Vnuerlkoete
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Hello,

Could someone please have a read over my psychology essay which is due in tomorrow. What mark would you give, where could I improve?

The behaviourist approach heavily influenced the way in which we understand human behaviour.
Important behaviourist psychologists, such as Skinner & Pavlov contributed valuably, through the use of animal studies, to our understanding of the how and the why of human behaviour. One strength of the behaviourist approach is that the approach was able to provide psychology with some scientific credibility. This is because behaviourist psychologists, such as Skinner, conducted research where he focused on behaviour which is observable within a highly controlled environment. Therefore, by including important scientific concepts, such as objectivity, behaviourism was able to contribute to the development of psychology as a science. Therefore, in my opinion, the behaviourist approach was influential in providing psychology with the scientific credibility and status which it has always desired.

Pavlov contributed heavily to the development of the behaviourist approach through his introduction of classical conditioning. This is because he conducted a study, known as Pavlov’s dogs, by which he taught dogs to associate a bell (a neutral stimuli) with food (an unconditioned stimuli). By constantly pairing the two, Pavlov discovered that when the dogs caught sight of a bell, they would salivate as they had been taught to associate the sight of a bell with the arrival of food. He called this process ‘conditioning’ as the bell became a conditioned stimuli, which provoked a conditioned response. However, Pavlov’s study into dogs meant that some psychologists found it quite difficult to generalise the findings from dogs to humans. This is because humans have completely different minds in comparison to dogs, with more complex motives and thoughts. For example, humans are not as determined to find food as dogs are. Therefore, attempting to generalise the findings of Pavlov across to humans may pose quite a difficulty. However, it could be argued that, instead of desiring food, there may be alternative factors which prompt such drive in humans. Therefore, although Pavlov’s research is considered highly valuable into our understanding of human behaviour, the evidence show that we may not be able to totally generalise his findings to understanding why humans behave.

Similarly, Skinner’s research into ‘learning through reinforcement’ also contributed greatly to the development of a ‘behaviourist approach. This is because, Skinner’s study into rats helped him conclude that we also learn through reinforcement. For example, during his study, he observed that when the rat pushed a lever, it would be rewarded with a treat, therefore meaning the rat was highly likely to repeat this behaviour. He called this positive reinforcement. Also, he observed that to stop an electrical force, the rat would also push the lever, increasing the chance of the rat repeating this behaviour. He called this negative reinforcement. Skinner’s research is very advantageous to psychologists due to the practical applications which it provides. For example, Skinner’s research helps us understand the affects of a ‘token economy’, where prisoners are rewarded with exchangeable tokens if presenting good behaviour. Treatments such as these are helpful in other psychological branches, such as the treatment of phobias or OCD, as this doesn’t require thinking or talking, just rewarding for desired behaviour. Therefore, Skinner’s research is very advantageous in that it provides beneficial practical applications. Therefore, this shows that Skinner’s research is very influential in our understanding of human behaviour.
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medic_papatya
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heyyy, whats the exact question for your essay?
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Vnuerlkoete
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(Original post by lolaemma)
heyyy, whats the exact question for your essay?
The question is ‘outline and evaluate the behaviourist approach (12 marks)’
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medic_papatya
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(Original post by Vnuerlkoete)
Hello,

Could someone please have a read over my psychology essay which is due in tomorrow. What mark would you give, where could I improve?

The behaviourist approach heavily influenced the way in which we understand human behaviour.
Important behaviourist psychologists, such as Skinner & Pavlov contributed valuably, through the use of animal studies, to our understanding of the how and the why of human behaviour.

One strength of the behaviourist approach is that the approach was able to provide psychology with some scientific credibility. This is because behaviourist psychologists, such as Skinner, conducted research where he focused on behaviour which is observable within a highly controlled environment. Therefore, by including important scientific concepts, such as objectivity, behaviourism was able to contribute to the development of psychology as a science. Therefore, in my opinion, the behaviourist approach was influential in providing psychology with the scientific credibility and status which it has always desired.

