Essay Sample with Human Behavior Research

Published: 2017-12-28
Essay Sample with Human Behavior Research
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Learning Psychology Human behavior
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1004 words
9 min read

Research on human behavior

Researchers in the field of psychology have dedicated their time and effort to research human behavior, how this behavior is influenced by the mind as well as how it is triggered by learning. Presented here are an examination of structuralism, functionalism and behavioralism theories of psychology

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One of these philosophers is Edward B Tetchier. He was born in January 1867 in England and died on August 3, 1927. He was the primary engineer of experimental psychology a discipline of German psychologist Wilhelm Wundt.

Structuralism definition

Structuralism as a school of thought aimed at breaking down the mental process into building blocks. This was more so in the case of sensations. According to his arguments; we ascribe meaning to what we coercive from what we knew in the past. In this line, however, he meant that when one spot an object, they are likely to give it the name, description of physical appearance from what we already knew. According to him, one puts the memories of sensation from their past of what you already knew and after that one is able o identify to the particular object. From his personal understanding, Structuralism focused on direct mental experience.

Structuralisms further argue that if we cannot understand something by using some of its structural elements to describe it rather, we focus on all the part that has been broken down to make up the whole thing, it is the structural elements that make up the whole. An example I that we call a chair so once all the feature/items that qualify it to be called so are visible. That is why we cannot cal a fridge a chair as our perceptions of what a fridge is are very different from that of a chair more over those specific elements that make up a chair such as four legs can be distinguished.

Because of this, however, the theory thrive to understand the primary components of the mind by breaking down every emotion, thought to its very little element by a process called introspection with the aim of trying to understand a conscious mind. This aimed at analyzing certain feeling that one experiences and try to figure out what triggered the thought (Schacter, Gilbert, Wegner, & Hood, n.d.)

Functionalism definition

Unlike structuralism, functionalism is concerned about the mental operations that are the mental activities and how they relate to larger biological forces. James Rowland Angell: May 8, 1869 – March 4, 1949, was one of the pioneers of this theory on functionalism. In his opinion, for one to be able to deal with the conditions of the environment, they must be in a position to consider the evolution mental operations. Because of this, however, it is not the mental activities that are the key but rather the mental element. The mental process is as a result of the cooperation between the organism and the environment. It is them that help an organism to survive as they make individual behave in a particular way when faced with unfamiliar situations. An example I that people sleep on a soft mattress instead of sleeping on the hard floor which could also be an option. In their argument, however, the mind and body are inseparable. This is so because functionalism is the study of how metal operations relate to behavior

Functionalism as a theory was developed to counter the provisions of structuralism theory. They were not mainly interested in understanding the specific mental elements that make up the consciousness of the mind. Their interest rather was understanding the function of the mind that is the mental process and how they aid and help an organism in adapting to the environment (Schacter, Gilbert, Wegner, & Hood, n.d.).

He believed that instincts govern human actions. He asked some of the questions such as why people sit around a stove on a cold day among other many questions. From his observation, he argued that behavior I modifiable by experience and they develop with time this then cause the habits which later cause the neural pathways to become entrenched both from and within the brain this make easier for energy to pass through the channels. These are the habits that make society possible(Schacter, Gilbert, Wegner, & Hood, n.d.).

Behavioralism definition

Behavioralism, on the other hand, argues that it is the act of all behaviors are acquired through conditioning which occurs as a result of interacting with the environment. The word behavioralism was made famous by John Hopkins psychologist called John Broadus Watson {1878-1958] it came up as a theory to counter the provision in the structuralism theory that basic data can be gathered from the consciousness of a person or others. Their argument is that the continuous action and learning process which are continuously repeated results in it becoming our actual behavior, which our behavior can be explained to be as a result of endless repetition of particular behavior over time. He argues that mental process played a significant role in conditioning our actions, then a change would be expected in the manner in which we view different scenarios and also in case some parts of the person are missing or have been mutilated, then we expect a different behavior. However this I not the case whether missing a particular organ or having all of them, the action I not affected and cannot change. It I in this line, however, he argues that behavior is as a result of repeated action caused by learning. This animal in the wild act in a certain way as a result of learning. A baby monkey learns to jump from one branch to another because the mother have tough it and through practice and repeated actions, it becomes the behavior of the particular animal which it will share with the next generation. (Staddon, 1983).


Schacter, D., Gilbert, D., Wegner, D., & Hood, B. Psychology / Daniel Schacter, Daniel Gilbert, Daniel Wegner, Bruce Hood (1st ed.).

Staddon, J. (1983). Adaptive behavior and learning (1st ed.). Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]: Cambridge University Press.

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