Compare and Contrast Humanistic and Behaviorist Approach
The study of human psychology is broad area that covers physiologic, genetic and development mechanisms of behavior in humankind and the application principle of biology among other humankind aspects. This research will focus on the behaviorism and cognitive psychology of humankind. Psychology has different perspectives in regards to human behavior along with their assumption each perspective therefore has its strength and weakness this is applicable to behaviorism and humanistic perspective. Below is a summary of the comparison of two psychological approaches (behaviorist and humanistic) in psychology. The comparison will be based on their assumptions and how each of them contribute to the development of behavioral patterns. Finally, it will wind up by evaluating the use and validity of theories and research examples which investigate the development of behavior patterns by using the theories that have been introduced above and thus evaluate research that has been done in this area.
Behavior is only being acquired from the surrounding: - Behaviorism focuses on the role of the environment in affecting behavior, excluding inherited factors. This is equivalent to basically focusing on learning. This assumption is that we also learn new behavior through classical conditioning, that is, the learning theory and therefore, when our minds are a blank state when we are born. Is an approach in psychology that emphasizes learning in environment? On accordance with land Pavlov idea that all animals and humans learn behaviors as a result of having to respond to stimuli they come across in their environment (Gottlieb, Boysen-Osborn, Chan, Krzyzaniak, Pineda, Spector & Sherbino, 2017). All behaviors are learned and could be unlearned by breaking the learned stimulus-response, this scenario is well postulated by Ivan Pavlov through his classical conditioning which primarily focuses on the reinforcement of the learner in their bid to learner new concept for clear comprehension. According this theory, learning process ought to be met with spontaneity of responses which in the long run do facilitates good learning activities in the class set up. It is incumbent to state that positive reinforce does encourage continual and repetitive learning activity. Therefore, if this approach is best used by the teacher, it may encourage a slow learner to cope up with time given time and being encouraged in different instances of their learning. Pavlov believes that any learner if accorded chance of trial and error he may be able to make in their line of studies through positive reinforcement which goes along understanding the needs of the learner in the view of aiding them well in their challenging areas. Basing on this theory, the ideal environmental uses scientific methods such as observation, measurements and experiments (Waterman, 2013). Thus, Behaviorists focus on the overt behavior unlike the cognitive that focus on the inner working of the mind of humankind or the intelligent of individual. The difference of the above approaches is that behaviorism deals on the nurture where it illustrates that we`re born unknowledgeable and the society we live shape us to whom we are today while the cognitive does not deal with the nurture
According to Funder (2015), humanistic approach centers on one’s thoughts, ideal feeling which are very critical and crucial to human life in ideal situation. The aforesaid put much emphasis on individual’s growth towards the achievement of what Maslow considers as Self-actualization. This is the highest point of satisfaction of ones needs where one finds that he/ she has achieved the most admirable need in the life of human beings due its status and centrality to most of human beings. Nonetheless, before one achieves the highest needs according to Maslow’s hierarchy of beings, it is always common sense that any human being would need to satisfy the basic needs in order to move to the next level. The changes that occurs in this needs are spontaneous and one may not decide when and what time they should ascend to the next stage. It just arises as result of satisfaction of an individual in their current position and thereby anticipating to progress to the next stage or status becomes a necessity that is attributed to various reasons (Woodrow, 2017). Its applied in person centered therapy and counseling.
Human behavior is the unconscious conflict between primitive’s drives and emotions which includes the ideals, values and Ego. Apart from human acting as experimental subjects in behavioral neuroscience experiments psychology has expands to some animal species such as monkeys, mice and rats (Solas, 1992). As a result of this non-human species experiments, critical assumption was developed with state that living organisms share both biological and behavioral similarities with humankind. The Paradigmatic of behavior neuroscience and methodological similarities is squarely based on human behavior and experimentation of the disposition of human beings may not be arrived only based on scientific knowledge (Rich, 2017). However, Cognitive approach focuses on the scientific testing of the behavior of humankind. This approach leads us to the second assumption which is that all behavior should be quantitative measurable. Theory of mind(Tom) in cognitive psychology gives us another perspective development on cognitive models. Primarily, this theory deals with individual’s cognition and that ability to understand other people within their vicinity. The developmental stages of a child are gradual since as they are at their tender age (4 & 6) they are unable to comprehend how different people have differences in thoughts, ideas and most importantly feelings. Through much exposure on their environment of a child gets a lot of experience which nurtures and shapes their character and allows them to develop mentally (Bandura, Bannister, Beck, Bierer & Blake, 2014). In a modern social work theory, it focusses on creativity in human life and practices which comprises self-development, spirituality, security, resilience development, accountability, flexibility and dynamic of the daily human life practices. Petru Stefaroi, illustrates the way to deal with client of highly esteemed and personality which is realized as the foundation of humanistic social work. The critical components of humanistic psychology and psychotherapy are the self-actualization, holistic approach, human well-being and experience, self-determination, spirituality, creativity and positive thinking among others. These components are the main pillars of humankind aspect of life (Kolb, 2014).
