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The Behavioural Approach Essay

Classical conditioning- Pavlov’s dogs- Procedures and findings-Criticisms Classical conditioning is a technique used in behavioral training. A naturally occurring stimulus is paired with a response. Then, a previously neutral stimulus is paired with the naturally occurring stimulus. Eventually, the previously neutral stimulus comes to evoke the response without the presence of the naturally occurring stimulus. The two elements are then known as the conditioned stimulus and the conditioned response.

Pavlov’s dogs

Pavlov used dogs and the natural salivation response to the presence of food. By pairing the sound of a bell with the presentation of the food he eventually could stimulate salvation merely by sounding the bell. He had associated or conditioned the stimulus of the bell as a response to the salvation.

The Unconditioned Stimulus

The unconditioned stimulus is one that unconditionally, naturally, and automatically triggers a response.

The Unconditioned Response
The unconditioned response is the unlearned response that occurs naturally in response to the unconditioned stimulus.

The Conditioned Stimulus
The conditioned stimulus is previously neutral stimulus that, after becoming associated with the unconditioned stimulus, eventually comes to trigger a conditioned response

The Conditioned Response
The conditioned response is the learned response to the previously neutral stimulus.


The study was carried out on animals and animals have different brains and responses to humans so the results can’t be generalized for humans.

Operant conditioning-Skinners rats-pigeons- negative+ negative reinforcement In operant conditioning, the stimulus is a cue, it does not elicit the response. Operant responses are voluntary. In operant conditioning, the response elicits a reinforcing stimulus, whereas in classical conditioning, the UCS elicits the reflexive response. Behavior is changed by consequences. Manipulate environment-change behaviors. By shaping successive approximations to desired behavior. Deterministic theory with no free will. Personality=group of responses to environment. Skinner demonstrated in rats and pigeons that voluntary or controlled responses such as pressing bars and pecking coloured disks could be learned if the behavior was rewarded.

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