Psychologists and counselors talk a lot of behaviorism, but lay people often wonder what is the purpose of behaviorism and why is it important to know more about this aspect of psychology.
In fact, most people do not even realize that behaviorism is a part and parcel of our lives and many of us use the theories of behaviorism unconsciously without even knowing them. For example, when a child performs well in school, he is rewarded for it by his parents. Parents do not realize that they are using positive reinforcement to ensure that the child continues to perform well.
Purpose of Behaviorism:
Behaviorism, also referred to as behavioral psychology and traditional learning theory, came into existence so that psychology could be made into a science and behaviors of people who be observed in a more objective manner. Behaviorism concentrates on the changes that occur in observable behavior and behaviorists use the principles of behaviorism to promote desirable behaviors and discourage unwanted and undesirable behaviors.
The purpose of behaviorism is to treat hordes of mental problems present in adults and children. Through application of behaviorism theory, one can successfully treat problems like obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, phobias, anxiety disorder, depression, certain mental disorders and even bed wetting.
One thing is for sure that both positive and negative reinforcements are used to change behavior. When positive reinforcement is used, usually a contract is drawn up and the terms of the reward system are stipulated in the contract. This is one of the most widely used systems in behaviorism. At times even punishment is used to modify and discourage unwanted behavior. For instance, if a child disobeys a parent, the punishment could be removal of TV privileges for a fixed period of time.
More Articles :