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PSYCHOLOGY
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What is a limitation of the behaviourist approach in psychology?

Here is a limitation in the style of a PEEL evaluation paragraph: One limitation of the behaviourist approach is that it is reductionist. For example it only considers animals, including humans, to be passive and machine-like responders to the environment, with little to no conscious insight into their behaviour. This is a limitation because it fails to consider the complexities of human behaviour. Other approaches such as social learning theory or the cognitive approach have emphasised the importance of mental processes during learning. These processes, which mediate between stimulus and response, suggest that people may play a much more active role in their own learning. This means that learning theory may apply less to human than to animal behaviour. Consequently the credibility of the behaviourist approach is reduced.

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Claire Woods
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227 students helped

It relies heavily on empirical methods which lack ecological validity. Most of the research is done under highly controlled conditions which don’t mimic real life situations where conditioning would take place.

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Katy Burch
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The behaviourist approach emphasises that Psychology should be seen as a science and that behaviour is learned through the environment, by collecting data through careful and controlled observation and measurement of behaviour. This can be seen as a weakness because it limits the understanding and the factors influencing our behaviour. For example, the behaviourist approach focuses more on the nurture side of the nature/nurture debate. This means that all behaviour is learned, ignoring the way the genetic make-up could have an effect on shaping behaviour.

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Fahima Aziz
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282 students helped

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