Assess Different Psychological Approaches to Study.

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M1 – Assess different psychological approaches to study. Behavioural approach – Strengths and Weaknesses The main theory of behaviourism is that we are born a blank slate and all behaviour is learnt from the environment; and it focuses only on external factors that can be objectively observed. Because the experiment’s behaviourists conduct focus only on visible behaviours, behaviourist theories/experiments can always be falsifiable meaning they can always be possibly proven right or wrong. However only focusing on observable behaviours makes the perspective reductionist because factors such as cognitive processes and biology are excluded. A further strength of measuring observable behaviours is that data is easier to quantify and collect making carrying out statistical tests easier. A weakness of behaviourism is that many of behaviourist theories have come from being tested on animals; for example skinners experiments on operant conditioning using pigeons. This makes the results less valid because humans are so much more complex than animals; animals only rely on basic natural instincts: food, reproduction, survival. So the research may not actually be applicable to humans. However, carrying out research on animals means that important theories can be tested that would otherwise be too wrong to test on humans. As shown by Skinner’s research on operant conditioning that involved pigeons locked in cages and first starved. Another weakness is that because behaviourists believe all behaviour is learnt, sometimes behavioural therapies for disorders cannot actually cure someone, only remove certain behaviours caused by the disorder. For example if someone was suffering from depression, a big part of depression is how the person thinks but the behaviourist perspective may not be able to change the way someone thinks because it ignores cognitive processes; meaning the
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