M5 Discussion.docx - B.F Skinner and other'hardcore behaviorists believed that most human behavior can be explained on the basis of operant conditioning

M5 Discussion.docx - B.F Skinner and other'hardcore...

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B.F. Skinner and other 'hardcore' behaviorists believed that most human behavior can be explained on the basis of operant conditioning. That is, we are who we are due almost entirely to being shaped by the rewards and punishments that we experience in life (an extreme 'environmental nurture' point of view that discounts the role of thinking, imitation, genetic influences, etc.) What limits, if any, do you see with this perspective? If there are limits, what types of thinking, imitation, genetics, etc., can not be explained by operant conditioning? (and remember to reference!) There are many limitations to behaviorism. Behaviorism fails to explain human differences and human personalities. For example, how can behaviorists (based on their theories) tell why people react differently when put in similar situations and why do some people participate in negative behaviors? A recent study has negated Skinner’s discovery of how external reinforcement works -- it was found that rewarding someone for a behavior that they were already doing may actually reduce the behavior instead of increasing it. An example is that
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