B. F. Laurie's Psychoanalytic Theory

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One of Laurie’s favorite past-times is reading, especially now that she is unemployed and has time to follow her favorite authors. If you were to watch Laurie read, you would be able to tell when a book is getting really interesting or exciting, because Laurie will start biting her nails until she has worn them down to the quick and they start hurting her. According to Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic theory, Laurie’s predilection for biting her nails is a result of unresolved sexual urges that occurred during the first of five stages of development, the oral stage. Freud’s five stages of psychosexual development are the oral stage, occurring from birth to 1 ½ years, the anal stage from 1 ½ to 3 years, the phallic stage from 3 to 6 years, the…show more content…
F. Skinner focuses on behaviorism which primarily deals with what can be observed and measured. B.F. Skinner believes through operant conditioning you can create desired (or undesired) behaviors in anyone. Operant conditioning is changing behavior through the use of reinforcement after the desired action is given; a behavior that is rewarded positively is more likely to continue and a behavior that is rewarded negatively would likely stop occurring (Santrock,2014). In addition to reinforcement, Skinner also talks about punishment. Reinforcement increases the probability an action or behavior will be repeated, while punishment is intended to decrease a behavior (McLeod, 2015). When Laurie was younger, she thought she was being sent to school every day to socialize with her friends and that learning was a secondary, unintentional happenstance. In third grade, compared to the other students in her class, she was falling short in reading and math. She couldn’t pay attention and often disrupted the class by talking with the people around her. Laurie’s third grade teacher got fed up with her behavior, so she placed Laurie’s desk next to her own in front of the class and then slapped Laurie’s desk with the ruler every time she caught her not paying attention. After a couple months, Laurie no longer required a slap on the desk to pay attention. According to Skinner, this behavior modification is punishment, not reinforcement, as the teacher was trying to decrease Laurie’s preference for daydreaming. However, as a result of not daydreaming, Laurie’s grades improved. Her parent’s began to reward her with $3 for every A she earned, using positive reinforcement to get Laurie to continue performing well. Due to operant conditioning, Laurie passed third grade and remained a top student the rest of her life, graduating from college with honors. If you ask Laurie to

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