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  • Behaviourists believe that a person's actions are a result of being shaped from environmental stimuli

  • Using techniques such as reinforcement and repetition

  • Behaviourists believe that any individual can be conditioned to perform any task regardless of their background, genetic make up, personality etc. 

  • Well known theorists who supported this way of learning were Skinner and Pavlov.

  • B.F. Skinner was best known for Operant Conditioning. which is behaviour that is controlled by its consequences.

  • There are two main component's of Operant Conditioning, these are 'reinforcement' and 'punishment'. As you would expect, reinforcers increase the likelihood that a behaviour or action will be repeated, whereas a punishment is likely to reduce the behaviour. So for example, if your child receives positive reinforcement after doing something, they are more likely to repeat this behaviour. Or if you started a new diet and you lost weight, it would spur you on to keep going to get that desired effect. This is Operant Conditioning. 

  • I Pavlov was known for his experiment named "Pavlov's dog" which demonstrated his theory of Classical Conditioning. This theory proposes that you can learn the association of something through repetitive behaviours. For example, Pavlov's Dog learned that when he heard the bell ring, that meant his food was coming. Eventually, that association of the bell and then the food became stronger through reinforcement and as a result, the simple noise of the bell was enough to make the dog salivate. 

  • Another well known example of Classical Conditioning was the 'Little Albert' experiment by John B Watson where he conditioned a baby to be scared of various objects. 

For more information:

Behaviorism In Psychology (

The difference between classical and operant conditioning - Peggy Andover - YouTube

Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning - YouTube

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