Apparently complex human behavior can be explained as the summation of so many instances of conditioning.- Apparently complex human behavior can be explained as the summation of so many instances of conditioning. introduction.
Apparently complex human behavior can be explained as the summation of so many instances of conditioning.
Animals respond to their environment and as such, their behaviors are the result of the conditionings they received from their surroundings. To say that man’s behavior is a summation of many forms of conditioning is to turn man into a being without will, creativity, imagination and morality. Hence, I do not agree to the statement that human behavior is the result of many instances of conditioning.
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While it’s true that man behaves in accordance to how he observes others, this kind of learning is only appropriate at a young age, the age of learning. For instance, a child learns good behavior from bad behavior through the use of reward and punishment. But the parent can’t teach the child every good and bad while growing up. As he grows older, he learns to discriminate on his own. A person’s morality is not something acquired through conditioning. It is a acquired by learning the consequences of an action. It is up to the person how to integrate into his being the learnings he obtain through time. As man matures, he acquires his own set of personal values that dictates how to behave on particular situations. It could even be possible for a grown-up person to shift his paradigm as he gains more knowledge and control of his environment. While it is true that people conform to societal conditioning, society can only set the rules, it is man’s decision, based on moral issues and personal values, whether he follows the norms or not.
Conditioning is not a rational explanation for human behavior. How can conditioning explain why people would fall in love even if he has experienced being hurt? Conditioning would have told man to avoid getting emotionally attached to a person, lest he’ll be hurt again. There are those who become wary with emotional entanglements but sooner or later, it is something they can’t run from. Man is a thinking being whose behavior is complex and evolving. How man acts will always be a combination of many factors and forces in his life and environment. Behavior and reaction can only be predicted because man often springs surprises when he acts and responds in a manner that is unlike him or outside the bounds of norms.
Van Wagner, K. What is Behaviorism? Answers.com: Psychology. Retrieved October 8, 2008,