Pros and Cons of Behaviourism

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One of the notable strengths of behaviourism, is that in, studying observable human behaviour , it has produced a series of practical applications and techniques, with regards to the shaping of behaviour, such as for example the benefits of the use of rewards in a work environment (Gang, 2011). Also, through behaviourism theory, another key advantage is that the findings produced can be replicated through experiments, thus enhancing the credibility of the study of science as a discipline(Gang, 2011). It is important to mention that the experiments conducted, are  not conducted on humans however, such as the Skinner box experiment, conducted on rats by B.F. Skinner to experiment on operant conditioning to alter the strength of a behaviour through means of punishment or reinforcement (Gang, 2011). At the same time, by studying human behaviour through experimenting on animals, this carries the disadvantage through the concept that individuals are perceived to be more complex than animals. Moreover, the notions of classical and operant conditioning through which behaviourism theory is studied, do not account for the spontaneous behaviour exhibited by individuals (Gang, 2011). Lastly, the behaviourism theory considers individuals to be passive learners, which is contrary to the humanistic approach, which views individuals as active agents, that can control and determining their own level of development (Gang,2011).

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