The Utopian Perspective on the Role of Behaviorism

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Utopia’s Effects on Behavior Behaviorism is a major perspective in psychology that focuses on the observable behaviors rather that the unobservable process of the brain. There have always been a lot of arguments between people in the scientific world.. Behaviorists don’t look at the mind of a human but the behavior itself is the only important object of their studies. Since the mind is a big part of psychology it is hard to fill the gap that the behaviorists have when they take the mind out of the picture. The question I will be asking is how utopian idealists look at the role of behaviorism and does it play a specific role in creating the perfect society? B. F. Skinner is a famous behaviorist who developed operant conditioning. One of his famous studies was when he conditioned a rat to press a bar and receive food. Psychology is my major and it amazes me how the human psyche works. Conditioning of behaviors has always fascinated me. “He hoped to discover determinants of behavior and believed that, once discovered, these could be used to improve society.” He wrote the story Walden Two where he explores these determinants through a town that is made just like a research study. How does the community achieve the wanted utopia? Through a science of behavior everything that is done at Walden Two is based on principles of behaviorism, the idea that manipulating contingencies of reward and to a lesser extent, punishment, can control human behavior. From an early age, members of Walden Two are conditioned to be productive and happy members of society. (Rakos, 2) This community is very experimental. If there is evidence that something like not saying thank you will make everyone happier then it is immediately implemented and the consequences are thought up and carefully monitored. Skinner's utopian community is set at the end of World War II where two characters
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