Skinner and Bandura
Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both Skinner's and Bandura's learning models. Give an example from current events when either was successful or failed.
He developed some key ideas that are widely used today. *
He changed the way people look at things that are observable. *
People are more aware of how to control behavior, which has become very important in parenting techniques. *
Skinner really worked towards making psychology as scientific as possible, and tried not to bias research. *
Skinner made behaviorism more widely known.
Enforced that people should stick to experimental observations but in Beyond Freedom and Dignity he used assumptions, not just what he observed. *
Some have thought that Skinner’s theories treat people as if they were the animals that he began studying. Some also say he treats them like objects to be controlled. *
A big weakness in his theory of operant conditioning is the fact that is does not always work. Sometimes the behavior has not really been stopped, do to positive reinforcement. The person could be pretending they have stopped the behavior just to receive the reward. Skinner also did not allow much room for other perspectives in his theories. He was a radical behaviorist, and very closed off to other ways of looking at things.
Skinner’s theories continue to influence what goes on in schools, especially for some special education programs. The mechanistic theory of behaviorism emphasizes the role of the environment on an individual's development. Preparing the environment for appropriate reinforcement is a major goal. Many educators believe the theory behind No Child Left Behind is behaviorism. The methods reported to be scientifically based are rooted in the behaviorist tradition, and so the methodology recommended under No Child Left Behind is behavioral in nature. Bandura:
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