0 Commentsby   |  04.02.13  |  Student Posts

The study of behaviorism is a particular study that first caught my attention in my first psychology class here at ACU, Intro to Psychology. Before this time, I had never heard behaviorism or really put much thought into the idea of learned and reinforced behaviors as a study. I can vividly remember learning about Pavlov’s theory, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and negative and positive reinforcement and punishment and just being vastly intrigued by this field of study. You can see the principles of behaviorism being used today in several places. For me, I love sports, and the first place I see this in sports is in football. In attempts to “make the game safer”, fines are being issued out for hits that were perfectly legal five years ago.  This is a perfect example of negative punishment. The league is taking money away from players in order to reduce the likelihood that they will repeat their behavior. There have been players like James Harrison who have had to completely alter their style of play, and there are players like Ed Reed who are simply taking the fines as they come as he continues to play hard knock football the way he always has. There are going to be two outcomes to this approach, either they fold under what they are “being taught”, or they will ignore the attempt at learned behavior.

As I have learned more about this field the more I have come to understand the power that comes with this style of therapy. Many people can be considered to be in a vulnerable state when they enter into therapy, and there is much power available to the therapist with behavior therapy. The powers to manipulate and control others who essentially need you more than you need them. The power to be able to teach someone or something to act a certain way if you know how to play your cards right. It takes a person of integrity and responsibility to make sure they are conducting their practice in a helpful manner and not one of manipulation.

This field continues to be greatly interesting to me and I plan to continue learning, understanding, and applying behaviorism to my own future experiments and experiences.

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