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Transcript
BEHAVIORAL THEORIES
BELIEFS OF BEHAVIORISTS
 Observable behaviors, (not cognitive actions,) are the proper subject matter for
Psychologists.
 Organism’s behaviors are responses to environmental stimuli.
 As individuals differ in their experiences, they will acquire different behaviors, and
subsequently, different personalities.
 Changing environmental conditions can influence a person for the better.
 Therefore, personality is not static – it can continue to change.
 Idiographic approach – studies the individual without presuming that each person
will be affected or respond the same way to the same environmental stimuli.
JOHN WATSON
 “Father” of American Behaviorist Theory
 Focused research on classical conditioning – Pavlov’s experiments
 Believed in the importance of environment & nurturing in the growth of children.
 Children are passive beings who can be molded by controlling stimulus response
associations.
 “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring
them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any
type of specialist I might select doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant chief, and yes, even
beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities,
vocations,and the race of his ancestors” (From Behaviorism,by John Watson, 1924)
B.F. SKINNER
 Research on Operant Conditioning &
Negative reinforcement – behaviors are
dependent on what happens AFTER the
response, not before.
 Operant Behavior.
 “All we need to know in order to describe and
explain behavior is this: actions followed by
good outcomes are likely to recur , and
actions followed by bad outcomes are less
likely to recur.” (Skinner, 1953)
REINFORCEMENT
 POSITIVE REINFORCER – Increases the frequency of the behavior when it is
presented, (eg. rewarding good behavior with food or money).
 NEGATIVE REINFORCER – Increases the frequency of the behavior when adverse
stimuli is removed, (eg. Rewarding good behavior by removing an unpleasant task like
washing dishes or homework). *Note – negative reinforcement is NOT a punishment
PUNISHMENT
 Punishment is an unpleasant stimulus
that suppresses behavior.
 Often used for “quick results” but
psychologists recommend
reinforcement instead due to
weaknesses of punishment.
WEAKNESSES OF PUNISHMENT
- Does not suggest an alternate,
acceptable form of behavior.
- Suppresses behavior only as long as
the delivery is guaranteed. If parents
are inconsistent, children learn how to
“get away with murder.”
- Punishment may be imitated as an
appropriate way of solving problems.
ALBERT BANDURA
 Learning is also acquired by observation and
imitation.
 People are free thinkers, capable of free choice
and self regulation.
 Children gradually become more selective in
what they imitate.
 Modeling is the process through which
observational learning takes place.
 Models are likely to be people close to and/or
looked up to by the subject. ie. parents
HUMANISTIC THEORY
Founded on the belief that all human beings strive for “Selfactualization” (the realization of our potentialities as unique human
beings.
ABRAHAM MASLOW
CARL ROGERS
- Person centered perspective.
- Everyone is looking for “self-actualization, but we often suffer from conflict between what we value
in ourselves and what others value in us.
Two sides to every person:
- Organism: whole of a person (incl. body). Strives to be everything it can be.
- Self: image of who you are and what you value. Develops based on observing how others react to us.
- Negative reactions cause us to develop “conditions of worth” – beliefs that we are only good/worthy if
we behave in certain ways.
- Lead us to start denying aspects of our organism.
- Greater gap between our two selves = a limited and defensive person
- Treatment – Unconditional Positive Regard – when others value us in our entirety, we will begin to
do the same, eventually self & organism become one, and we will become fully functioning