Abbey, Dusan and Jordan

Definition of Behaviourism

Behaviourists say that humans do not have minds, and the only way we can ever know anything about a person’s mental state is if we observe them for a while and analyse their actions. When we see someone having a certain face expression or body language it makes us think they are feeling a certain way, although, that person could be feeling a different way to what you think. They aim to use psychology to help them study the link between the brain state and human behaviour.

 Strengths of Behaviourism

The strengths of behaviourism are that the theory of behaviourism is simple and easy to apply to, this theory works because you can see physical evidence to support what was thought unlike other theories, and you can also find results mentally.

 Weaknesses of Behaviourism

People react to certain things differently, when something amusing happened some people might just do a small laugh and not thinks it is very funny, but other people might find it hilarious and laugh extremely hard. The theory does not always work. Sometimes the behaviour has not really been stopped. The person could be pretending they have stopped the behaviour

Personal View

Our personal view on behaviourism is that you can tell how a person is feeling by their body language. If a person is upset they might cry or sit in silence. People react to emotions differently, when people are happy some might smile and laugh, other may begin to cry. You never really know how people will react to certain things; this is also because people may take certain things in differently.

Definition of Dualism


Dualism is a theory about having a physical part of the body which is our brain and also having a non physical part which is the mind. Descartes also states that there is a connection between the physical and non physical part of the brain, and they can interact with each other even though they are made out of different substances.

 Strengths of Dualism 

The strengths of Dualism are that the mind and the physical state of the brain are two different stories. The ‘mind’ is associated with what things feel like, what they look like, what they smell like, things that can’t be sorted in the category of the physical brain. Another strength of Dualism is that no one can analyse your brain, behaviours etc, and come up with an accurate conclusion of what you’re thinking, or what’s on your mind. Dualism allows for introspection, the process of self observation, the opposite of extrospection which the thinking outward. Some religious views are supported by Dualism.

Weaknesses of Dualism 

The simplest explanation of why Dualism fails is that, it doesn’t explain how the mind works, how it develops, or even what it’s made of. We’ve grown into a world, where everything has a scientific explanation though Dualism does not, each physical action must be accompanied by a physical cause, and Dualism does not work this way. Dualism itself is outdated compared to the knowledge today’s world contains about brains, and it’s only a matter of time before people discover more about the physical working and ‘mental states’ of the brain.

Personal Opinion 

The fact that no one can explain what you’re thinking, using any form of science, must mean that Dualism’s strengths outweigh the weaknesses meaning I’d have to agree. Dualism might not be able to explain how the mind works, or how it develops, but the opposing party can neither guess what you’re thinking.

Definition of Materialism Materialism has to do with seeing and feeling things. If a person see’s themselves in pain they will tell themselves they are in pain. Materialists say that matter exists but they cannot prove that it doesn’t. 

Strengths Experiences that appear non-physical are actually the beginnings of physical behaviour. e.g. `pain` is the start of the behaviour of `crying out`. We live in a physical universe. All of our experiences must therefore be in the physical world. Everything can be told in terms of this material world. There is no physical evidence for the existence of something called `soul`. The idea that we are more than physical, that there is another level of reality that is supernatural or immaterial. 

Weaknesses People say when you are thinking, you don’t have electrochemical reactions going off in your head, you experience nothing, but materialism claims that all these things are happening. Materialism does not allow any spirituality and lacks qualia. How we think our mental starts are could be wrong, it could be different to what it actually is so they are not identical. This means that this theory is different to Leibiz’s Law, he claims that they should be numerically equal.