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B. F. Skinner's Theory Of Behaviorism

analytical Essay
1082 words
1082 words
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The school of psychological thought that B.F. Skinner is most well known for is that of behaviorism. Behaviorism is the psychological theory that individuals are born as blank slates, and that all actions are essentially learned responses to environmental stimuli. Before Skinner, behaviorism had its roots in scientists and psychologists such as John Watson, Ivan Pavlov, and Edward Thorndike. Their theories and experiments of conditioning responses to external stimuli based on other stimuli were very convincing to Skinner, who began developing the school of behaviorism into an applicable ideology. In order to understand Skinner’s theory, one must first understand the theory of classical conditioning. Classical conditioning, most notably theorized …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that b.f. skinner's behaviorism is the psychological theory that individuals are born as blank slates and that all actions are essentially learned responses to environmental stimuli.
  • Explains skinner's theory of classical conditioning, which is an underpinning to his work.
  • Explains skinner's expansion of behaviorism, which begins a theory of an organism. the operant is the behavior that occurred just before the reinforcing stimulus.
  • Analyzes how skinner divided his theory into four forms of stimuli, namely positive and negative reinforcement, and positive or negative punishment.
  • Explains that child spanking is a form of positive punishment because the disciplinarian, whether it be parent, teacher, or other authority figure, actively performs an action that harms the child in an attempt to deter or prevent that behavior.
  • Explains that a study conducted by murray a. straus, david b. sugarman, and jean giles-sims suggests that child spanking negatively affects child behavior as he or she matures.
  • Explains that 44 percent of mothers reported spanking their children during the week prior to the study and they spanked them an average of 2.1 times that week.
  • Analyzes how brigitte vittrup and george w. holden surveyed 108 children after watching videos of children being disciplined by either spanking, reasoning, withdrawing privileges, or time-out.
  • Analyzes how skinner's study sheds light on the nature and efficacy of spanking a child. children with medium exposure were more likely to regard it as the best disciplinary technique compared with children with low or high exposure levels.
  • Explains phillip s. hall is a licensed psychologist with 34 years of experience working with struggling parents and troubled and defiant children and adolescents. in his book, a new definition of punishment, he argues that parents should reward children’s good behavior.
  • Explains skinner's theory of operant conditioning. all stimuli, be they positive or negative, have the same goal: to change or modify behavior. hall suggests positive reinforcement as more effective than spanking.

But is spanking an effective form of punishment? That is, does it actually stop the “bad behavior,” or does it simply make things worse? One study conducted by Murray A. Straus, David B. Sugarman, and Jean Giles-Sims seems to suggest that child spanking has a negative effect on the child’s behavior as he or she matures. In their 1997 study “Spanking by Parents and Subsequent Antisocial Behavior of Children,” they sampled 807 mothers of children aged six to nine years old to determine if a causal relationship existed between corporal punishment as a child and antisocial behavior later in life. The results were very clear: Forty-four percent of the mothers reported spanking their children during the week prior to the study and they spanked them an average of 2.1 times that week. The more spanking at the start of the period, the higher the level of ASB 2 years later. The change is unlikely to be owing to the child 's tendency toward ASB or to confounding with demographic characteristics or with parental deficiency in other key aspects of socialization because those variables were statistically controlled (Straus, Sugarman, Giles-Sims, …show more content…

Brigitte Vittrup and George W. Holden surveyed 108 children aged six to ten years old after they watched videos of children being disciplined by either spanking, reasoning, withdrawing privileges, or time-out. The results show most children rating reasoning as the fairest form of punishment, and spanking as the least fair. This research illustrates that when parents spank their children, they are doing so in a manner that the children think is unfair, and therefore unnecessarily antagonize the child as opposed to disciplining him or her in a way that is

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