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Behavioral and Social Learning Approaches Personality Assessment - Essay Example

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The behavioral learning approach to personality is based on the idea that behavior is a response to external stimulus and is not related to an internal life of the mind. Social learning contends that one learns by observing the actions of others and the consequences those…
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Behavioral and Social Learning Approaches Personality Assessment
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Download file to see previous pages In social learning, behavior is developed through the adaptation of behaviors that are mimicry of the behaviors that one is exposed to within one’s social environment.
One of the more controversial, and by today’s standards, unethical experiments in behaviorism was conducted by John B. Watson on a subject he called “Little Albert”. Watson proposed that a natural and innate response that an infant would experience to loud noise was fear. Watson introduced a white rat into an area where an 11-month old infant was sitting. The child did not exhibit a natural fear of the rat and attempted to reach for it and interact with the rat. Then Watson would introduce the rat and at the same time strike an iron bar with a hammer in order to evoke a response. As predicted, when the rat would be let into the area with the child, the child would then automatically begin to cry, associating the rat with the fear he had felt at the disruptive loud noise (Slee, 2002, p. 57).
very quickly, creating the association that relates to the response. The concept that an internal process does not associate with the way in which a person responds does not seem to be accurate as it discounts the importance of decision. The way in which one decides to respond may not be under full control, but that does not mean that it is not done through a series of decisions. As in the example of ’Little Albert’, his thought process could be, ’I see the rat’, I like the rat, but when the rat shows up, a loud noise that I don’t like is present’. Behaviorism suggests that the response is solely instinctual and developed as a pure response to stimulus.
Gabriel Tarde developed social learning laws of imitation in order to explain behavior. The laws were: 1. Imitation occurs through proximity to others, 2. Imitation flows from the superior to the inferior, and 3. New ideas can become part of the fabric of culture as the customs become imbedded, while others ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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