The three instances where I observe behaviorism in action is related to my home. I am a single parent of two. I have a son 21 and daughter 19 who still live at home. We work as a team and behaving appropriately is imperative. Instance 1: Though my children are very close to me and share all aspects of their lives with me, they expect me to leave them alone when they are with their friends.
I have observed all the time from their facial expressions and gestures that whenever their friends come to our house, they expect me to leave them alone and not be a part of their group at that point of time.
In this instance, the attitude of my children forces me to behave in the way, I do. My interactions with their friends are limited to a few customary greetings. I don’t need anyone to tell me to go the other room, because I automatically head towards other portions of my house when the young guests are around. This is because “Many attitudes are so well established and so frequently used that people can express them and act on them without a second thought. ” (Smith and Mackie, 2002, p. 249)
Instance 2: Whenever any three of us are late, the other two expects the late comer to inform how much time would he/she take to return back home and whether it would be possible for him/her to take the dinner with the family. In this instance the principle of commitment guide us to behave the way we do. Smith and Mackie rightly observed, “It’s not only our commitments to others that leads us…. Our commitment to maintaining a positive view of ourselves helps too. ” (2000, p. 392) By keeping other members of our group informed, all the three of us not only reduce other members’ anxiety but also make them know how caring we are.
This may cause each one of us some discomfort like talking on the mobile while driving, which is certainly not an acceptable behavior or excusing ourselves from an important lecture for a while which means loosing some precious moments, but we do it any way. Hence in order to project ourselves in a certain manner we slightly go out of the way which is unacceptable from not only the point of view of common norms but to our inner self too. Instance 3: Each one of us expect the other two members of our families to do their share of work and not overload just one person for the upkeep of the house.
Though my daughter does not particularly like cleaning her room or washing the clothes, she does it half-heartedly. In this instance, the behavioral principle of obedience forces her to behave in a certain manner which she somewhat dislikes. She routinely engages in the cleaning activities, which strengthens the viewpoint that she is submitting to authority. In this case that authority is not only me, the parent but also the way in which we as a family are expected to behave to make life easier for each other.
She does not want to loose the sanctity of a quiet and well-behaved family of ours by her regular cribbing about the activities she dislikes. Thus she abides by the rules of the family. The impact of behaviorism in popular culture has both negative and positive implications. We behave in a certain manner because we see others behaving in that manner. In the words of Mixon, “…behavior is the product of association. ” (para. 11) Hence when we see others behaving properly we automatically follow their behavior. For example we don’t speak in a library when all the others are quiet. This is a positive implication of behaviorism.
However we fall prey to bad behavior too, by seeing others. For example it is not good to litter a park but we don’t follow rules when we are in a park, where we see others have already littered it. This is a negative implication of behaviorism. Hence behaviorism conditions us and we get conditioned in both positive and negative ways. References Smith, E. R. , Mackie, D. M. (2 Ed. ). (2000) Social Psychology. USA: Psychology Press. Wagner, K. V. (2008). Retrieved Jan. 21, 2007 from http://psychology. about. com/od/behavioralpsychology/f/behaviorism. htm Mixon, C. (2008). Retrieved Jan. 21, 2007 from http://www. barkingdogs. net/bmod. shtml
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