Let's Call Her Eve Was Conditioned By A Co-Worker

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For the assignment addressing a particular behavior I would like to describe the behavior of a co-worker and friend, who I had the pleasure of knowing and working with for several years. Since we interact on daily basis there is detailed information about most aspects of her life which is known to me. Ever since I started my psychology class, unknowingly I began applying material I’ve learned in class when it came to our interactions and started to notice certain traits of behavior due to previous conditioning and experiences in her life.
According to John. B. Watson human behavior reflects animal behavior because primarily it is a result of conditioned responses. My friend the subject of this essay, let’s call her Eve was conditioned by a
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Skinner “the best way to understand behavior is to look at the causes of an action and its consequences” (2). Eve’s mother worked several jobs to support her family as a single mother and provided the example of a hard worker for her kids. I am certain while I watch Eve’s current behavior it is deeply rooted in the conditioning she received form her mother as a child. She works rather hard and does not leave any task unfinished, otherwise she is experiencing a feeling of self-blame, as if she is not living up to someone’s expectations. When a person is a hard worker it is an admirable and desirable attribute, but this trait can lead to self-destruction and I am noticing that behavior manifest every day. For example, I see Eve get exhausted and burned out, but she is unable to stop until perfection is achieved. Eve’s mother passed away at quite a young age of fifty because of complications of a surgery, therefore I cannot state…show more content…
Conditioning occurs through interaction with the environment. Behaviorists believe that our responses to environmental stimuli shape our actions.” (1) I have to agree with the behaviorists in the case of Eve. Often I felt compelled to help Eve break the vicious cycle and I try reasoning, but years of previous conditioning cannot be erased by any words of wisdom. Consequently, I propose that positive reinforcement is the best approach in changing the current behavior and using “shaping” in this process could reinforce positive results. Shaping is referring to rewarding even the approximations of the target behavior, which is explained in the study material in lesson six. As a more concrete example for my proposal should be to reward Eve although her work is not completely finished and urge her to take her desired leave when her exhaustion is apparent. Possibly months of enforcing a behavior where she is rewarded for her achievements in a meaningful way and forced, so to speak to relax could lead her toward a path where she does not feel inadequate

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