Skinner vs Rogers - Free Essay on Humanism and Behaviorism

Published: 2018-01-14
Skinner vs Rogers - Free Essay on Humanism and Behaviorism
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Sociology Philosophy Human behavior
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 951 words
8 min read

Humanism vs behaviorism

1). Complete the following sentences and then provide evidence from the text of each theorist's conceptualization of the basic/fundamental characteristics of "man." Skinner describes man as an organic machine while Rogers describes man as an experiencing person

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According to B.F. Skinner, the man operates under operant conditioning and thus can be conditioned to perform, feel and say something. He argues that man can only operate when there is an external stimulus that motivates them. For example, the individual purpose is influenced by external stimuli and not spontaneity, meaning or consciousness. From his perspective, man must be motivated to perform some acts, and this is the reason why there are hierarchies of experts that control them to perform and reach some predetermined goals. It is the experts that define the ideal state of what is good and then determine how people must achieve these state or conditions of living and learning.

On the other hand, Carl Rodgers defines man as an experiencing person that only reacts to the phenomenology or world experiences. Therefore, man’s consciousness is subjective upon the experiences that have in the world. Their conscious experiences make them deeper organismic feelings whose experiences are filtered via imposed conceptual patterns. In most cases, individuals are confused when they try to force their experiences to fit into an organized conscious system or a prescribed pattern. Therefore, even though man is an experiencing person, they are likely to distort their experiences in their struggle to fit into the prescribed interpersonal impositions making them hollow entities. In conclusion, skinners argument is relevant in this machine age where people are conditioned to look for work or work for corporation in order survive while Carl Rodgers argument is that their experiences shape people, and this can either be conscious or unconscious (Rogers, 1961:342)

Control theory sociology

2). Discuss differences between Roger's and Skinner's theoretical conceptualization of control?

Skinner advocates the immediate and maximum use of technology in controlling human behaviors. He notes that human can behaviors can be controlled through operant conditioning and this might involve the use of technology. Psychophilosophical positions as well as technological advances to manipulate a human being into submissive behaviors. He argues that to control people`s behaviors, an organization can use the wide range of agent to control human beings and the most effective agent in the recent past and in the current times is the techno-psychological persuasion. Additionally, psychobiological and pharmacological means can be effectively used in combination with the technological means for maximum control.

On the other hand, Rodgers liken skinners augment to the technological consecration camps. He argues that skinners technological control may only be effective in an artificial society. Even though Skinner and Rodgers advocate for technological control, Skinner supported immediate and optimal technological control while Rodger denounces the use of maximum technologist control because maximum technological control violates the social, ethical, and religious values that have been held for long by the society (Swaim, 1974)..

Additionally, Rodgers was one of the people to huge projected a priori rejection of skinners technological control arguing that human being is experiencing being who are unique and possesses untouchable level core of freedom. Behavioral technology and scientific control violate the human beings, and if the technological control is used to the end, then the human race is at risk. In conclusion, both Carl Rodger and Skinner may have agreed on the effectiveness of technological control, but Rodgers rejected the concept of immediate and maximum technological control in favors of minimal control. The maximum control postulated by B. F. Skinner just demonstrates his quasi-utopian speculation about the human beings social order.

Humanism and behaviorism

3). Discuss. 4. Does either school of thought (Rogers - Humanism or Skinner -Behaviorism) have value in real-world settings? Discuss

I find Carl Rogers behaviourism more applicable in the real world environment while Skinner's theory is more relevant in an industrial setting where people are conditioned to work certain shifts, achieve individual goals and behaviourism in a prescribed manner. For example, Carl Rodgers behaviourism theory is the foundation of many psychological theories especially the work of fraud that was influenced by his theoretical ideas. His argument was founded on the conceptualization of the individual as a fully functional being. In his thoughts, the human being can develop fully by understanding the congruence between self and the ideal self

In his reference to the classroom behaviours management, his proposal about the student's centered learning is more relevant today in the culturally diverse school environment. For example, he argued that the instructional materials, educational programs as well as the academic support strategies should specifically design to address the inclusive classroom why taking into consideration the individual student’s background. He recognizes the fact that the classes cannot be approached in artificial ways as the teacher must learn with the students and adopt student’s canted strategies. The idea is not to complete the syllabus but to help students understand the concepts (Swaim, 1974).

In relations to the application of his theory in the social context, Rodgers' theory is only applicable in a societal context in which culture and other factors are absent. He proposed a society without control which means his theory can only be relevant in a cultural vacuum as the practical society is characterized by social control, rules, cultural values and other systems that glue the society together. Therefore, Rodgers' theory is only applicable in a learning environment, but there have to rule that glue the people together.


Swaim, (1974). B.F. Skinner and Carl R. Rogers on Behavior and Education. Oregon ASCD Curriculum Bulletin, v28 n324 Aug 1974

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