Aspects of Psychology

Aspects of Psychology

B.F Skinner described negative reinforcement in the operant conditioning theory as a response that can be strengthening by avoiding a negative outcome as well as aversive stimulus. Aversive stimuli involve distress that is physical or emotional. Behaviors are reinforced negatively when one is permitted to escape from aversive stimuli that are already present or permit one to shun the aversive stimuli prior to their happening. One way to remember the meaning of negative reinforcement is to thinking about it as something that is initially there, but taken away from the situation (Dennis coon 2008).

Operant conditioning theory explains that positive reinforcement includes anything that encourages the likelihood of behavior occurring in the future. In a situation, one is rewarded after an action; the behavior in the individual is strengthened. The basic way of identifying positive reinforcement is viewing it as an addition of something. This makes it possible to identify its examples in any given situation. Punishment is termed as a result, after an operant response in order to discourage the possibility of the same response happening in the future.

Behaviorism outlines positive punishment occurring when a negative outcome is used in response to behaviors viewed as undesirable. With time, positive punishment happens to discourage the behavior occurring in the future. In an effort to reduce the possibility of behavior taking place in the future, an operant response is followed by presenting of an aversive incentive. This is what is termed as positive punishment. Attempts to diminish the chances of behavior happening in the future, operant response is exerted by the elimination of the appetitive stimulus. This is termed as negative punishment (Carol Sigelman 2011).

From time to time, people innocently support undesirable behaviors. This has a great influence on the actions of an individual as it results to the unethical behavior becoming a habit. This also promotes inculcation of undesirable behavior in individuals making it difficult to change their perceptions on their behaviors. The scenario gives a basis to provide an ethical framework when dealing with a person behavior. It is important to use appropriate reinforcement to avert encouraging undesirable behaviors. A student who does not do his homework but gives it to the parent to help him or her out is not being honest. In most cases, the parent does not see anything wrong in that but with time it encourages dishonesty in the child. The most vital aspect as a teacher when dealing with the students is rewarding an effort that leads to a change to positive behavior (Kalat 2010).


BIBLIOGRAPHY l 1033 Carol K. Sigelman, E. A. (2011). Lifespan Human Development. New York: Cengage Learning.

Dennis Coon, J. O. (2008). Introduction to Psychology:Gateways to Mind and Behaviour. London: Cengage Learning.

Kalat, J. W. (2010). Introduction to psychology. London: Cengage Learning.

Various Perspectives (theories) of Psychology

In order to understand behavior, it is important to comprehend the evolving nature of psychology since the time of its origin. There are various aspects of psychology. Behaviorism as one of psychology theories is founded on the perception that all people’s behavior is acquired by the process of conditioning. It takes place through contact with the environment. The theory believes behavior can be learnt in a logical and visible manner with no reflection of internal mental states (Plotnik 2010).

Classical conditioning is a type of conditioning that is used in behavioral instruction which involves pairing a stimulus occurring with a response. Subsequently, a previously impartial stimulus is harmonized with the stimulus occurring naturally in the environment. Finally, the earlier neutral stimulus evokes the responses in the absence of the naturally occurring incentive. The two elements are identified as the conditioned stimulus as well as conditioned response (Chadee 2011).

Operant conditioning at times referred as instrumental conditioning. It is a process of learning that takes place through rewards and punishments directed towards behavior change. During operant conditioning, a relationship is made between behavior and a result of that behavior. An example of the theory is when a scoundrel presses a lever with its left paw, the right paw or the tail. All the responses have the same results as the final result is similar. Operants are frequently thought of as a variety of responses, where the persons differ but the class function is shared among them

Cognitive theory deals with the maturity of a person’s thought processes. It also takes into consideration the processes influencing how one understand and interrelate with humanity. Jean Piaget, the prime cognitive thinker, proposed a suggestion that seems evident now, however, helped transform how people think concerning child development. He believed children think differently as compared to adults. Piaget later came up with a cognitive theory to explain the steps and succession of children’s intellectual progress. Cognitive theory is an erudition hypothesis of psychology that tries to clarify individual behavior by taking into account the thought processes. The supposition is that human beings are logical creatures that make choices that seems sensible to them. Information dispensation is generally used to depict the psychological process, comparing a person brain to a computer (Chadee 2011).

Pure cognitive theory mainly rejects behaviorism in that behaviorism attributes complex human behavior to uncomplicated cause and effect. The tendency in the past has been to merge the two into a complete cognitive-behavioral speculation. This permits therapists to use techniques in helping clients attain their goals. Usually, they are reasonable, cultured things. Abstract philosophy comes into it. As one grows older, a person recognizes the consequences of one’s behavior as one thought develops and envisions the implication of one’s action (J. Shettleworth 2009)

Humanistic psychologist theory tries to view people lives the same way those people would envision them. It tends to accord the human nature an optimistic approach on human nature. It focuses on the ability of a person to think consciously, and sensibly, so as to be in command of their biological urges, and realize their full potential. In the humanistic theory, people are accountable for their actions and have the liberty and will in modifying their attitudes and actions. The capability to enjoy work and view it as a way of fulfilling a mission is an example of a humanistic approach to psychology. Humanistic psychology focuses on individual potential and emphasizes the significance of development and self-actualization. This has encouraged creativity and self belief among people. The three branches of psychology have led to a deeper insight in understanding the mind of an individual and behavior. Humanistic psychology dimension takes a more holistic view of the individual as a reason for one’s actions. Behaviorism mainly concentrates on a person’s behaviors and does not take into account the mind when dealing with behavior change (Plotnik 2010).

Cognitive theory based individual actions on the activities taking place in the mind. Therefore, stressing that people’s behavior is as a result of their thoughts. Social cognitive theory is applied in advertising campaigns as well as peer pressure situations. It is also helpful in the management of psychological disorders that include phobias. In today’s society, there is an agreement amongst researchers and educators that developmental psychology plays an important role in a learning environment. It encourages learners to learn and think therefore, bringing out their best. Humanistic approach stresses the present times and attempts to predict the future rather than concentrate on the past. It outlines that the objective of living is to achieve individual growth and understanding thus making one happy.

To be emotionally healthy, an individual has to be liable for their behavior in spite of positive or negative actions. It promotes appreciation of all human kind and emphasizes individual worth. Behaviorism is based on the suggestion that behavior can be researched scientifically without an alternative to the state in the mind. It denies any sovereign significance of the mind. This is important as it is used in psychological treatment as well as one of the foundations of pharmacological rehabilitation (Chadee 2011).


Chadee, D. (2011). Theories in Psychology. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Plotnik, R. (2010). Introduction to Psychology. London : Cengage Learning .

J.Shettleworth, S. (2009). Cognition,evolution,and behaviour. New York: Oxford University Press.



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