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PSY FPX 6110 Assessment 2 Learnig Theory Comparison

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Capella University

PSY FPX 6110 Learning Theories in Psychology

Prof. Name

Date

Abstract

Behaviorism and cognitive theory provide contrasting perspectives on human behavior. Skinner’s radical behaviorism merges thoughts and actions with behaviorism, emphasizing operant conditioning’s core concepts. Behaviorists prioritize observable, measurable behavior and stimuli, leading to various learning and therapeutic interventions. In contrast, cognitive theory underscores the importance of internal processes in shaping behavior, particularly the influence of inaccurate beliefs in emotional disorders. This paper compares and contrasts Skinner’s behaviorism and cognitive learning theory using Greta’s case.

Learning Theory Comparison – How Behaviorist and Cognitive Learning Theorist Look at Greta’s Case

Behaviorism and cognitive theory diverge in their explanations of human behavior, both originating from observations but emphasizing different aspects. While behaviorism focuses on environmental influences, cognitive psychology delves into internal mental processes during learning. This paper uses Greta’s case to examine the differences between Skinner’s behaviorism and cognitive learning theory.

Learning Theory: Behaviorism vs. Cognitive Theory

Skinner’s Behavior Theory

B. F. Skinner, a prominent behaviorist, posits that learning experiences shape behavior based on the stimulus-response model. Skinner emphasizes observable behaviors, conducting experiments to explore the laws of learning. His operant conditioning theory elucidates acquired responses, conditioned reinforcement, generalization, and extinction. Positive reinforcement increases the likelihood of behavior, while punishment decreases it. However, Skinner’s theory overlooks human mental activity, treating the brain as a black box. Despite this limitation, behavior modification effectively applies operant conditioning principles in various contexts.

Cognitive Learning Theory

Cognitive psychology views the mind as an information processor, considering both environmental effects and internal mental processes. This theory examines how information is perceived, interpreted, stored, and retrieved, using rigorous experiments to infer cognitive processes. However, it tends to focus on logical thinking, often overlooking emotional, creative, and social aspects. Despite these limitations, cognitive theory has widespread applications in education and therapy, emphasizing the role of faulty thinking in psychological disturbances.

The Greta Case Seen by A Radical Behaviorist

Greta developed Cynophobia due to traumatic experiences with a black dog in her childhood. Her fear was reinforced through avoidance behaviors, leading to increased anxiety. Exposure therapy, recommended by behavior therapists, aims to desensitize individuals to feared stimuli gradually.

The Greta Case Seen by A Cognitive Theorist

Cognitive theorists highlight the role of faulty thinking in psychological disturbances. Greta’s avoidance behaviors stem from her negative beliefs about dogs, perpetuating her fear. Cognitive therapy aims to modify these beliefs to alleviate anxiety.

PSY FPX 6110 Assessment 2 Learnig Theory Comparison

Conclusion

Behaviorism and cognitive theory offer valuable insights into human behavior. While behaviorism prioritizes observable stimuli-behavior responses, cognitive theory delves into internal cognitive processes. Combining both approaches may enhance interventions, as seen in Greta’s case of Cynophobia.

References

American Psychological Association. (2017). What is exposure therapy? Society of Clinical Psychology, July. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-andfamilies/exposure-therapy

Clark, D. A., & Beck, A. T. (2010). Cognitive theory and therapy of anxiety and depression: Convergence with neurobiological findings. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(9), 418-424. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2010.06.007

Cutting, J. E. (2012). Ulric Neisser (1928-2012). The American Psychologist, 67(6).

Grusec, J. E. (1992). Social learning theory and developmental psychology: The legacies of Robert Sears and Albert Bandura. Developmental Psychology, 28(5), 776. https://doi.org/10.1037/10155-016

McCleod, S. (2020). Cognitive Psychology. SimplyPsychology. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive.html

PSY FPX 6110 Assessment 2 Learnig Theory Comparison

Skinner, B. F. (1971). Beyond freedom and dignity. Penguin Books.

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