Behavior Therapy – Personality

Psychology covers a vast field, and one interesting aspect of it is personality. Personality by itself involves various issues. Some of which basic aspects are Psychoanalytic, Ego, Biological, Behaviorist, Cognitive, Trait, Humanistic and Interactionist. Though personality as a subject fascinates me a lot, what interests me the most in this subject is behaviorism. For me different types of behaviors are amazing to learn about, mainly the behavior therapy, collective behavior, crime and punishment, and Social behavior and peer acceptance in children.

I chose Behaviorism over the other aspects because I believe Behavior determines human personality and is very interesting. You can tell what one is by his behavior, and one behaves according to what place he has in society. By doing this paper on Behavior, I hope to get a better understanding of, if behavior develops a personality or if personality guides behavior.

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I also see behaviorism helping me in the future with my personal and professional career by understanding human personality and behaviour better than I do. No matter what your major is, if you can determine one personality by his behavior you can really get your work done from that person and understand the better than you would otherwise. This person could be your employee or your employer.

Behavior therapy is the application of experimentally derived principles of learning to the treatment of psychological disorders. The concept derives primarily from work of Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov. Behavior-therapy techniques differ from psychiatric methods, particularly psychoanalysis, in that they are predominately symptom (behaviour) oriented and show little or no concern for unconscious processes, achieving new insight, or effecting fundamental personality change.

Behavior therapy was popularized by the U.S. psychologist B.F. Skinner, who worked with mental patients in a Massachusetts state hospital. From his work in animal learning, Skinner found that the establishment and extinction of responses can be determined by the way reinforcers, or rewards, are given. The pattern of reward giving, both in time and frequency, is known as a ¡°schedule of reinforcement.

More recent developments in behavior therapy emphasize the adaptive nature of cognitive processes. Behaviour-therapy techniques have been applied with some success to such disturbances as enuresis (bed-wetting), tics, phobias, stuttering, obsessive-compulsive behavior, drug addiction, neurotic behaviours of ¡°normal¡± persons, and some psychotic conditions. It has also been used in training the mentally retarded.

Much of collective behaviour is dramatic, unpredictable and frightening, so the early theories and many contemporary popular views are more evaluative than analytic. The French social psychologist Gustave Le Bon identified the crowd and revolutionary movements with the excesses of the French Revolution; the U.S. psychologist Boris Sidis was impressed with the resemblance of crowd behavior to mental disorder. Many of these early theories depicted collective behaviour returned to an earlier stage of development. Freud retained this emphasis in viewing crowd behaviour and many other forms of collective behaviour as regressions to an earlier stage of childhood development; he explained, for example, the slavish identification that followers have for leaders on the basis of such regression.

More sophisticated recent efforts to treat collective behavior as a pathological manifestation employ social disorganization as an explanatory approach. From this point of view collective behavior erupts as an unpleasant symptom of frustration and malaise stemming from cultural conflict, organizational failure, and other social malfunctions. The distinctive feature of this approach is a reluctance to take seriously the manifest contest of collective behaviour. Neither the search for enjoyment in recreational fad, the search for spiritual meaning on a religious sect, nor the demand for equal opportunity in an interest-group movement is accepted to face value.

An opposite evaluation of many forms of collective behaviour has become part of the analytic perspective in revolutionary approaches to society. From the revolutionist point of view a much collective behavior is a release of creative impulses from the repressive effects of establish social orders. ¡°Revolutionary theorists such as Frantz Fanon depict traditional social arrangements as destructive of human spontaneity, and various forms of crowd and revolutionary movements as man creative self-assertion bursting its social shackles.

Psychologists have approached the task of explaining delinquent behavior by examining in particular the processes by which behaviour and restraints on behaviour are learned. (MSN behaviorism Search/crime and punishment) Criminality is seen to result from the failure of the superego, as a consequence either of its incompletes development or of unusually strong instinctual drives. The empirical basis for such a theory is necessarily thin. Behaviour theory views all behaviour criminal and otherwise as learned and thus manipulable by the use of reinforcement and punishment.

Social learning theory examines the manner in which behaviour is learned from contacts within the family and other intimate groups, from social contacts outside the family, particularly from peer groups, and from exposure to models of behavior in the media, particularly television. Mental illness is the cause of a relatively small proportion of crime, but its importance as a causative factor may be exaggerated by the seriousness of some of the crimes committed by persons with mental disorders. Severe depression or psychopathy may lead to grave offenses of violence.

The peer relations literature is replete with studies showing that children who demonstrate certain kinds of social behaviors while refraining from other types of behaviors tend to be liked by their peers. For example, children who play cooperatively and show leadership abilities usually enjoy high peer acceptance (Hatzichristou & Hopf, 1996; Lass, Price, & Hart, 1988).

On the other hand, children who display high levels of aggressive behavior or who interact with their peers in argumentative, disruptive, and socially inappropriate ways are often rejected by their peers (Coie & Dodge, 1988; Dodge, 1983; Dodge, Coie, Pettit, & Price 1990). Shy and withdrawn behavior, such as not playing interactively with peers, watching peers play rather than joining in, and wandering around a classroom or playground, also tends to be associated with low peer acceptance (Lemerise, 1997).

A study was designed to isolate the types of social behaviors that predict kindergarten children peer acceptance when considering several types of social behavior simultaneously. The outcome of that question is important to help parents, teachers, and others who work with young children understand what social skills to specifically foster and promote in order to enhance children perceptions of their peer acceptance.

Previous research has discovered developmental differences in the associations between social behaviors and peer acceptance. Aggression, for example, is linked with problematic peer relations from early childhood through adolescence, while socially withdrawn behavior begins to be associated with low peer acceptance in middle and late childhood (Rubin, Bookwork, & Parker, 1998)

Adult perceptions of children  confidence in their own peer acceptance also may influence their social behaviors. Adults who believe children are not confident about their peer acceptance might provide more opportunities to help these children develop play and friendship skills that could, in turn, lead to more confidence in their peer acceptance. For example, a teacher who believes a child lacks confidence in his or her peer acceptance might pair the child with another child who is confident about her peer acceptance, in order to provide a model of behavior.

In summary, this study investigated the associations between aggression, shyness/ withdrawal, prosocial behavior, friendship skill, and social behavior problems and peer acceptance in kindergarten students. Children  own feelings of peer acceptance, sociometric ratings from peers, and teacher and parent perceptions of children confidence in their peer acceptance were included in the regression analysis to isolate the social behaviors that predict kindergartners peer acceptance across informants. The present study also investigated differences in social behaviors and peer acceptance among children of different genders and varied ethnic backgrounds in a diverse school and community.

After doing this paper I came to the conclusion that behavior shapes personality. The research involving children to learn social acceptance, showed us clearly that how one behaves makes him what he is. I believe the same for adults. I believe if one behaves in a certain way for a long time, not only society with believe you are what you are behaving as but he himself will start believing he is what he is behaving as. Also I have learnt to be more patient with people because I take a step in the further and think why a person would behave in a particular way. I now can see a clear difference between normal and abnormal behaviours to the knowledge I have gathered by reading about Skinner, Freud, Dollard and Miller.

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Behavior Therapy – Personality. (2018, Jun 15). Retrieved from