Behaviourism And Human Behaviour

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Behavioural Perspective

According to Barnett (2015), behaviourism focuses and studies how humans behave and are to behave to determine differences. Behaviourism believes people have no free will and their environment dictates how they think, act or become.

Barnett (2015) stated, Ivan Pavlov was the first theorist to develop behaviourism. He lived with his dogs and would bring food (stimulus) to them daily. He noticed each time the dogs saw him, they would salivate. He wondered, would they still salivate if he didn’t have any food for them? They did. The dogs had been conditioned to associate Pavlov with food; now known as classical conditioning. This observation led Pavlov to conduct further experiments with the dogs. In his experiments, he would provide a stimulus (thing, event or reward someone or something will receive for a desired behaviour) which was food. Pavlov provided a separate incident, the sound of a bell each time he provided the stimulus/food; the dogs salivated. He removed the stimulus and only rang the bell and the dogs still salivated. This behaviour that Pavlov observed is known as classical conditioning. Classical conditioning lead to what is known as behaviourism.
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Later, Skinner conducted experiments with rats in a cage. When the rats pressed the lever in the cage, they would get food. Since the rats were conditioned to press the lever to get food, they would press the lever more frequently. Skinner became known as the father of operant conditioning. Operant conditioning was described by Barnett (2015) as a learning process where a specific behaviour is increased or decreased through positive or negative

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