Behaviourist Theory

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Critically evaluate Behaviourist theory with reference to at least one other psychological approach.
As defined by Sternberg (1995), Behaviourism is the name given to a school of thought which implements a group of therapeutic techniques based on the principles of classical and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning refers to a subject forming behavioural patterns based on experiences they associate with completing the same pattern in the past; this emerged as a factor in 20th Century Psychiatry as a result of Pavlov’s dog experiment which involved the premise that responses are a matter of reflex based on past experience. As demonstrated by how the dogs in question would salivate when they saw humans as they immediately associated them
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Watson and Rosalie Rayner. Prior to this, Ivan Pavlov had conducted experiments demonstrating the conditioning process in dogs. Watson was interested in taking Pavlov's research further to show that emotional reactions could be classically conditioned in people. The participant in the experiment was a child that Watson and Rayner called "Albert B", but is known more widely in recent years as Little Albert. Around the age of nine months, Watson and Rayner exposed the child to a series of stimuli including a white rat, a rabbit, a monkey, masks and burning newspapers and observed the boy's reactions. The boy initially showed no fear of any of the objects he was shown. The next time Albert was introduced to the rat a loud noise was made by hitting a metal pipe with a hammer. Naturally, the child began to cry after hearing the loud noise and after repeatedly pairing the white rat with the loud noise, Albert began to cry simply after seeing the rat thus proving a point in terms of classical conditioning. “While the experiment is one of psychology's most famous and is included in nearly every introductory psychology course, it has also been criticized widely for several reasons. First, the experimental design and process was not carefully constructed. Watson and Rayner…show more content…
The humanistic approach in psychology emerged to counter what some psychologists saw as the limitations of behaviourist and psychodynamic psychology humanism is often referred to as the “third force” in psychology after psychoanalysis and behaviourism. Humanism rejects the assumptions of the behaviourist perspective which is typically characterized as being deterministic, focused on reinforcement of stimulus-response behaviour and heavily dependent on animal research (McLeod, Humanism,
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