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1. PSYA2 – Individual Differences 2. The Behavioural Explanation Pages 241-244 3. Behavioural approachAssumptions: Abnormal behaviour like any other behaviour is…
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  • 1. PSYA2 – Individual Differences
  • 2. The Behavioural Explanation Pages 241-244
  • 3. Behavioural approachAssumptions: Abnormal behaviour like any other behaviour is learned from the environment.• Behaviour can be learned in 3 ways:1. Classical conditioning: learning by association2. Operant conditioning: learning by consequences3. Social learning: learning by imitation
  • 4. Pavlov’s Dogs Example: bell (NS)  no salivation (before conditioning) food (UCS)  salivation (UCR) (before conditioning) bell (CS) and food (UCS)  salivation (UCR) (during conditioning) bell (CS)  salivation (CR) (evidence of conditioning)
  • 5. ‘Little Albert’:• Neutral stimulus (NS)  no fear of rats (before conditioning)• A loud bang (UCS)  causes fear and anxiety (UCR) (before conditioning)• rat (CS) and loud bang (UCS)  fear (UCR) (during conditioning)• rat (CS)  fear (CR) (evidence of conditioning)
  • 6. Watch these clips…• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QfomqpQ8W k• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFmFOmprTt0
  • 7. After watching the clips…• What is learned helplessness?• How might this theory apply to depression?
  • 8. Seligman (1974)Seligman’s theory of learned helplessnesssuggested that people suffer from this disorderbecause they have developed a learned beliefthat they are not in control of their lives.
  • 9. Seligman carried out a study which focused on the process of classical conditioning.
  • 10. • AIM: Seligman undertook some research with dogs to show the importance of the environment in creating behaviour.• METHOD: He gave the dogs painful electric shocks that they were unable to escape from. At first the dogs tried to get away from the shocks. Eventually they appeared to give up and simply accepted the situation. They were then placed in an environment where it was possible to escape from the shocks. They made no attempt to do so.• RESULT: Seligman thought the dogs were displaying learned helplessness. An unpleasant experience had taught them to remain passive and not take action.• CONCLUSION: This led Seligman to believe that depression is a form of learned helplessness whereby the individual gives up trying to influence their environment because they have learned that they are helpless as a consequence of having no control over what happens to them. People who have experienced failure could develop a sense of helplessness, leading to a mood disorder.
  • 11. Evaluation• Seligman’s work used animals and although he did undertake work with human participants, further studies have failed to replicate his findings. There are obvious ethical issues involved in these kinds of studies, where both animals and humans have been subjected to stressful situations.• Learned helplessness explains how life events cause unipolar depression, it does not however really provide an explanation for the mood swings seen in bipolar disorder.
  • 12. Preparedness• Although classical conditioning does provide an explanation for the development of phobias, not everyone can trace their phobia back to a traumatic experience• Seligman proposed a theory of ‘preparedness’ to account t for this.• Preparedness is the idea that our evolutionary history has prepared humans to be sensitive to biologically- relevant stimuli such as dangerous animals and situations
  • 13. Lewinsohn (1974)This theory focuses on the process ofoperant conditioning. changing a behaviour because of a reward or to avoid a punishmentLewinsohn suggested that losing aloved one reduces the amount ofpositive reinforcement available to us.
  • 14. People who care about us will make us feel good about ourselves. If we have less opportunity to enjoy pleasant, rewarding experiences this may explain why we feel depressed. A depressed person will tend to withdraw socially and this will also reduce the likelihood of positive reinforcement. At first, the mood disorder may lead to concern from others. This attention also reinforces depressed behaviour. After a while, however, concerns can fade away and we are no longer offered the reinforcement of attention, adding to feelings of despair, resulting in even deeper depression.
  • 15. Social Learning Theory• This theory also assumes that all behaviour is learned through experience. This approach states that behaviour is learned by watching other people behave and observing the consequences of the behaviour.• Young girls see very thin models being praised and getting attention and money (reinforcements), they then try to get as thin as these models to get the same reinforcements.
  • 16. Do you fear spiders too?• How would this explanation account for a fear of spiders, for example?
  • 17. Behavioural approachAssumptions:• Abnormal behaviour like any other behaviour is learned from the environment.• Behaviour can be learned in 3 ways:1. Classical conditioning: learning by association i.e. phobia UCS: bite UCR: fear NS: dog, pairing dog and bite, dog becomes the CS, CR: fear (phobia: the dog elicits the fear response).2. Operant conditioning: learning by consequences i.e. depression. A person displays depressed behaviour others shows sympathy (positive reinforcement) and are likely to let them off their normal duties (negative reinforcement) so the behaviour will be repeated as it has been reinforced.3. Social learning: learning by imitation i.e. anorexia. Young girls see very thin models being praised and getting attention and money (reinforcements), they then try to get as thin as these models to get the same reinforcements.
  • 18. Evaluation of the behavioural approach• This approach can offer satisfactory explanations for some disorders such as phobias and eating disorders. However many people have phobias of objects they have never met (i.e. snakes) these cannot be explained by classical conditioning. These could be due to evolution.• It does not explain the biological factors such as enlarged ventricles in schizophrenics but they could be the effect rather than the cause of the disorder as the brain is a plastic organ which changes depending on the way we use it.
  • 19. More evaluation....• It does not take into account the early childhood experience which according to the psychodynamic approach could cause unconscious conflicts between the Id, the ego and superego which could cause abnormal behaviour in later life.• Treatments based on the behavioural approach such as systematic desensitisation can be very effective for disorders such as phobias.• It does not take into account cognitive factors such as cognitive biases i.e. even when severely underweighted, anorexic see themselves as overweight.
  • 20. Essay questionOutline and evaluate the behaviouralapproach to abnormality (12 marks)
  • Welch v Brown

    Jul 23, 2017
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