Behavioural model Underlying assumptions Criticisms • Scientific and testable: • The simplicity of the model makes it easy to conduct research to test how association and rewards affect behaviour. • Can’t account for all human behaviour: • There is no doubt that learning theory can account for some aspects of normal and abnormal behaviour. • For example, some individuals develop a phobia of dogs after being bitten. • However, much of human behaviour is more complex than this, as we saw in our study of stress. • The way we think about things affects our responses. • Behaviourism disregards thoughts and emotions. Assumptions of the behavioural model • Learned through conditioning: All behaviour is learned through experience. • Only behaviour is important: Behaviourists assume that the mind is an unneccessary concept; it is sufficient to explain behaviour not causes. • Same laws apply to human and non human behaviour: Behaviourist principles can be applied both to humans and non humans. Assumptions of the behaviour model about the treatment of abnormality • What can be learned can be unlearned. • Underisable behaviours are identified and then, through classical conditioning, the patient is taught new, more desirable behaviours. • Undesirable behaviours may be extinguished by breaking stimulus response links. Focus on symptoms • The behavioural model focuses on behaviour, and thus it follows that the treatment should also focus on observable behaviour. • Behavioural clinicians do not consider causes. • This means that the DSM is an unsuitable aid to diagnosis. Criticisms • Effective • Behavioural therapies have been found to be effective for some behaviours, such as phobias. • Such therapies have the advantage of being quick and requiring little effort on the client’s part. Criticisms • Treating the symptoms not the causes: • Behavioural therapies may not work with certain disorders because the symptoms are only the tip of the iceberg. • If you remove the symptoms the cause still remains, and the smptoms will simply resurface, possibly in another form. • Ethical issues: Who chooses what is right and wrong.
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