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by Sez
Rated: E · Essay · Educational · #1936792
Behavior modifiers emphasize the importance of learning and the influence of situations

Behavior Modifiers

         Behavior modifiers emphasize the importance of learning. This is because they condition how an individual interacts or interprets different signs and signals in their environment. By so doing, the behavior modifiers promote an environment of learning in which people react to what kind of conditions or circumstances their environment puts them in (Baum, 2005). For instance, if the weather is cold outside, the first instinct is to stay warm by putting on heavy clothing. This act is repeated whenever the weather is in that circumstance hence promoting a significant influence on an individual. However, this does not imply the lack of importance placed on genetics. For instance, the weather may be cold but an individual’s body maybe more accustomed to it hence defying the environment. Nevertheless, many behaviorists argue that since much of our activities is a result of environmental factors, behavior modifiers play a significant role than genetics (Baum, 2005).

What is Behaviorism?

Behaviorism is the theory that human behavior in most cases can be explained in terms of conditioning without appeal to thoughts or feelings of any individual (Baum, 2005). This kind of conditioning is also attributed to animals. Behaviorism is very much alive in both natural and social sciences and it defines the mode of operation in many circumstances. For example, in the actions of human beings, people go to work every day in part because they understand that going to work is the only way to pay the bills and ensure that other aspects of their lives are not brought to a standstill. Behaviorism is also applicable in the sense that any action produced in a chemical reaction or in a political environment produces an equal and opposite force (Baum, 2005).

Unconscious Behavior Modification

         The modification of behavior is an important aspect of providing leadership in society. In most modern democracies for example, not many people understand what they want. In order to govern them, it is important to shift their attention without them realizing by playing to emotions that easily appeal to them (Baum, 2005). For instance, in order to promote order in a food distribution process, it is sometimes required that people fill forms and register with appropriate authorities. However, the people being registered are in most cases are not aware of such actions. This is because conditions are created to make them act in the way they do without necessarily explaining the reasons for them.

Conditioned Reinforcement

         Addictions are part of conditioned reinforcement. The process through which an individual is addicted to nicotine is brought by a desire to achieve a different objective (Baum, 2005). However, once they get addicted, they argue that without the nicotine they can’t function. In such circumstances, most addicts tend to increase their consumption of such drugs and portray themselves as victims of their lives yet they are the consumers of nicotine by choice. It follows that under these circumstances, it is hard to quite their addictions.

Contributions of Thorndike, Watson, and Skinner

         The various contributors to behaviorism include Thorndike, Skinner, and Watson. Thorndike to begin with spent his years in teachers college at Columbia University where he carried out a number of important experiments (Baum, 2005). His most important contributions were on the theory of connectionism and the laying of the scientific foundation for modern educational psychology. He did this through his work on animal behavior and the learning process. Watson on the other hand established the psychological school of behaviorism and promoted changes in psychology through his address (Baum, 2005). He also carried out various researches on animal behavior, advertising, and child rearing. Finally, Skinner developed the Skinner box, or the operant conditioning chamber, developed the radical behaviorism, and founded the experimental analysis of behavior (Baum, 2005). His hallmark contributions in the science of behavior falls in to five categories, for instance he contributed immensely to the interpretations of typical and atypical behavior. These contributions have made the three individuals important in the study and understanding of behaviorism. In the video attached to this paper, there is a deliberate process in promoting a significant placement of condition in the behavior of animals and man in society. The experiments are a demonstration of the nature of animals as beings whose behavior is conditioned by the environment, hence making the video very effective in demonstrating conditioned behavior


Baum, W. M. (2005). Understanding behaviorism: Behavior, Culture and Evolution. Hoboken, New Jersey: Blackwell.

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