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Explore the contributions two major behavioral theorists have made to the Behavioral Theory of Personality. By Shreena Desai. . Created by Shreena Desai.
Video transcript
All right, the behavioral theory is what we're going to be talking about next. And the behavioral theory says that personality is a result of the interaction between an individual and their environment. So here's our person. And then, this is the environment. Whether it's society-- We'll draw a few houses here. There you go. You get the picture. So basically, what I've drawn here is one island, and another island, and a bridge connecting both. And you'll see why did that in a second. OK, so the behavioral theory says that we interact with our environment. And it's also focused on observable and measurable behavior, rather than mental or emotional behaviors. So there are different types of behaviors. And different theories focus more on one type of behavior over the other. So when looking at this, if this is the behavioral theory-- is this island right here. I guess we can say the psychoanalytic theory over here would be the most opposite because this theory focuses on the mental behavior rather than observable behavior. And behavioral theorists don't care for theories that take thoughts and feelings into account. So let's talk about two important theorists of the behavioral theory, and the first is Skinner. So Skinner was a strict behaviorist. And he's associated with the concept of operant conditioning, which you may have heard of before. So operant conditioning uses rewards and punishments to increase or decrease a behavior. And another behaviorist, Pavlov, who was a Russian physiologist, and he's also considered by many as the father of behaviorism, he's associated with classical conditioning. And he used his famous dog example, the Pavlov Dog Experiment, to show what classical conditioning was. It basically places a neutral stimulus with an unconditional stimulus to trigger an involuntary response. So in the case of the dogs, ringing a bell in the presence of food is what caused the dogs to begin salivating. It triggered that involuntary response. So these theorists, Skinner and Pavlov, believed that the environment determines the behavior. So that's why I put ourselves in our environment. We're shaped by the environment. And people have consistent behavior patterns because we have particular kinds of response tendencies. But these responses can change if we encountering new situations. And that's why our personality develops over our entire lifespan. It's constantly evolving and changing. Now, what is this bridge in the middle connecting one extreme of behaviorism to the other, the mental approach to the behavioral approach? Now, it's not to say one is right over the other. They're just two different approaches of personality. OK, so back to this, the bridge. The bridge the middle is what we're going to call the cognitive theory. And the cognitive theory is considered a bridge between classic behaviorism and other theories that emphasize thinking and behavior, such as the psychoanalytic theory. And it's because the cognitive theory treats thinking as a behavior and has much in common with the behavioral theory. So Albert Bandura combines the concepts of observing, thinking, and behaving in the social cognitive theory, which we'll take a look at next.