They believe that children can be molded and shaped by the environment through behavior modification, rewards and punishments. The belief that you can mold a persons’ behavior by rewarding them for their good actions and punishing them for the bad allows the behaviorist approach to help people quit bad habits, such as smoking, nail biting, and finger drumming. This is a form of both Radical and Neo Behaviorism. The focus of behaviorism approach is that everything is based solely on behavior and has no focus on the mind or its perception. The Biological approach is the belief that our nervous and endocrine systems, as well as genetics are what define our behavior and personalities.
What is the dependent variable? How would you define it operationally? Having Fun With Operational Definitions Adapted from teachpsychscience.org Directions: Identify and operationally define the independent and dependent variables in each of the following research ideas. Research Idea #1: A social psychologist was interested in whether people are more likely to exhibit conformity when they are in situations that make them feel nervous and unsure of themselves. What is the independent variable?
The nature-nurture debate is all about whether genetics (nature) or our environment (nurture) is responsible for our behaviour and development. Early theorists believed that our personality, intellect, behaviour and gender role were determined by our genes and therefore could not be changed. But an increasing amount of evidence has proved these theorists wrong, and our development as an individual is learnt through the environment we live in. One developmental stage of an individual that psychologists have the nature-nurture debate about is the intelligence stage. The nature side of that intelligence is present at birth and we already have a set amount of intelligence.
Animals are used because behaviourists assume they learn in the same way as people but are more convenient to study. Laboratory settings are favoured because they allow researchers to very precisely control the conditions under which learning occurs. Two important learning theories proposed by the behaviourist perspective are classical conditioning. Classical conditioning explains how we learn behaviours through association and operant conditioning explains how the consequences of behaviours shape behaviour. The first of the theories involved in this approach is classical conditioning.
Skinner with the “Skinner Box”. This was a study that was done to prove that we could modify behavior by giving positive reinforcements. B.F. Skinner believed that the best way for us to understand behavior was to look at what caused the behavior and what the consequences were from us participating in the behavior. The field of psychology learned that when an individual is positively reinforced for participation in a specific wanted behavior the individual is more likely to repeat the wanted behavior. This is used mostly in parenting by rewarding a child for being good.
In Milgram's experiment, test subjects were asked to do something that was, on the surface, unethical. Milgram was fascinated by the way people could be persuaded to cause harm to individuals if the instructions came from authoritative figures or those who would be considered credible. Although Milgram's experiment would not be conducted today for ethical reasons, the information derived from Milgram's experiment
I refuse to believe that people are born with a personality; it all lies with ones up bringing and experiences. B.F. Skinner, a behaviorist, believed that each organism is a “blank slate” on which experience writes. Skinner’s teachings on operant conditioning are still studied to this day. He believed that the best way to understand behavior is to look at the causes of an action and its consequences. Through Skinner’s research, it helped prove that the most relevant was nurture because through conditioning and repetition one could teach animals to behave predictably.
This makes laboratory experiments highly reliable as they are replicable. The laboratory experiment has major advantages as the method can be used to establish cause and effect relationships. For this reasons positivist sociologists use laboratory experiments as they favour a more scientific method. Positivist sociologists however also acknowledge the short comings of laboratory experiments, such as, it is often impossible or unethical to control the variables. Also their small scale means that results may not be representative or generalisable to the wider population.
What are the differences between field and laboratory experiments? There are many differences between laboratory and field experiments. For example laboratories are able to control the experiments variables to a close degree; whereas field experiments can not due to the mass amount of outside influences and distractions. Within a laboratory the participants of the experiment are full aware of the fact that they are being put under observation and are part of an experiment so they automatically respond to the experiment in a more self-conscious way as they don’t want to embarrass themselves or ruin the results. Unlike in a field experiment where the participants are completely unaware that they are being observed so it gives more of a natural response, this allows the researchers to gain results with greater validity.
On the other hand, cognitivists believe that by reflecting on our own experiences, we construct our own understanding of the world. Though theses two schools of psychology are very much different, they do have their similarities. Behaviorism and cognitivism are similar in that they both attempt to explain and describe how learning occurs in individuals. Both are also valuable learning theories. They observe the response individuals make to different situations or different conditions.