Pavlov contributed heavily to the development of the behaviourist approach through his introduction of classical conditioning. This is because he conducted a study, known as Pavlov’s dogs, by which he taught dogs to associate a bell (a neutral stimuli) with food (an unconditioned stimuli). By constantly pairing the two, Pavlov discovered that when the dogs caught sight of a bell, they would salivate as they had been taught to associate the sight of a bell with the arrival of food. He called this process ‘conditioning’ as the bell became a conditioned stimuli, which provoked a conditioned response. However, Pavlov’s study into dogs meant that some psychologists found it quite difficult to generalise the findings from dogs to humans. This is because humans have completely different minds in comparison to dogs, with more complex motives and thoughts. For example, humans are not as determined to find food as dogs are. Therefore, attempting to generalise the findings of Pavlov across to humans may pose quite a difficulty. However, it could be argued that, instead of desiring food, there may be alternative factors which prompt such drive in humans. Therefore, although Pavlov’s research is considered highly valuable into our understanding of human behaviour, the evidence show that we may not be able to totally generalise his findings to understanding why humans behave.

Similarly, Skinner’s research into ‘learning through reinforcement’ also contributed greatly to the development of a ‘behaviourist approach. This is because, Skinner’s study into rats helped him conclude that we also learn through reinforcement. For example, during his study, he observed that when the rat pushed a lever, it would be rewarded with a treat, therefore meaning the rat was highly likely to repeat this behaviour. He called this positive reinforcement. Also, he observed that to stop an electrical force, the rat would also push the lever, increasing the chance of the rat repeating this behaviour. He called this negative reinforcement. Skinner’s research is very advantageous to psychologists due to the practical applications which it provides. For example, Skinner’s research helps us understand the affects of a ‘token economy’, where prisoners are rewarded with exchangeable tokens if presenting good behaviour. Treatments such as these are helpful in other psychological branches, such as the treatment of phobias or OCD, as this doesn’t require thinking or talking, just rewarding for desired behaviour. Therefore, Skinner’s research is very advantageous in that it provides beneficial practical applications. Therefore, this shows that Skinner’s research is very influential in our understanding of human behaviour.
Your AO1 is a bit short - this should be worth upto 6 marks. Try include:
- assumptions of the approach - behaviour is learnt from environment, animals and humans learn in the same way (hence the use of animal studies which are generalised to humans), psychology should be scientific and objective (hence the lab studies), focus on behaviour which is observable
- the 2 main studies of behaviour - explain Pavlovs dog experiment and Skinners box as part of you AO1 (rather than explaining the experiment in the evaluation point)

For your evaluation points you can be awarded upto 10 marks. Aim for approximately 3 points with the following layout:
Point: One strength of Skinners research/Pavlov's research/ the behaviourist approach is that...
Evidence: This can be seen through.../ For example...
Explanation: This shows that.../ This suggests...
Link: As a result.../ Hence...

not necessary...
Counterpoint: Try counterpoint your argument to give more depth and be awarded more marks
OR
Furthermore: Add an additional point to your paragraph that strengthens your point even more

For example, you have chosen to use Skinner's study in link with scientific credibility - you could counterpoint this in the same paragraph at the end by discussing the disadvantages of a lab study.

I hope this help!
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Vnuerlkoete
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(Original post by lolaemma)
Your AO1 is a bit short - this should be worth upto 6 marks. Try include:
- assumptions of the approach - behaviour is learnt from environment, animals and humans learn in the same way (hence the use of animal studies which are generalised to humans), psychology should be scientific and objective (hence the lab studies), focus on behaviour which is observable
- the 2 main studies of behaviour - explain Pavlovs dog experiment and Skinners box as part of you AO1 (rather than explaining the experiment in the evaluation point)

For your evaluation points you can be awarded upto 10 marks. Aim for approximately 3 points with the following layout:
Point: One strength of Skinners research/Pavlov's research/ the behaviourist approach is that...
Evidence: This can be seen through.../ For example...
Explanation: This shows that.../ This suggests...
Link: As a result.../ Hence...

not necessary...
Counterpoint: Try counterpoint your argument to give more depth and be awarded more marks
OR
Furthermore: Add an additional point to your paragraph that strengthens your point even more

For example, you have chosen to use Skinner's study in link with scientific credibility - you could counterpoint this in the same paragraph at the end by discussing the disadvantages of a lab study.

I hope this help!
Thank you so much for this
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medic_papatya
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(Original post by Vnuerlkoete)
Thank you so much for this
no problem! good luck!
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