‘Behaviourists Explain Maladaptive Behaviour in Terms of the Learning Principles That Sustain and Maintain It. Discuss This Statement and Show How a Behaviourists Approach to Therapy Is in Stark Contrast to a Psychoanalytic One’

Behaviourism was originally founded by John B. Watson who believed that behaviour had the means to be measured, trained and changed (1913). The behavioural theory is firstly based on experiment and secondly by describing how human behaviour is learnt through principles and rules. Maladaptive behaviour is when an individual is unable to adjust to situations; psychologists use this term to describe patterns of emotional disturbance. Both behavioural and psychoanalytic psychologists use this in different ways.
  The behavioural theory is based on two main factors being biological drives such as primitive needs and sex drive and what is learnt. The three main principles in the behavioural theory are stimuli, response and conditioning. Behaviour is believed to be a conditioned response to an environmental stimulus. Individuals are obliged to react to stimuli using their senses such as seeing and hearing. There are short lived unlearned behaviours such as suckling and unlearned grasping. Responses are overt and implicit, learned or unlearned. Response can be foreseen if stimuli are available and stimuli can be predicted from the response. Unlearned responses are automatic such as breathing heavily and perspiring when running. Unlearned behaviours are conditioned soon after birth. Learned responses are due to conditioning and habit forming. Innately, unconditioned stimuli produce response for example looking away from bright light. Outcomes are dependent on how a response has been conditioned for example a young child may learn to be fearful of a dog or have interest in one.
Behaviourist state that learned behaviour is a result of training or conditioning and nothing instinctual.
Main Essay
There are two main types of conditioning in the behavioural theory, these being classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning uses association to develop a new behaviour. Stimuli are paired to produce a new learned response. Classical...