Critically Evaluate the Adequacy of Behaviourist Principles of Conditioning in Explaining Human Behaviour

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Critically evaluate the adequacy of behaviourist principles of conditioning in explaining human behaviour From collating a great deal of research on the topic, one has to assert the view that behaviourist principles of conditioning are not wholly adequate in explaining human behaviour for various reasons. Both classical and operant conditioning appear to be short-lived in explaining human behaviour hence, the argument stressed by Brewer is exceptional that “ all the results of the traditional conditioning literature are due to the operation of higher mental processes… in the adult human…” (Brewer 1974 pg. 27 ). This ideology stands firm in the agenda of this essay as conditioning does not cover all grounds on explaining human behaviour. However, one must not totally disclaim behaviourist principles of conditioning, but instead acknowledge that both classical and operant conditioning have greatly aided our understanding of how anxiety disorders are synthesised in humans and how adults can effectively parent and regulate the behaviour of their children. Classical conditioning is the notion identified with John B.Watson which some would argue clearly demonstrates human behaviour and learning. To outline; classical conditioning is the understanding that human behaviour is shaped and maintained through making an association between one stimulus and another(Psychology 8th Edition Gleitman) . In addition a completely neutral stimulus is presented to the subject where at first there is no reaction. However, when this neutral stimulus is presented and paired with a traumatic object or event, the fear is acquired and exacerbated (Mineka & Zinbarg) . Some argue that this particular behaviourist principle is adequate in explaining human behaviour because it has helped to construct an understanding of how phobias become apparent and maintained through individuals. This is
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