Behavioral Theory Influence on Personality

1250 words 5 pages
Behavioral Theory Influence on Personality

There are a number of theories which have attempted to explain human behavior and its impact on social as well as work life. These theories have tried to explain how human behavior shapes a person’s personality. One of the important theories is the Behavioral Theory or Behaviorism. This theory depends on the premise that all kinds of human behaviors are basically acquired via conditioning. The behavioral theories originated in the first part of the 20th century and were promoted by eminent psychologists like John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner. These behavioral techniques are in use even today to facilitate the learning process of individuals and learn new behavior in various circumstances.
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This is what is known as operant conditioning. Now, an outcome or consequence may result because of the behavior. The nature of this outcome may determine the tendency of the individual to carry out the same action or behavior in future. Thus, the probability of the occurrence of the same behavior increases as a result of the reinforcing stimulus following a behavior. In case a reinforcing stimulus does not ensue as a result of a behavior, the probability of a repetition of such a behavior decreases. Again, if a behavior is followed by an aversive stimulus, the probability of a repetition of such a behavior decreases. The removal of an aversive stimulus by an experimenter results in a negative reinforcement. If an aversive stimulus, which follows a certain type of behavior, is removed, the chance of repetition of such a behavior increases. The operant conditioning behavioral theory may find applications in the educational sphere for understanding and manipulating the behavior of students. However, it may not always be possible for teachers to determine positive and negative reinforcements for every situation or behavior. (Davis, 2006) Another behaviorist whose theories added to the understanding of human behavior and how it influences personality was Albert Bandura. According to Bandura, people may learn new behavior by observing others and change their own behavior accordingly without receiving any rewards to do so. According to Bandura and other


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