Published on 29 October 2021

Does Behavioural Psychology Analyze Patterns In Behavior?

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Behavioral psychology has a scientific approach to understanding human behavior. This discipline primarily focuses on observable characteristics of the individual and their environment on their thoughts and feelings. Cognitive psychology explores a human idea by examining how our brains perceive, interpret, and use the information to make decisions.

Moreover, Behaviourism can be studied in a systematic and observable manner and is only concerned with observable and measurable stimulus-response behaviors.

What Is Behavioral Psychology?

Behavior Psychology states that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning, i.e., interactions with the environment. In other words, behavior is simply a response to environmental stimuli.

Behavioral psychology, called Behaviourism, is a systematic approach to understanding human behavior. It centers on discovering the link between the mind and body.

Patterns In Behavior

Patterns in behavior refer to repeated behaviors people may engage in regularly. It could be something as simple as always eating lunch at the same place each day or something more complex like frequently choosing relationships that don't work out.

A crucial part of being aware of patterns in behavior is determining what does and doesn't work for us, so we can identify root causes and effectively make changes when necessary.

Recognizing potential patterns in our behavior can also help us to open up a dialogue with friends and family who may have noticed things about ourselves that we haven't consciously been aware of, leading to positive change. Tracking our behavior over time will allow us to identify patterns throughout life and facilitate self-reflection.

Types of Behavioural Psychology

Behavioral psychology is a therapy that looks to modify and change behavior through various processes. It works by looking at changes in behavior from the environment, expectations from other people, reinforcement (positive or negative), and cognitive restructuring.

Focusing on these things makes it easier to identify problem behaviors and how they can be changed over time. Behavioral psychology also looks to use valuable coping skills to manage emotions, understand how behavior is affected by our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and past experiences, and find ways to monitor our behaviors so that we can take steps toward making positive changes.

Uses for Behavioural Psychology

Behavioral psychology is a handy tool for helping us understand and shape human behavior. It allows us to identify patterns in behavior that can guide our actions and inform policies, programs, and interventions designed to improve people's lives.

From improving educational outcomes to reducing recidivism rates and increasing Safety in our communities, behavioral psychology offers many opportunities for creating positive change.

On a more practical level, it can also be used to establish better relationships with colleagues, family members, and friends by providing insight into how we interact, allowing for more successful communication and problem-solving.

Primary Techniques Used In Behaviourism

Behaviorism analyzes action patterns (behaviors) and suggests that conditioning can modify behaviors using two fundamental behavioral psychology approaches.

Classical conditioning

Classical conditioning is a frequently used technique in behavioral training wherein a neutral stimulus is paired with a conditioned (naturally occurring) stimulus. The neutral inspiration eventually comes to evoke the same response as the conditioned stimulus, even in the absence of the conditioned stimulus present.

For instance, while training a dog, a bell is rung each time he is fed. The dog eventually comes to associate the sound of the bell with food.

Operant conditioning

Operant conditioning is a means of learning that utilizes reinforcements and punishments contingencies. Through operant conditioning, a particular behavior is associated with a resultant consequence for that behavior.

When an action is a consequence of a desirable result, the probability of that behavior occurring again becomes more likely. On the other hand, steps followed by adverse effects become less likely to happen again.

Advantages and Drawbacks

One of the most significant benefits of behavioral psychology is that it allows researchers to analyze observable and measurable behavior systematically and scientifically. However, many researchers believed it fell short by neglecting some significant factors influencing human behavior.

Advantages:

  • One of the most significant merits of this theory and its methodology is that a rigid, experimental approach to research enhances the credibility of science as a scientific discipline. It uses observable and measurable techniques making it easier to quantify and collect data while conducting research.
  • The approach has provided several practical techniques and applications that are effective for modifying behaviors in the real world. It has several practical applications in therapy, Education, parenting, childcare, and the economic market.
  • Several therapeutic techniques, such as behavior analysis, intensive behavioral intervention, discrete trial training, and token economies, are rooted in behaviorism. These therapeutic approaches have often proved helpful in modifying harmful or maladaptive behaviors in adults and children.

Drawbacks:

  • Behaviorism has often been critiqued as a one-dimensional approach to understanding human behavior. The theory considers several important factors, such as mental, biological, or environmental factors.
  • Behavioral psychology does not clearly explain or account for other learnings that occur without applying reinforcements or conditioning. Individuals can adapt their behavior when new information/ stimuli are introduced, even if that behavior has been priory established using behaviorism techniques.
  • The usage of animals in applying the laws of behaviorism to human behavior has been criticized, as humans are far more complex than animals.
  • According to his psychoanalytic theory, Freud felt that behaviorism failed by not considering the mind's unconscious feelings, desires, and thoughts that heavily influence human behavior.
  • Carl Rogers and several other humanistic psychologists believed that behaviorism was too rigid and limiting, failing to consider the concept of personal agency.
  • The emphasis made by biological psychology on the power of genetics and brain biological psychology emphasizes play in determining and influencing human behavior.
  • The cognitive model focuses on mental processes such as thinking, language, decision-making, and problem-solving.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Although behaviorism might not be the most dominant or influential school of thought today, it has significantly affected our understanding of human psychology. It has also helped several other psychotherapeutic approaches take root in themselves.

According to the B.F. Skinner, we can change the frequency of a person's behavior by reinforcing it when it follows the desired pattern and punishing it when it does not. However, this may prove too costly for behavioral psychologists to implement in their research.

If researchers want their studies to reflect real-life situations accurately, they need a way to observe honest-to-goodness human behavior without influencing the subjects' actions.