Pearson BTEC National Applied Psychology: Revision Guide

Larry organised a cake sale for Children in Need. He distributed flyers, with images of cakes and other sweet goodies. When people turned up, he gave them a free cake and cup of tea. He put on a demonstration of cake-making for people who had never baked. Larry sold lots of cakes and raised lots of money. Referring to an example from the scenario, explain one key assumption from the behaviourist/social learning approaches. (2 marks) Apply it Imitation of other people’s behaviour is one way children learn. Assumptions of the four approaches A1: Approaches and assumptions SPEC SPOTLIGHT A3 Behaviourist and social learning approaches: • Behaviour is a learned response to environmental stimuli. • Behaviour can be learned from observation and imitation. A4 Biological approach: • Behaviour is influenced by central nervous system (CNS), genes and neurochemistry. • Behaviour is a product of evolution. Assumptions of the behaviourist and social learning approaches Behaviour is a learned response to environmental stimuli Things in the environment bring about learning. If you touch a hot pan, you are hurt and learn not to do it again. If you smile when you ask a favour, you get what you want and learn to do it again. There are two main forms of learning: Classical conditioning Learning by association (Pavlov) – dogs salivated when they heard a door open because they associated noise of the door with food. Operant conditioning Learning by consequences (Skinner) – if a behaviour produces a pleasurable consequence (reward) it will be repeated. The environment reinforces (strengthens) the behaviour. Behaviour can be learned from observation and imitation Learning can occur through observation/ imitation of other people’s behaviour (Bandura). E.g. child observes parents’/carers’ behaviour (role models) and imitates it if they see behaviour rewarded (with praise, money, etc.). This is vicarious reinforcement (i.e. the model’s behaviour is rewarded, not the child’s). Assumptions of the biological approach Behaviour is influenced by central nervous system (CNS), genes and neurochemistry Everything psychological is firstly biological, so behaviours, thoughts, feelings have a physical basis. Central nervous system (CNS) Consists of the brain and spinal cord, the body’s control centre. Different areas of the brain perform different functions (e.g. language, aggression). Damage to the brain/CNS seriously affects these functions. Genes ‘Units’ of DNA (inherited from parents) interact with environment. Many behaviours are passed down generations. Neurochemistry Brain neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, etc.) affect behaviour (e.g. dopamine is disrupted in schizophrenia). Behaviour is a product of evolution Genetically-determined behaviours that are successful continue into future generations (= natural selection, Darwin). Behaviours and characteristics enhancing an individual’s chances of survival and reproduction are selected. E.g. someone with good hunting skills is more likely to thrive and survive (they have food to eat). So they are more likely to reproduce successfully. Their skills (e.g. fast reactions) are passed onto offspring. AO1 Description 11 Copyright: Sample material