The personality consists of three behavioral repertoires as per his theory of psychology comprises of sensory-motor repertoire such as attention, social skills and basic sensory motor abilities. Secondly, language-cognitive repertoires are the receptive, expressive and receptive-expressive languages (Nabi & Prestin, 2017). And lastly it consists of emotional and motivational repertoires which are both patterns that do facilitate the emotional reactions. McLeod, (2007) also argues that biological organisms are the products of environment learning that results in basic behavioral repertoires which constitute personality which modifies the brain’s biology with new neural connections. A child at their tender age develops basic behavioral pattern which in the long run develop to become complex through learnability within their environment (Meier, 2016). The child is able to respond appropriately since the repertories are acquired by the child learning process which improves the personality thus the personal experiences depends on his or her repertoires (Altus & Morris, 2004). Both independent and dependent variables of behavioral repertoire are of primary importance to the processes of learning a concept. The result of learning process constitutes of individual personality and biological conditions of learning which are essential to this theory (Kay & Kibble, 2016). All living organism share similar psychological processes such as the behavioral neuroscience of non-human species like rats, mice and monkeys among others animals. Genes carries the genetic information in chromosomes which are passed to other generation of species. This similarity in behavioral neuroscience of living organism is supported by Darwin’s evolution theory, where the genes form the basis of behavior which are inherited and pass to the other generation (Olson, 2015). One’s environment too determines the shaping of an individual’s character. However, biological traits are genetically passed down from an individual to a child and thereby they inherit some of the traits which latter on may be shaped by the environmental in which they are brought up.
This similarity is also experience when living organisms are exposed to similar stimuli in the form of behaviorism responses key theory in psychological determination of behavior of an individual. Another similarity depicted in organisms is neurotransmitter. Chemicals are passed from neuron to neuron and synapses are gaps between neurons and the message is sent when neuron receive neurotransmitters from another neuron. Also this can be experience when passing a message around the body where hormones such as testosterone and estrogen play a critical role in transmitting the messages around the body of mankind (Anders, 2015). Observing the outward behavior of living organism generates psychological data which is obtained through introspection. All living organism behavior may at some level influenced by drug therapy by altering an individual’s biochemistry (Richards & Rodgers, 2014). This drug therapy leads to the development of drug applications which improve health and wellbeing where non-human species are experimented before introducing to humankind for safety and health precautions.
Finally, electrical impulses travel around the nervous systems which act as an important internal communication in directing our behavior. From our work above, I notice the difference that I would like to highlight; that is Behaviouristic psychology mainly deals with general behavior of mankind whereas cognitive psychology focuses on the mental processing capacity of the brain of living organism (Kiraly, 2014). Behaviorism emphasizes on observable behavior over thinking while humanism emphasizes the study of the whole person. Humanism is based on assumption that people have free will while behaviorism operates on basic assumption that psychology should be approached from a scientific way (Duke, Harper & Johnston, 2013). Behaviorism uses scientific methods such as lab experiments while humanism relies on qualitative research, unstructured interviews to discover how peoples feel and think. Humanism rejects behaviorism and its findings as being humanly insignificant as it doesn't reflect real life human affairs. Both are deterministic, Behaviorist’s assume that behavior is beyond an individual’s free will and humanistic believes that we are driven be unconscious, that is, something we are not aware of and therefore cannot be controlled. Both theories believe that current behavior is determined by past experiences. Behaviorist is based on animal research for example, rats and pigeons whereas humanistic is based on human research. Behaviorist approach is based on testability, this implies that the said pattern may be easily observed and tested thereby making it possible to use scientific analysis to come up with an assumption of a particular pattern of behavior using the descriptive analysis (Siemens, 2014). The behavioral approach ignores the part of unconscious while the humanistic approach focuses on it. Limitations of humanism is lack of scientific support while behaviorism has been met with a lot of criticism since it failures to evaluate the logic behind human behaviors and its complexities. It is only much concerned with the scientific approach of understanding the learnability process rather than concentrating on the ideal situation of an individual in ideal environment.
Evaluation of the two School of thoughts
It is ideal to state that it is important to apply comparative psychology in learning as one may be able to deduce some of relativism of comparison in the bid of determining how it may influence learnability of a learner in learning processes. On the same breath, there is always very little difference between the behavior that is evident in animals and tat of human beings and thereby some of the psychological experiments may be used to make some general assumptions about the learnability of human beings in different levels (Robbins, Kamens & Elkins, 2017). The behaviorist approach squarely rely on stimulus- response relationship in that the prediction of the stimuli solely depends on various responses that is exhibited by particular animals. For instance, this approach was well developed by Skinner whose operant conditioning clearly indicate how the response of a learner may greatly differ depending on the motivation that the learner is experiencing. According to Skinner, a learner who is continuously motivated tend to perform better and find learning interesting unlike that one who is always reprimanded for any trial or attempt they make in their activities. Humanistic heavily rejects the behaviorist approach which is viewed as primarily focusing on stimulus-response. The humanist argue that this approach limits a lot of factors that area of primary value to human beings. Maslow through his hierarchical structure exemplifies the notion of basic need a s very primary to human beings (Ardelt, Achenbaum & Oh, 2013). According to Maslow, he has fully explicated how self-actualization may be realized in different stages. Humanistic method does not majorly delve on scientific understanding of the matter at hand. The three focal view in this value are that it is based on new set values that are solely pegged on the nature and condition of human (Lonie, Austin, Nguyen, Gill &Tsingos-Lucas, 2017). This also provides the basis of inquiry which is very crucial for human behavior. Most importantly, it has some provisions for psychotherapy which is very primary in evaluating the real life situation of particular item at hand.
Conclusively, the greatest strengths of the humanistic is that it explicitly shows one’s responsibility or choice. This basically looks at the self-fulfillment of every being in the bid of improving the living standard and the life of every member. Moreover, it has a framework that is very flexible to oversee that general observations of every individual is put into considerations. Behaviorist as a school of thought primarily centers on the scientific knowledge. It focuses on complexity of the issue and further making it simple and decipherable through the basic experimentation that are put in place for that matter. In summation humanistic perspective encourages humane and ethical view of human beings and values the wellbeing of an individual psychologically. Behaviorist looks into behaviors rather than inner mental life. I conclude that all living organism psychologically share so many things in common and quantitatively measurable. This has open new windows of discovery in psychological fields where psychologist needs to further their research on so that a clear scope can be established.
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