Monday, May 23, 2011

Post One

Skinners version of behaviorism was know as radical behaviorism which emphasizes the influence of the environment on overt behavior, he believes that thoughts and feelings are behaviors that need to be explained. On the other hand sometimes our physical behaviors are difficult to explain and can't be backed up by our feelings. For example in chapter one, when there is an emergency we act on impulse or just do something without knowing why we did it. There are three different ways in which a person can react to an emergency, emergency ->feelings of concern ->provide help or provide help -> emergency -> feelings of concern, or emergency -> provide help -> feelings of concern. Personally, I was encountered with an emergency where a man driving on his motorcycle in front of me got in an accident, and without though I jumped out of my car and tried to pull the motorcycle off of him and then reacted. I would compare this example to the third type of situation.

My example goes along with the problem with using feelings to explain a situation. My feelings did not explain why I felt the need to help this man. A good point that the book mentioned was that with using internal events to explain behavior is problematic because we do not have any means of directly changing these internal events. Tolman's theory of cognitive behaviorism would better define what happened in this example, which Tolman makes use of intervening variables, and to help explain the relationship between environment and behavior. The behavior and environment is what explained the post feelings. The usual order of this is the environmental events -> the internal cognitive processes, such as expectations and hypothesis -> then the observable behavior.

1 comment:

  1. When I considered the example you used in order to help understand the ways a person can react to an emergency, I believe (based on past circumstances) that I would have acted differently. Had I seen the person crash, I believe I would experience feelings first. I would panic and hope that he was okay. After realizing he may not be, I would then provide the help. In my situation, the environment would greatly effect how I acted. If someone else were there to help him, say an officer or an EMT, I would not attempt to help since I can provide a lesser service. In this way, I tend to understand Skinners ideas of radical behaviorism.