J. B Watson's Five Stages Of The Behaviourist Approach

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The Behaviourist Approach was founded by J.B Watson (1919) and argued that all behaviour is learnt from experience in two ways- classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Classical Conditioning was discovered by Ivan Pavlov, who researched into the digestive system of dogs. Pavlov harnessed a dog to a bench with a tube coming out of his mouth and going into a jar. He noticed that when his assistant came into the laboratory with dog food, the dog salivated at the sound of the door opening. The dog Pavlov used in the study had associated the sound of an opening door with food and so salivated automatically. Upon finding this, Pavlov used a bell to see if the dog will respond to it like it did with the sound of the door opening. At first,…show more content…
The frequency and the way in which reinforcement is administered can affect the likelihood of it affecting the behaviour of the individual. Skinner observed how varying the reinforcement had an effect on how the rats learned. Skinner investigated five different types of reinforcement: continuous reinforcement (CR), fixed interval (FI), variable interval (VI), fixed ratio (FR), and variable ratio (VR). Continuous reinforcement reinforces every response. This schedule has a low but steady response rate and a very low resistance to extinction, meaning that it is the quickest way to bring about extinction. Fixed intervals give reinforcement every 30 seconds. The response rate speeds up for this schedule as the next reinforcement becomes available, meaning that there is a pause after each reinforcement. This results in the response rate being low; the resistance to extinction is low as extinction happens quite quickly. Variable reinforcement is, on average, given every 30 seconds, but the interval varies from trial to trial meaning that the interval on any one occasion is unpredictable. The response rate is stable for a long period of time although there is a possibility of increasing the response rate as time passes since the last reinforcement. The resistance to extinction is very high because extinction occurs very slowly and gradually. In the fixed ration schedule reinforcement is given for a fixed number of responses, no matter how long it may take. There is a clear pause after each reinforcement and then there is a very high rate of response leading up to the next reinforcement. There is a fairly low resistance to extinction because it occurs quite quickly. Finally, the variable ratio schedule gives reinforcement, on average, every ten responses on the other hand, the number varies from trial to trial. Therefore, the number of responses needed is unpredictable. This schedule has a high response

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