Behavioral Approach Psychological Theory. 1
Behavioral Approach Psychological Theory. 3
Radical: Skinnerian Behaviorism Theory. 4
Behaviorism is fundamentally an approach in psychology that is founded on the suggestion that, it is possible to research behavior scientifically devoid of recourse to internal mental states. Behaviorism is a type of materialism, which denies any independent significance for psyche. One of the postulations of behaviorist idea is that, free will is deceptive, and that every behavior is subjective to the environment, either by means of reinforcement, or association. Behaviorism presupposes that behavior is discernible and can be interrelated with other discernible occurrences. Thus, there are occurrences that precede as well as follow behavior. Behaviorism’s objective is to clarify relationships linking stimuli (antecedent conditions), responses (behavior), and reward, neutral effect, or punishment (consequences) (Levy, 2009).
In the 20th century, the behaviorist belief system ran simultaneously with the movement for psychoanalysis in psychology. Its key theorists were Ivan Pavlov, who explored classical conditioning, Skinner, B.F, who sought to present ethical foundation to behaviorism, linking it to pragmatism. There was also John B. Watson, who discarded the introspective methods, while he sought to confine psychology to investigational laboratory methods. A number of behaviorists argue that the study of behavior is the most appropriate or expedient approach in investigating mental and psychological processes. Other behaviorists suppose that it is the only approach of studying such processes, while others posit that behavior, in itself is the only suitable subject of psychology, and that the common psychological expressions, such as belief or goals do not have any referents and/or merely denote behavior. The theorists who assume this point of view occasionally refer to their branch of learning as behavioral science or behavior analysis rather than psychology (Levy, 2009).
Fundamentally, Skinner modified the system of belief of behaviorism in order to fit in his discoveries, which entailed operant conditioning. In scientific terms, conditioning refers to learning. Operant denotes Skinner’s thought that all organisms operate on their environment, meaning that, organisms execute actions that modify the environment surrounding them, either positively or negatively. Operant psychology is founded on the notion that an action performed by an animal or a person often has consequences that transpire naturally in the surroundings. This principle is referred to as operant conditioning. Additionally, reinforcement in this theory refers to something that would make it increasingly probable that particular behavior would be repetitive. Skinner believed that, in the event that behavior is reinforced, it was liable to be repeated. He supposed that positive reinforcement is increasingly successful than punishment. Experimenters that utilize Skinner’s techniques have trained animals and birds to perform several unnatural actions. For instance, the chicken may be trained to play toy pianos, while dogs have been trained to climb ladders. These uncharacteristic behaviors are trained through a process referred to as shaping. The successive approximation, or shaping of behavior, has demonstrated to be a successful training method. It has been adopted by therapists in training people to prevail over phobias or other maladaptive behaviors (Levy, 2009).
Contemporary scientists recognize that learning entails additional complex amalgamation of factors. At times a deferred reward is increasingly effective than an instantaneous one. A mixture of punishment and reward can accelerate learning. Skinner’s ideas are adopted to train autistic and mentally retarded children. They are also utilized in industry to diminish job accidents, as well as in several applications in health-associated fields. Regardless of a few flaws in Skinner’s views, the main beliefs of operant conditioning continue play an imperative role in learning as well as behavior modification in the present day (Levy, 2009).
Levy, N. (2009). Neuroethics, New York: Pantheon Books.
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