Saturday, January 28

Motivation, Learning, Rewards and Today's Technology

Wanting psychology to be a more precise science, researchers in the field of psychology turned to physics and created "behaviorism", which is based upon Newton's one-way cause effect mechanics.

Behaviorism attempts to explain behavior without referring to unobservable internal forces such as thoughts or needs. It explains behavior by focusing only upon the behavior that can be observed: the behavior itself and the environmental events that proceed and follow it, which thus becomes its main weakness in a learning environment -- behaviorism is about the observable, yet learning takes place within the unobserable -- the mind.

I have always found behaviorism a quite interesting concept, although mostly wrong. Thus, when I came across this documentary on rats, I wondered how yesterdays' behaviorists would describe today's generation as they "pushed" the keys on their computers, cell phones, and iPods. How would they describe their drive? What is their reward?

Note: the page that the movie is located on is Motivation and Reward in Learning (1948)


johneglass said...

actually, behaviorism does not deny the mind nor any kind of internal activity. these are called, "private events" to distinguish them from "public events" (those behaviors that can be observed by another) and they are still considered to be behavior. this is a popular misconception.

behaviorists also collect data on these private events through self-reports; the veracity of the reports varies, however due to time from event occurrence to report and other factors.

behaviorists chose observable behavior as a primary method of understanding human behavior for the same reason that natural scientits chose can see what is happening and get agreement from others as to whether or not they are seeing the same thing. a biologist can observe a cell and describe changes that occur to it; behaviorists are trying to adopt the same precision.

Anonymous said...

I've studied psychology a lot, but you know there are a lot of complicated thoughts and ides, different rules, but You don't need them! Everything is much easier! You just need motivation! Motivate yourself to success! Feel what You really need! And just do that! No rules, just you and you again!

Marilyn said...

Keep up the good work. Cheers:-)

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