Saturday, January 7, 2017

Behaviorism- A Learning Perspective to the Process of Socialization

Two learning perspectives that apply to socialization are behaviorism and social learning. This post we'll just discuss behaviorism.

Diane Papalia who has a bachelors in psychology, Ruth Feldman who has a bachelors in gifted children and Sally Olds who has a bachelors in psychology defined behaviorism as a learning theory that emphasizes  the predictable role of the environment in causing observable behavior.

There are four approaches to behaviorism. The first one is classical conditioning which is when learning takes place on an association of a stimulus but doesn't ordinarily elicit a response with another stimulus that does elicit the response. For example, a bell in school will cause children to either move to their next class or settle down and be quiet for the one that's starting. However, a bell at a church after a wedding won't cause this response but instead will cause people to stand and express joy for the couple who got married.

The second approach to  behaviorism is operant conditioning.  Operant conditioning was made popular by B.F. Skinner who was an American psychologist. Operant conditioning is defined as a process in which a response is gradually learned via reinforcement or punishment. For example, if a parent tells a child not to touch a hot stove but the child touches the hot stove and burns themselves anyway, the behavior of not touching a hot stove has been reinforced by the child getting burnt.

The third approach to behaviorism is reinforcement. There are two kinds of reinforcement-positive and negative. A positive reinforcement  is when something pleasant is added and with a negative reinforcement it is when something unpleasant is taken away.

The fourth approach is punishment. Punishment decreases  the likelihood that a behavior will be repeated. Positive punishment is when something unpleasant is added and negative punishment occurs when something pleasant is taken away. For example, a child can't borrow the car for a specific amount of time because the last time they had it, they didn't fill it with gas or got a parking ticket.

A drawback to behaviorism is that it doesn't take into account a child's culture, values, and social influences, such as a special relationship with a parent or friend.

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