Human behavior psychology is one of the theories of learning based upon the central idea that all human behaviors are attained through conditioning. This is also known as behaviorism. Conditioning happens through the interaction of human beings with the environment. According to human behavior psychology,human behavior can be studied in a systematic, methodical, recognizable and observable manner with no deliberation of internal mental states.
The two major types of conditioning are:
Classical conditioning:A common method applied in behavioral training in which a response is paired with a naturally occurring stimulus. Further, a previously neutral stimulus is paired with the naturally occurring stimulus. Eventually, the previously occurring neutral stimulus comes to suggest the response in the absence of the naturally occurring stimulus. The two elements are then known as the conditioned response and the conditioned stimulus.Operant conditioning:This is another frequent method of learning that takes place through punishments and rewards for human behavior. During operant conditioning, an association is made between a human behavior and immediately a consequence for that behavior. This is also identified as instrumental conditioning.Major Thinkers in Human behavior psychology-
- John B. Watson is frequently referred to as the "father of behaviorism."
- Clark L. Hull sought to explain learning and motivation by scientific laws of behavior.
- Edward L. Thorndike worked on animal behavior and the learning process for a major part of his life.
- Ivan Pavlov was primarily interested in physiology, but his discovery of conditional reflexes heavily influenced the behaviorist movement.
- B. F. Skinner's research on operant conditioning made him one of the leaders of behaviorism.
Strengths of human behavior psychology/Behaviorism
- Human behavior psychology is based upon observable and noticeable behaviors, thus easier to quantify, collect empirical data and information while conducting research.
- Behavioral intervention, token economies, and discrete trial training are some of the effective remedial techniques which are all rooted intensively in human behavior psychology, also commonly known as behaviorism. These techniques are very helpful in changing maladaptive, detrimental or harmful behaviors in both children and adults.
Criticisms of human behavior psychology/behaviorism
- Many detractors point out that human behavior psychology or behaviorism is an exclusively one-dimensional approach to human behavior and thus such human behavioral theories do not account for free will and internal influences such as moods, thoughts, feelings, etc.
- Behaviorism or human behavior psychology does not account for further types of learning, in particular learning that occurs lacking the use of reinforcements. Also individuals are able to adapt their human behavior when new information is brought in, even if a previous behavior pattern has been established over a period of time through reinforcement.
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