Blog 4: Behaviorism

5 Commentsby   |  04.02.13  |  Student Posts

Michelle getting potty trained.

While there are many adorable clips involving Michelle Tanner, in order to view the clip involving Danny potty training her you should skip to about 2:51. Within this small clip, the behaviorist model is clearly given. Danny not only shows Michelle what to do by demonstrating with Potty Polly exactly what her actions should be, he also tells her exactly what type of positive reinforcement Michelle will receive once she “rings the bell.” Danny not only gives Michelle positive reinforcement when she successfully uses the potty but he pairs the stimulus of ringing the bell with a cookie, which as most of us know who are die hard Full House fans, Michelle loves cookies. So, within this clip Danny proves that he is a smart father when it comes to conditioning his children. He perfectly models what Michelle must do to learn how to use the potty and then he allows her to learn what kind of rewards she can get when she acts in the right way. Unfortunately, the clip does not show how successful Michelle is at being potty trained but since the show continues into her adolescence I would say that Danny accomplishes his goal of potty training his daughter.


  1. Kelsey Hilton
    8:40 am, 04.03.13

    Potty training is a great example! We use rewards for children and animals to train them to use the restroom in the appropriate place and even time. We know that the middle of an interview is not an appropriate time to get up and use the bathroom. However, timing seems to be learned through modeling rather than conditioning which I find interesting. Good call Meghan, and thanks for the Full House reference!

  2. Ana Rodriguez
    11:48 am, 04.03.13

    I agree with both of you! Potty training kids can be one of the most frustrating steps towards teaching your kids self control, independence, and plain hygiene. It makes me wonder about what other types of things we are very behaviorally trained as children. I know for me I now have to clean my dishes right after I eat them because I was constantly reinforced to do so when I was little. Saying yes mam and no sir is also a good example.

  3. Paige Wilson
    5:18 pm, 04.03.13

    This is a great example of behaviorist principles! This makes me think about using this type of conditioning when working with children with autism. Therapists frequently use similar techniques when teaching children on the autism spectrum to use alternate forms of communication, such as sentence strips, to request. Very interesting and effective stuff!

  4. Gavin Lane
    9:25 pm, 04.03.13

    I like this example a lot because I have always doubted how this conditioning technique could be applied to humans. Sure, Pavlov can train a dog but a dog has a brain the size of a peanut and is an incredibly simple animal. This proves to me that humans can be “trained” and maybe we are simple animals too! Interesting!!

  5. Laura Jane Hood
    10:58 pm, 04.03.13

    This is a great example! I am a nanny and I see this real life example of conditioning all the time in the families I work for. Most recently, and effectively, I’ve seen almost this exact thing done with M&Ms and a star chart.

Add a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.