The behaviourist model is another approach of psychology which suggests that our behaviour is a learned response that changes over time. It was introduced in 1913 by john Watson. I have chosen to look at this approach because I think that it is necessary to know all the different angles there are in psychology. From this I will look into classical and operant condition as examples.
Classical condition is an aspect which most people studying psychology have heard of. The theory behind this is that a stimulus and response can be linked together via the brain system found by Clark and Squire (1998). There is a lot of evidence to support this theory. Pavlov (cited in Psychology, 2004) found that phobias are thought to have developed in this way. From example a person who is afraid of heights may climb to the top of a building and look down (environmental stimulus), may start to fell nausea and dizziness (response).
Operant condition explains how our behaviour is influenced by our actions. For example we learn at an early ages which of our actions are rewarded and which are punished. Skinner (cited in Psychology, 2004).
This approach fails to take into account any biological factors that may influence a person’s decisions, because of this it is widely criticised for being reductionist and too simplistic. Some critics have described the behavioural therapies as being dehumanizing and unethical. For example token economy systems can be imposed on people without their consent.
This behavioural model allows individual and cultural differences to be taken into account which can have huge benefits. Behaviour is referred to as adaptive or maladaptive which is much nicer and more ethical than calling a person abnormal.
As you can see by looking at this approach there are many strengths and weaknesses. What are your overall views?
Clark, R. E., & Squire, L. R., (1998). Classical Conditioning and Brain Systems, The Role of Awareness, 77-81.
Cardwell, M., Clark, L., & Meldrum,C., (2004). Collins. Psychology third edition. Collins.133-134