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Behaviorism and Comportement

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The comportement refers to a theory of learning that concentrates particularly on objectively measurable actions of a person while at the same time decreasing autonomous activities in the mind. Learning, according to conduct theorists, is a process involving the acquisition of new conduct based on the environmental conditions of a person (Ormrod, 2014). In the other hand, social cognitive theory explores the development and retention of behavioral behaviors by people and provides the basis of strategies for intervention. The assessment of behavioral change depends on behavior causes, people and the environment according to social cognitive theories (Ormrod, 2014). The social cognitive theory also gives a framework for the design, implementation, and evaluation of various learning programs (Khalid, 2015). This paper compares and contrasts the behaviorism and social cognitive theories, as well as provides a detailed discussion of the primary components of each of the two theories.

Behaviorism theory puts much emphasis on the role played by environmental factors in influencing behavior, to the extent of excluding the significance of the inherited factors. According to behaviorism theory, people learn new behavior through operant or classical conditioning, collectively termed as learning theory (Raiola, 2014). The behaviorists' experiments define conditioning as a universal learning process, and the two types of conditioning (classical and operant), with each providing a different pattern of behavior (Raiola, 2014). According to behaviorism theory, classic conditioning takes place when a natural reflex responds to a stimulus. Behavioral theorists' experiments show that people have biological connections such that a given stimulus will always provide a particular response (Ormrod, 2014).

An example of classical conditioning in a classroom is in situations where the students show irrational anxieties and fears like the fear of public speaking, fear of failure and the general school phobia (Ormrod, 2014). On the other hand, operant conditioning occurs when there is a reinforced response to a stimulus. As opposed to classical conditioning, operant conditioning is a simple feedback system. In other words, if a response to a stimulus gets accompanied by reinforcement, the response then becomes more likely in the future (Raiola, 2014). Additionally, the behaviorism theory guides behavior management in parenting or classroom by enabling children or learners to begin as clean slate and shape their behaviors through positive or negative reinforcement. Both the positive and negative reinforcements help in increasing the probability of the reoccurrence of the antecedent behavior (Raiola, 2014). In contrast, both the positive and negative punishments decrease the likelihood of the precursor behavior's reoccurrence. Therefore, the change in behavior is what defines the children or students’ learning (Raiola, 2014).

While the behaviorist theory emphasizes the learner's observable behavior as the basis for knowledge acquisition, the social cognitive theory (SCT) holds that only a portion of an individual's skills gets acquired directly by observing others within the contexts of experiences, interactions, and media influences (Ormrod, 2014). According to the SCT, when individuals see a model performing a behavior and the effects of that behavior, they tend to remember the sequence of activities and use such information to control or guide the subsequent behaviors. Additionally, the SCT states that individuals do not only learn new behaviors by trying, failing, or succeeding them but rather, the humanity's survival depends on other people’s repeated actions (Khalid, 2015).

Like the behaviorism theory, the SCT recognizes that the observer can decide to copy the modeled depending on whether people get punished or rewarded for their behavior as well as the behavior’s outcome. One of the unique SCT features that distinguish it from the behaviorism theory is its emphasis on social influence. However, both the theories emphasize the use of reinforcement in influencing the change of behavior (Ormrod, 2014). The SCT takes into account the unique means by which people acquire and maintain behavior and considers an individual's past experiences, which helps in determining the likelihood of behavioral action's occurrence (Raiola, 2014). According to SCT, the past experiences influence an individual’s expectations, reinforcements, and expectancies, all of which help in determining whether an individual will take part in a particular behavior, as well as the reasons behind a person’s engagement in that behavior (Raiola, 2014).

As a learning theory, the SCT bases on the idea that individuals learn through observing others and such learned behaviors can be vital to a person's personality. Additionally, the SCT emphasizes that people learn by observing others, with the behavior, environment, and cognition, all as the primary factors that influence the acquisition of knowledge (Khalid, 2015). For example, in a classroom setting, every witnessed behavior can change the cognition (thinking) of students. Similarly, the environment in which one grows up can influence his or her future behaviors, just, in the same way, a parent's cognition or mindset determines the environment for raising children.

Despite both the theories having significant impacts on people's learning processes, the behaviorism theory best connects with my personal learning theory. That is because it is relatively simple to understand and primarily depends on observable behavior in describing various behavior laws. Additionally, it has effective positive and negative reinforcement techniques. However, people need not ignore the application of the social cognitive theory as it helps in explaining how individuals can use reinforcement and control to regulate their behavior so as to achieve long-lasting goal-oriented behaviors.

References

Khalid, M. (2015). Educational Theories of Cognitive Development. Journal Of Educational And Social Research. http://dx.doi.org/10.5901/jesr.2015.v5n1p313

Ormrod, J. E. (2014). Educational Psychology: Developing Learners (8th ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. [ISBN-978-0-13-297442-4]

Raiola, G. (2014). Motor Control and Learning Skills According to Cognitive and Ecological Dynamic Approach in a Vision on Behaviorism, Cognitive, Gestalt and Phenomenology Theories. Mediterranean Journal Of Social Sciences. http://dx.doi.org/10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n15p504

October 20, 2021
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