Behavioral Psychology Essay Sample

Published: 2022-03-09
Behavioral Psychology Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Human behavior Behavior change
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 986 words
9 min read

Behaviorism has accurate and bold hypotheses, which provides a good base for assumptions such as determinism from environment facing criticism from ethological and cognitive theorists. Behaviorists believed in orderliness and determinism and claimed to predict the likely response time of animals but admitted that human response is impossible. Through the predictions, behaviorists were successful in controlling the potential response of animals and behavioral therapies for human beings (Shedler, 2010). Skinner, a behaviorist, came up with a society controlled by behavioral principles.

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Cognitive psychology to refute or confirm unobserved mental processes uses a scientific approach. Cognitive psychologists hence conduct behavioral experiment and advances accurate models in their scientific method. Extraneous variables are hard to control, therefore, a full understanding and control of biological, environmental and mental influences not possible due to their complexity.

It is, therefore, clear that many psychological methods meet the accepted scientific requirements, but other approaches to psychology are doubtful towards the scientific method.

Some psychologists argue against psychology being a science. Humanistic approach rejects the scientific features and values the conscious experience, which are private and subjective. This approach argues that the subjective understanding and subjective perception of the world are more important than the objective reality. The use of the psychological/ scientific laboratory for the investigation of animal and human behavior got Carl Rogers. They believed that what influences the behaviors of different people is their subjective experience. It is only possible to understand why people act the way they do by viewing the world from a personal point of view. Humanistic psychological perspective deals with the study and understanding of the human beings as a whole. Humanistic approach, therefore, does not only look at the humanistic behavior through the observers' eyes but also through the person behaving. Self-image and inner feelings are what constitute an individual's behavior according to humanistic psychologists (Shedler, 2010).

The humanistic approach clearly rejects the determinism approach, replacing it with free will. The aim towards this non-scientific viewpoint is to try to arrive at a deep and unique understanding of the human behavior. Humanistic behavior, which does not interest itself on control and prediction of human behavior, does not have a set of theories that are orderly, but only has some set core assumptions. Miller rejects the notion of controlling human behavior. He questions the one to do the controlling and which goals to be achieved. Miller claims that individuals should have the freedom to control themselves. Psychology as a discipline aimed at improvement of human welfare should try to understand why human beings act the way they do, but not control how humans behave. Rigorous scientific approach to psychology fails to recognize and capture the conscious experience richness, therefore, the scientific approach is dehumanizing.

Common sense view towards behavioral psychology claims that everyone is a psychologist by default. It is only through training, that people can be psychologists. People hold these common sense views with them, others and their life. Culture, personal upbringing and experience give rise to these common views in people. People possess common sense views of why they act in a certain way and why others act the way they do. Common sense view helps people to choose how to bring up their children, what other people should do and many other emotional aspects. Common sense view may happen in a single event or come from a series of experiences. An example is of prejudiced people, they may seem to be in a common view due to their belief. People use common sense view in their day to day live. How people interact with one another is a product of the common view. It is common view that guides these daily actions and decisions in people. Lack of a scientific approach in common sense view, and not based on any evidence that is systematic, can be misleading. Common sense view may result to a certain group of people unfairly and discriminatory treating others.

There are several set out limitations of psychology being a science. Although the methodology for science exists, there are doubts and arguments for psychology ever qualifying as a science. These limitations are a vast cutting across philosophical debates, ethics, tests done, ecology, objectivity and the subject matter. Science takes reductionist approach and determination by assuming that every person possesses features for particular human behavior laws. Psychological explanations are, therefore, restricted to certain places and time while scientific laws generalize. Researches on psychological characteristics are reliable for only a specified time. The short time is because psychology studies the change in human behavior due to environmental changes, culture and other situations. This change happens over a specified period. It is clear that these human behaviors are different in human beings with respect to the place the study happens. It is therefore; clear that not in the social vacuum that psychological research depends on. Individual differences and the factors previously raised make the findings of the psychological research limited in the time they are reliable.

Objectivity in psychology becomes another problem. Human study of other humans becomes a huge and difficult situation in psychology. It becomes hard for humans to study each other without bias. Science philosophy gets influence from theoretical standpoints where the observer and the observed belong to same species creating reflectivity problems. Science suffers from paradigm subscription hence not behaviors acquired through any conditioning that is of operant nature. Psychology fails to qualify as a science, therefore, since human behavior does not have any universal laws.

Growth of renewed interest and technological growth in information processing in memory research provides good frameworks for mental process study. A vantage point of approach about questions on mental function in the flow of information from another source inside a person and outside the person is important. Various models are available helping in the study of information flow inside and outside the mind of human beings. These models analyze how information gets in, storage features...

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