Psychological Theories and Real Life Situations

Topics: Reinforcement, Psychology, Operant conditioning Pages: 2 (728 words) Published: November 27, 2005
Psychological Theories and Real Life Situations

Psychological theories and perspectives have been around for many years. It is one thing for a person to come up with ideas and thoughts about how people function, but it becomes much more interesting when these ideas are related to real life situations. It is much easier to understand how these theories and models were developed when looking at them from a real life standpoint.

The first example of a psychological theory in practice is when I wanted my friend to have a party and I told him that if he has a party, he will meet new people and make new friends. I also told him that if he doesn't have the party, he will be missing out on many possible friendships. As a result of my nagging, he decided to have the party and made new friends at the party and decided to have more parties in the future.

The second real life example of a psychological perspective takes the form of a cigarette ad. In the ad a beautiful lady is pictured smoking a cigarette with bright words on the side saying, "Yeah, I have a tattoo, and no, you can't see it". The pretty girl combined with the cigarette and the idea that having a tattoo is cool, all grab the viewer's attention. In the corner of the ad is a tiny warning label that states: smoking can cause lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and may complicate pregnancy.

The first example about getting my friend to have a party relates to the operant conditioning model. This model was first formed by B.F. Skinner in the early 1930's. Operant conditioning is usually done in a three step process. The first step is to identify a specific goal that will lead to a specific result. Secondly, the person must choose to use positive reinforcement, punishment, or negative reinforcement to try and reach the specific goal. Finally, the most effective stimulus must be used by finding out what a person likes or dislikes.

The second example using the cigarette ad is a representation of the...
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