Behavioural Approach to Abnormality

Mind Map by olivianwokenna, updated more than 1 year ago
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AS Psychology (Abnormality / Psychopathology) Mind Map on Behavioural Approach to Abnormality, created by olivianwokenna on 02/18/2014.

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Behavioural Approach to Abnormality
1 The main assumptions of the behaviourist approach to abnormality is that all behaviour, normal or abnormal is learnt from the environment.
2 Classical Conditioning
2.1 Learning by association. An abnormal behaviour can be learnt by associating a dog with the pain of being bitten. So when they next see a dog they experience the same fear from the first time they were bitten.
2.1.1 Little Albert - Watson (1920). Albert did not have a fear of mice but developed a phobia of white fluffy objects because when presented with a mouse Watson made a loud noise behind his head (unconditioned stimulus). This forced him to associate the mouse with the noise and so the phobia developed.
3 Operant Conditioning
3.1 Learning through reward and punishment. For example someone who exhibits aggressive behaviour may learn that they get what they want. So they are more likely to exhibit this kind of behaviour again.
4 Social Learning
4.1 Abnormality is learned from observing and imitating those who serve as models of behaviour.
4.1.1 For example a child may learn to starve herself because she saw her mother do it and get praised for losing weight
4.1.2 Mineka et al (1984) showed how a phobia developed though observation alone. Young monkeys raised by parents with fears of snakes did not develop the disorder - this shows that is not inherited. However if these monkeys had the oppurtunity to observe their parents showing fearful reactions to snakes they did acquire an intense and persistent fear.
4.1.3 Bandura (1961) conducted an experiment and children and bobo dolls. When the children had watched a clip of adults behaving aggressively towards the doll, they were much more likely to do the same, especially if they had seen the action being rewarded.
5 The behaviourist approach is very reductionist as it limits behaviour to
6 This theory is reductionist because it limits abnormality to simple reward and punishment. While many phobias can be explained in this way, some disorders such as schizophrenia seem to have biological causes.
7 Much of the research that the behavioural approach was based on is animal resarch, this is limited because it is unclear how generalisable this research is to humans.
8 The behaviouralist approach is heavily deterministic, seeing behaviour purely as a product of stimuli, rewards and punishments. There is no room for conscious choice. It suggests that nobody is responsible for their actions because they have no control over them
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