Unit 6 Theoretical Framework
COUN5214 – Theories of Personality
November 22, 2015
Dr. Lesley Riley
This paper will discuss the theoretical framework of B. F. Skinner’s behavioral theory and Albert Bandura’s social-cognitive theory. This paper will discuss basic philosophies of these theories, the theoretical constructs of these theories, identify limitations and criticisms of these theories, and discuss personal views of these theories.
Basic Philosophies of Theory
Basic Principles of Behaviorism
The basic principles of behaviorism are explained by Skinner's approach to behavior. His fundamental idea is that behavior can be controlled by its consequences by what follows the ...view middle of the document...
Learning can best be understood in terms of external causes rather than internal causes and mental activities are useless as data. Behavior is almost entirely determined by the environment rather than by heredity or genes, so it is learned. Simple associations of stimuli or stimulus-response are the building blocks of all behaviors, no matter how complex they are. Laws of learning are the same for all species and can be seen in any environment.
Assumptions of Social-Cognitivism
The basic assumptions of social cognitive theory are that people can learn by observing others. Learning is an internal process that may or may not result in a behavior change and behavior is directed toward particular goals. Behavior eventually becomes self-regulated. Reinforcement and punishment have indirect rather than direct effects on learning and behavior.
Main Theoretical Constructs of Behaviorism
Skinner distinguished between two kinds of behavior which are respondent behavior and operant behavior. Respondent behavior involves a response made to or elicited by a specific stimulus like a reflexive behavior such as a startled jump is an example of respondent behavior to someone scaring another person. When the person is startled the behavior is not learned but is an automatic and involuntary action. We do not have to be trained or conditioned to make the appropriate response (Schultz & Schultz, 2013, p. 310). A respondent behavior needs reinforcement and has a physical stimulus. Most people that react to stimuli have an elicited response. Skinner did not feel that respondent behavior was more important than the operant behavior. The stimuli in our environment have conditioned a direct response from the populous but not all people behave the same or have the same responses to the stimuli in our environment. Much human behavior appears to be spontaneous and cannot be traced directly to a specific stimulus but the behavior is emitted rather than elicited by a stimulus that involves acting in a way that appears to be voluntary rather than reacting involuntarily to a stimulus to which we have been conditioned (Schultz & Schultz, 2013, p. 311).
Main Theoretical Constructs of Social-Cognitivism
Modeling is a behavior modification technique that involves the observation of other individuals that does certain behaviors and actively performs the desired behavior (Schultz & Schultz, 2013, p. 331). Self-reinforcement is where rewards or punishments are given out to for performing, achieving, or even failing one’s expectations or desired results (Schultz & Schultz, 2013, p. 337). In Bandura's theory, self-efficacy refers to the feelings of adequacy, efficiency, and competence in coping with life if an individual meets and maintains the performance standards that enhance...