Describe How The Behaviourist Approach Has Been Ap Essay

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Aversion therapy is linked to classical conditioning. All behaviour including undesirable behaviour, such as addictions, is learned. These addictions occur when the undesirable behaviour like smoking is associated with pleasure. If such behaviour is learnt it can be unlearned in the same way. The aim is to condition the patient to associate the undesirable behaviour with an aversive stimulus. This then leads to a suppression of the undesirable behaviour. The undesirable behaviours aversion therapy is used for include alcoholism, smoking and drug abuse. Before therapy the unconditional stimulus (UCS) would get an unconditional response (UCR). In aversion therapy, a neutral stimulus (NS) would be associated with a UCS. At first the UCS would still get a UCR but after repeating the association many times the NS would then become a conditioned stimulus (CS) and would get a conditioned response (CR) which before was the UCR. BEFORE THERAPY: Drug (UCS) ->sickness (UCR) Smoking (NS) ->no response DURING THERAPY: UCS+NS->UCR AFTER THERAPY: Smoking (CS) ->sickness (CR) BEFORE THERAPY: Shock (UCS) ->pain (UCR) Alcohol (NS) ->no response DURING THERAPY: UCS+NS->UCR AFTER THERAPY: Alcohol (CS) ->Shock (CR) In a study of alcoholics, Miller examined the effectiveness of 3 types of treatments, aversion therapy, counselling and aversion and counselling alone. After one year, all three showed the same results and therefore showed aversion therapy has no benefits. In contrast, Smith found that people who were treated with aversion therapy showed higher abstinence rates then people treated with counselling alone. From this we can conclude that the association of an aversive stimulus with an unwanted behaviour meets the aims of removing the undesirable behaviour through classical

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