2.3: Theoretical Framework

October 28, 2019

                             Theoretical Framework


Behaviorism developed at the turn of the 20th century as an approach to learning that revolves around the science of behavior. Theorists view the learner as a tabula rasa, generally without any mental internalization or introspection (with exceptions). From that point, the learner can be influenced by his environment (referred to as a "stimulus") on which he reacts (referred to as the "response") and which in turn instigates another reaction (in Skinnerism, referred to as "reinforcement"). 

Key Concepts

  • Stimulus-Response analysis
  • "Conditioning" wherein repetition of a specific behavior leads to the response
  • Learning is viewed as a series of expected responses following conditioning
  • Instruction revolves around a cyclical pattern of teacher-modeling, student-repitition, and teacher

Functional attitude theory (FAT) suggests that beliefs and attitudes are influential to various psychological functions. Attitudes can be influential on many processes such as being utilitarian (useful), social, relating to values, or a reduction of cognitive dissonance. They can be beneficial and help people interact with the world. In the late 1950s when psychoanalysis and behaviorism reigned supreme as the foci of psychological studies, Smith, Bruner, and White (1956)[1] and Katz (1960) [2] separately and independently developed typologies of human attitudes in relation to the functions to which they believed the attitudes served.[3] This theory proposes that attitudes are held by individuals because they are important and integral to psychological functioning. The function of an attitude is more important than whether the attitude is accurate or correct.
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