Behavior Psychology Essay

1894 words - 8 pages

Behavior Psychology Psychology is defined as a science that focuses on the study of and to
explain the way human’s think, behave, and feel. The behaviourist
school of psychology is concerned with the explanation of behaviour
through observable outcomes without making reference to mental events.
Behaviourism is very narrow and can be strongly objected in its
approach to psychology as it does not consider the mental thought
process involvement in behaviour. This school of psychology is very
much about nurture rather than nature. (Harre and Lamb, 1983).

In early 20th century there was a surge of interest in the explaining
of how learning takes place by exploring the observable mechanisms of
learning. This new interest focused on observable forms of behaviour
which included bodily movement that was visible by an observer and
also the internal physical processes connected to overt bodily
movement and how these could be modified. This interest developed into
the psychological theory of behaviourism. (McInerney, 1998)

Behaviourists believe that behaviour is simply learned habits and
reactions humans and animals and personality merely a collection of
these habits. Therefore the goal of behaviourism is to predict, modify
and condition human behaviour (“ The Behavioural Approach”). A
behaviourist psychologist aims to recondition patients’ behaviour and
reactions to stimuli. These goals would be used in circumstances such
as drug abuse, alcoholism, overcoming phobias and teaching children
and teenagers.

According to behaviourism basically all behaviour can be explained as
the product of learning and all learning consists of conditioning
(Colman, 2001). The belief is that human behaviour can be trained
because human emotions are so malleable therefore personality is
forever changeable (Cohen, 1979). Behaviour is simply a reaction to a
stimulus which once learned becomes part of learned habit. It was also
believed learning occurs through the reinforcement of certain aspects
of the situation. Reinforcement is when something is added to the
situation which makes the same reaction in that situation more likely
in future (McInerney, 1998). The belief was that most of behaviour is
a result of what has been learnt, which is to say that it is the
result of the environment rather than biological influences.

Therefore the study of learning and the conditions under which it
occurs is the core project of behaviourism (Tennant, 1997)

Behaviouristic therapy is aimed at the modification of behaviour
especially undesirable ones by mainly reinforcing the desirable
behaviour and suppressing or punishing the undesirable and...

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