Psychology Of Behaviorism Theory 2022


Added on  2022-09-28

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Psychology Of Behaviorism Theory 2022_1

Behaviourist theory, also known as behavioural theory or empiricism or
behaviourism, stands among the main theoretical perspectives in the first language
acquisition. It starts as a sense of response against the self-examining psychology of the late
nineteenth and the early twentieth century and gradually, ruled the study of learning all
through the first half of 20th century (Wells, 2014). This paper shall elaborate on critically
evaluating the use of behaviourist theory for explaining child learning and development.
It is to note that behaviourism is a provident approach for gaining a deep
understanding of the different behaviours of human beings and that of other animals. It is a
worldview that is operating on the principle of “stimulus-response”- all the behaviours are the
result of external stimuli and all the behaviours could be explained without the necessity for
considering the internal mental states and human consciousness. According to Nalliah and
Idris (2014), behaviourism is a view that assumes that a learner is essentially passive and he
or she responds to the environmental stimuli. According to Wray (2014), there are a total of
three types of behavioural learning and they are classical conditioning, operant conditioning
and observational learning. Classical condition refers to the learning process in which a
relationship is made among two stimuli. With the help of this behavioural learning, two
stimuli are linked together for producing a new learned response. Among these two stimuli,
one stimulus is neutral and the other one evokes natural response.
Operant conditioning on the other hand refers to the process of learning where the
responses are controlled by certain consequences. The possibility of certain responses taking
place is either decreased or increased because of either a punishment or a reinforcement
consequence. Punishment helps in decreasing a behaviour while reinforcement helps in
increasing the same (Adams & Dickinson, 2014). It is to note that punishment refers to the
“things that decreases the possibility of a response would take place” (Rhee, Dedahanov &
Lee, 2014). There are two major types of punishment- positive and negative. The positive is
Psychology Of Behaviorism Theory 2022_2

addition of undesirable stimulus after a response for ensuring that the response would take
place less and would stop. For instance, giving a child extra home work for misbehaving. On
the other hand negative punishment is removing a pleasing stimulus after a response to ensure
that the response would take place less and would stop. For instance, taking away video
games or television from a child for misbehaving. Whereas, reinforcement is about the
consequence that “increases the likelihood of a response to take place” (Eagle et al., 2014). It
is also divided into positive and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is adding
good stimulus after a response for encouraging the response to continue. For example,
praising a child after he displays a desired behaviour. On the contrary, negative reinforcement
is removing undesirable stimulus after a response for encouraging the response to continue.
For example, fastening the seatbelt in a car so that beeping sound is topped. Lastly, it is
observational learning which refers to the process where learning takes place through
observation of the behaviours of others and imitating them. However, according to Caughlan
and Jiang (2014), it is not considered as strict behaviourism.
It is note that parent often engage themselves in thinking why their child act certain
ways at certain times. What they do not realise is that it is all because of brain. It is the brain
that is conditioned for responding in a certain way and it is a learned behaviour that repeats
itself again and again. A child learns that if he starts crying, he will get a response and he
might then get a response like throwing temper tantrum that no parent likes and wants over as
quickly as possible. This is why, a special something is given to the child for stopping the
behaviour. In this way he figures out how to get that special treat. For several years, the
concepts of behaviourist theory have formed the major basis of majority of the learning
theory that are applied in the rearing of children and in classrooms. Behaviourism helps in
shaping appropriate behaviour of children in the classroom (Drupsteen & Guldenmund,
2014). As per this theory, behaviour of children could be modified and controlled on the basis
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