Blog 4: Behaviorism

2 Commentsby   |  04.02.13  |  Student Posts

Many people may have a problem with the knowledge that they can be controlled, and may not even know it. I had to cope with this idea as well. But when put into perspective, behaviorism can be radically life changing for those who are in need of therapy. It is the most scientific way to approach psychological conditions and has proven to be very effective. However, many advances in behaviorism has dealt with the reactions one may get form animals. Dogs, for example, that are trained use operant condition to either reinforce or punish behaviors. Without knowledge of behaviorism, we would not be able to train our pets. The problem is that we cannot always apply what we learn about animal behaviors to human behaviors. Human complexity is evident, simply by the fact that not one school of thought or technique has been able to completely describe and predict every person. Concepts about animal behaviors can usually be generalized, but with people, because we operate at a higher level of intellect, our world, experiences, and genetic make it hard to analyze a person using one theory – including behaviorism.

One use of behaviorism I think every person, or at least every parent, can benefit from is potty training. Rewarding behaviors for potty training can be really helpful, because it gives a child as sense of accomplishment. The Huggies commercials themselves are even  reinforcing; they tell children they are “big kids” if they use the potty, giving them a sense of pride and responsibility  There are so many examples of everyday uses for behaviorism, but that was just one I chose.



  1. Meghan Lawrence
    11:38 pm, 04.02.13

    I enjoyed your comparison between animal and human behaviorism. I never really thought about the differences and how resistant humans could be to being controlled by this school of thought, but it was enlightening getting to read about your thoughts!

  2. MaryLynn Kemp
    11:14 pm, 04.03.13

    I like that you brought in potty training as a real-life example of behaviorism in our everyday lives.. Not just something that makes pigeons turn in circles, but something that can actually be used to make people’s lives better. I think it’s fascinating that behaviorism is one of the few types of therapy that can be just as useful in the lives of healthy people as for those in need of therapy.

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