This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Behavioral Theory Of Personality: B.F. Skinner

1709 words - 7 pages

B.F. Skinner is a major contributor to the Behavioral Theory of personality, a theory that states that our learning is shaped by positive and negative reinforcement, punishment, modeling, and observation. An individual acts in a certain way, a.k.a. gives a response, and then something happens after the response. In order for an action to be repeated in the future, what happens after the response either encourages the response by offering a reward that brings pleasure or allows an escape from a negative situation. The former is known as positive reinforcement, the latter known as negative reinforcement (Sincero, 2012). A teenager who received money for getting an “A” is being positively ...view middle of the document...

Behaviorists also feel that are personality is established by these learned responses, which help individuals develop habits. These habits become so ingrained in people that individuals start to engage in them automatically, which leads to patterns of behavior that form one’s personality (Cicarelli & White, 2011). Some examples of habits include allowing others to take charge in a group situation, waiting until the last minute to write papers, and lighting up a cigarette when out at a bar.
Behaviorism is sometimes described by other theorists as being too focused with the external world and not enough on what an individual wants. In a sense, behaviorism regards people as more of robots, who just respond to whatever the environment throws at them. Under this theory, individuals do not have as much control of their own destiny, operating as just a by-product of whatever their environment presents. The needs, desires, wants, and the goals of person are not focused on as much as theories, such as Carl Roger’s or Abraham Maslow’s Humanism Theory, which gives more control to the individual.
However, Behaviorism cannot fully explain how individuals who have lived in horrendous environmental conditions, such as poverty, domestic violence, discrimination, and concentration camps have been able to show positive personality traits and accomplish great things, while still in the negative environment. Some great people who have changed history, such as Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, and Harvey Milk, had to deal with some difficult environmental situations and discrimination. Yet, they still managed to persevere and exhibit positive personality traits while entrenched in an oppressive environment. These people seemed to have the personality of trait of resilience that usually develops in tough and challenging environments and situations. Behaviorism seems to be in opposition with resilience, suggesting that one needs to be in a better environment, in order for their personality to reflect positive qualities. According to research by Robertson and Cooper (2013), resilience is developed and surfaces when individuals need to recover or bounce back from something, such as unemployment, death, a catastrophe, or an illness. This shows that one often develops the positive resilience when faced with an adverse or harsh environment.
While I do not completely agree with all parts of this theory, I feel that this view compliments my own personality as far as the development of habits are concerned. I feel that habits are shaped by our learned responses. Knowing how hard it is to break habits that have not served me well, such as eating junk food and not exercising as much as I should, I do believe that that these habits are automatic. During times of stress, I find myself reaching for a bag of chips without thinking. I have also driven to places on mental autopilot and then had to ask myself how I arrived there, my mind so focused on other things that my...

Find Another Essay On Behavioral Theory of Personality: B.F. Skinner

The Trait Theory of Personality Essay

2311 words - 9 pages The study of personality traits is beneficial in identifying the many variables that exist from human to human; the combinations of these variables provide us with a true level of individuality and uniqueness. In the field of psychology, trait theory is considered to be a key approach to the study of human personality (Crowne, 2007; Burton, Westen & Kowalski, 2009). This paper aims to identify a number of significant contributors who have played

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

1527 words - 7 pages flexibility and allow personal development (McGinn & Sanderson, 2001). This is achieved by helping the client question his or her self-image and work on a more appropriate positive self-image, in order to prevent negative cognitions in the future (McGinn & Sanderson, 2001). There is a wide range of applications of cognitive behavioral therapy. This approach is particularly successful in the area of depression and anxiety disorders, but also personality

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

2056 words - 9 pages Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Personality Disorders. The Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 33(3), 657–685. doi:10.1016/j.psc.2010.04.007 McGinn, L. K., & Sanderson, W. C. (2001). What Allows Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Be Brief: Overview, Efficacy, and Crucial Factors Facilitating Brief Treatment. CPSP Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 8(1), 23–37. Pretzer, J., & Hampt, S. (1994). Cognitive Behavioural Treatment of

A Critical Review of Kelly’s Personality Theory in Personality Development

2648 words - 11 pages and Approaches in Personal Construct Theory. London: Academic Press. Pervin, L. A. & Cervone, D. (2013). Personality Theory and Research Twelveth Edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Rogers, C. R. (1956). Intellectualized Psychotherapy: Review of George Kelly’s "The Psychology of Personal Constructs". The Psychology of Personal Constructs, Contemporary Psychology, 1, 357-358. Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York

summary of freud's theory of personality

1176 words - 5 pages Summary-FreudTheory:The basis of Freud's theory was the conscious mind, the preconscious mind, and the unconscious mind. His study had much to do with many aspects of the conscious and unconscious states; however, the major divisions included the conscious, preconscious, and the unconscious. The conscious and the preconscious are the smallest part of this theory, as well as the easiest to understand. The conscious is what you are aware of at any

