can also be applied to both animals and humans. However this idea comes under heavy criticism from other psychologists who argue that using this principle, behaviourists are likening humans to “puppets on a string” who are constantly reacting to stimuli, and completely dismissing the idea of human cognition. For example, in a school system, there will be students who will not be encouraged by the reward system in place (which is positive reinforcement) because they believe that biggest reward is their grades at the end of the year, instead of something like a free afternoon off. The behaviourist theory of positive reinforcement has been shown to have genuine…show more content…
This is similar to the risk of demand characteristics because it is something that cannot be controlled, and will affect the results of the experiment. Behaviourists like Skinner combatted this by using animals in a vast majority of his experiment; and although by using animals he managed to support a lot of ideas such as operant and classical conditioning, positive and negative, and partial reinforcement etc. there is debate over whether the animals could actually comprehend what they were doing, even though animals would not have the option to exhibit demand characteristics, or walk away from the experiment

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