Which perspective suggests that the field should focus on observable behavior that can be measured objectively? A. Cognitive B. Neuroscience C. Behavioral D. Psychodynamic


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Greg Allen answered
Observable behavior that can be measured objectively is focused on from a behavioral perspective. This is commonly known as applied behavior analysis and involves observing the relationship between the behavior of a person in relation to the environment they are in. This theory dismisses the use of hypothetical situations that are used in other forms of therapy.

The assessment of the behavior and the environment, enable the possibility of adapted behavior. Behavior is classed as everything that people feel and think. There are two main types of behavior that are referred to when discussing behaviorist theory. These are:

  • Operant conditioning
  • Respondent conditioning
Operant conditioning is the behavior that results in either a positive or a negative outcome. Operant conditioning is when a person does something deliberately and this will produce the outcome that was expected by the person.

Respondent conditioning, also known as Pavlovian conditioning, is behavior that is influenced by a stimulus. Ivan Pavlov first observed this behavior in 1927 when researching responses of dogs to certain stimuli. Food was served to dogs and at the same time a bell was rung. After a while the bell alone would cause the dog to salivate, as they believed that the bell signified that they would be receiving food.

When looking at human reactions, this form of conditioning is most effective and requires a shorter time to be spent with a therapist, and the most common use for behaviorist therapy is when people are looking to reduce fear, or to reduce bad feelings towards something, or someone.

Other therapies including cognitive and psychodynamic are more in-depth and require more time to be spent with therapists and more effort from therapists themselves.

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