1 Commentby   |  04.02.13  |  Student Posts


I used to be totally against Behaviorism until we recently discussed it in class. I thought the concept of us just modifying behavior in order to change went against what I believed. Now I have discovered more about the helpful side of behaviorism like the video we watched in class about the experimenter helping the autistic girl and how that can really help her life. I also realized how much behaviorism is in our everyday lives and all around us with advertising and TV.

I found this clip of one of my favorite TV shows called New Girl. Throughout the season one of the main characters, Shmit, always says or does things that seem slightly socially unacceptable. He tends to say what is on his mind without first taking into account how uncomfortable the other person might feel. His three roommates came up with a system to help negatively reinforce his behavior. They made a “douchebag jar” that he must donate money to whenever he says or does anything unacceptable. In this way they hope to reduce or eliminate this behavior.

Douchebag Jar- New Girl

Similar to this video are ways that parents using conditioning to discipline kids growing up. Some times kids are conditioned with positive reinforcement such as parents paying them money if they get all A’s on their report card. Some use negative ways to discipline kids such as spanking them anytime they act out in public and once the acting out stops, so does the spankings. I don’t agree with some of the discipline that occurs nowadays, but I would be a little nervous to see how different the world would be without some sort of conditioning.

1 Comment

  1. Lincoln Woods
    9:49 pm, 04.02.13

    This is probably the best example of the use of behaviorism ever. The use of the DB Jar is a perfect example of how behaviorism is used to influence behavior. Although somewhat childish and silly, it uses the same principles as behaviorism. When a specific behavior occurs, Schmidt acts in a way that the roommates don’t like, he is required to put his own money in the jar. This act is done in an effort to reduce the behavior that the roommates hope to extinguish. Unfortunately for the roommates on the show, I don’t think Schmidt will ever change. However, that doesn’t mean that this is not a good example of using the principles of behaviorism to try and influence behavior.

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