A behavioral theory of the firm (Cyert and March)

684 words - 3 pages Running head: A BEHAVIORAL THEORY OF A FIRM 1 A behavioral theory of a firm (Cyert and March) Student's Name University/College A BEHAVIORAL THEORY OF A FIRM 2 Prior to this book, neo-classical economists assumed that firms sought to maximize profits and operated with perfect knowledge. These two assumptions are the first questioned by the authors especially due to the fact that there are sociological and psychological certainties that are

Holland’s Theory of Personality and Environmental Interaction

622 words - 3 pages environments that will are best suited to their personality type and pattern. 4. In turn, a career that is matched with the individual’s type has a more positive outcome that one that does not match. One of the big facets of Holland’s theory is that individuals who’s personality patterns and work environment are congruent will have a better career outlook and success. As well, individuals who’s work and personality types that are different

EUTHANASIA: PERSPECTIVE FROM THEORY OF PERSONALITY VIRTUE

896 words - 4 pages Theory of personality virtue or, more commonly known as virtue ethics, is a moral school of thought which emphasises the personality attributes towards attaining a good life. Alternatively, it emphasises the role of one’s character and the virtues that one’s character embodies for determining or evaluating ethical behaviour. Aristotle has made a significant contribution in developing this theory through his book Nichomacheaen Ethics. The theory

Influences of Attachment Theory on Personality Development

1241 words - 5 pages The concepts proposed by attachment theory have been very influential to the field of personality psychology. Over the years, many studies have supported the notion that mother-child attachment styles during childhood can impact future styles of behavior. Research conducted by Festa and Ginsburg (2011) examined the impact of parental and peer factors on the development of social anxiety amongst children. Further research conducted by Li and Chan

Structure and Functioning of the Personality in Freudian Psychoanalytic Theory

2499 words - 10 pages Structure and Functioning of the Personality in Freudian Psychoanalytic Theory Sigmund Freud, as the creator of psychoanalytic theory, has begun his career as a neurologist, treating patients with hypnosis to cure hysteria. Because it had almost no affect on curing the patient, he discovered the method of free association, in which patients say whatever comes to their mind. By listening and noticing what patients were

summary of erikson's theory of personality

1306 words - 5 pages Summary-EriksonErikson had a view of the personality within the psychosocial stages of development. He downplays a biological sexuality in favor of the psychosocial features of the conflict between child and parents. Since development extends throughout the life span and is divided into periods or stages, the amount of conflict in each stage determines whether the positive or negative pole is learned.The first stage is the infant stage, which is

Similar Essays

The Theories Of B.F. Skinner Essay

1036 words - 4 pages Skinner PAGE 3 The Theories of B.F. Skinner4/20/06Psy 250The Theories of B.F. SkinnerMany theorists have presented their theory of personality in attempts to either explain their own personal lives or to describe the effects that genetics and the environment have in personality. Countless debates have risen over the actual cause of people's actions. Is it parental upbringing, genetic traits, unconscious forces or simply responses to stimuli

B.F. Skinners Theory Of Punishment Essay

693 words - 3 pages the repetition of that same behavior. B.F. Skinner's experiment of operant conditioning was a cat in a puzzle box. The only way the cat could get out was to pull on a rope; at first the cat did it by mistake. As the experiment went on the cat's behavior became more and more purposeful. Soon the cat learned that the door opened immediately for his food. Skinner's theory of reward was called positive reinforcement, and his theory of punishment was

Carl Rodgers And B.F. Skinner: Behaviorism Comparison Between Two Descriptions Of Behavior

829 words - 3 pages B.F. Skinner, who favored the behaviorist approach to psychology, criticized the psychoanalytical theory by suggesting that psychology should be the study of behavior and not just the mind. However, Skinner's approach was radical, in that he did consider our inner thoughts and feelings, but denied that they had anything to do with behavior. His study of behavior involved close contact with the experimental laboratory, where he experimented with

Biography Of B.F. Skinner, Psychologist Essay

804 words - 3 pages B. F. SkinnerBurrhus Frederic Skinner, psychologist and behaviorist, was born in Susquhanna, Pennsylvania in 1904 to William Skinner and Grace Burrhus. His father was a lawywer and his mother was a naturally bright woman. Skinner had only one sibling; his brother died at the age of sixteen. Skinner lived most of his life in Susquhanna. He did not leave the house he was born in until he left to go to college. He was raised very close to his