The Behavioral Approach to Psychopathology

667 Words3 Pages
The behavioural approach to Psychopathology. The behavioural approach to psychopathology believes we learn everything, so any abnormalities are down to something we have learnt in the past. The behavioural approach believes that we acquire at least some of our normal behaviour thought learning, this is what Pavlov called classical conditioning. He believed that human abnormal behaviours can also be learnt in this way through faulty learning etc. In 1920, an experiment that would not be able to be taken out today was by John Watson and Rosalie Rayner who worked with an 11month old boy called ‘Little Albert’. They initially tested his response to white fluffy objects which were a white rat, white rabbit and white cotton wool, after this first test the small boy showed no fear. These objects were therefore neutral to the boy, what they now wanted to do was create a conditioned response to the objects, they did this by lets Little Albert touch each of the objects but hit a steel bar with a hammer every time he did so, so he became scared. They repeated this 3 times, and then did the same a week later. After that whenever he came in contact with these objects he would cry, therefore Watson ad Rayner had created a conditioned response. They also found that Little Albert had a negative response towards to Santa Claus’ beard because it represented something white and fluffy. Another theory that Pavlov stated, was that he had discovered that dogs were actually capable of learning through repeated association. Whilst completing a different experiment altogether than had no psychological link he was feeding dogs studying their digestion until he noticed that the dogs were responding to the sight of the research assistants' white lab coats, which the animals had come to associate with the presentation of food. He then investigated how these conditioned responses were actually
Open Document