Unlocking Behaviorism

This week topic in EDS 103 is quite very interesting. I can still recall way back in college when I took some courses on psychology wherein the topic about behaviorism is being discussed. I was not even aware that behaviorism plays an important role in learning. It is only now that it made sense to me why we need to study behaviorism in EDS 103.

Recalling all the memories that I have gone through and thinking about of a moment wherein a behaviorist approach has applied in my life, I definitely can say that there are a lot of them.

During my elementary years, I can vividly remember those times that my father would scold us for spending much time in watching television than studying. I didn’t realized that such behavior is a result of conditioning. Thus, if I would to relate in behaviorism, the classical conditioning was being applied by our father. In that scenario, the  scolding event lead us to fear our father and follow his order.

To illustrate this very clearly:

I  elicit a response of fear ( a unconditioned response) whenever my father is scolding us (unconditioned stimulus)  for spending much time watching television  instead of studying. Thus, whenever me and my siblings would watch television (conditioned stimulus) we would be automatically have this thoughts that our father would appear suddenly and scold us ( conditioned response), thus making us feel kind of “paranoid” that he might scold us anytime. But in all honesty, that sort of instilling discipline in us to value education more was very effective for it gives us focus and motivation to do good in school so our father won’t find a reason in scolding  us in the future.

In contrast to classical conditioning is the operant conditioning which is according to Kendra Cherry of Verywell.com (2016), is the use of positive reinforcements to reward desirable behavior and punishment for undesirable behavior. I believe personally that operant conditioning is very effective if one wants to get a result/feedback immediately. At home, if my mother who is in contrast to my father wants us to follow her orders without the use of “threat”, this kind of conditioning is the often used. Whenever she would impose orders to us, this is being followed by “rewards” in the form of food to entice us and make us secretly follow her rules. In case, certain rules are not being followed, my mother will just refer to my father who will immediately impose “punishments” to us in the form of spanking and verbal comments. For the truth, I find B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning to have a significant impact in the learning process for it teaches a person the value of doing it immediately or else you will suffer a consequence out of it. Yes, it is always an unpleasant experience to receive punishment but it you know very well that at the end of it, one can learn a lesson out of punishment.

I am glad to know that I have come to know behaviorism in a more personal experience. Definitely, I have already envision in the future in what aspects of my teaching I might be using this kind of approach. Even though, there are still some issues being thrown that behaviorism is a “theory of personality” according to Alissa Eischen’s of Northwestern University, and it is not enough or “inadequate” for it uses animal experiments in lieu of humans. I believe and hope that the theory of behaviorism will always have a place in the learning institutions may it be in home, school, and community.










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