behaviourism, Counselling, Freud, Jung, psychology, Uncategorized

24. Behaviourism: critique (part 4)

Criticisms and strengths

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Behaviourism is based on the controversial assumption that animals and humans share the same cognitive processes of learning. Behaviourism has been criticised by psychoanalysts for overlooking subjective experiences. It has also been widely criticised for failing to acknowledge the biological nature of humans and genetic influences, plus the artificial conditions under which many of the experiments took place. According to behaviourism, it would appear that humans do not have free will and their fate is determined by the environment (deterministic philosophy). The individual’s cognitive processes of learning or mental state are not taken into consideration. Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory (1977) demonstrated that individuals do learn through observation of others’ behaviours. Behaviourism does not seem to provide an explanation behind creative or spontaneous behaviour or indeed how individuals are capable of solving problems without the necessary lengthy periods of trial and error. However, its strengths lie in the scientific methods used where objectivity, and controlled variables, with observable and accurate measurement produce reliable results.

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