Chapter 8- Behaviorism, Humanism, Cognitive and Trait theories


1. B. F. Skinner
  • Predict and control behavior
  • Contingencies of reinforcement

Cognitive Theories
Personality developed through you
George Kelly-Masters of our own destiny
Personal Construct-how we view the world, the world can change.

Humanistic Psychology
  • Relative Freedom from instinctual pressures our ability to create and live be personal standards.
  • Self Actualization

1. Abraham Maslow
  • Self Actualized People

1. Perceive reality accuratly
2. Accept themselves
3. Will deal with a problem immediatly
4. Seeks identification with people
5. Sense of Humor
6. Spontaneous
For self-actualized people, you must have basic needs met.

2. Carl Rogers· Patients or clients
  • Self-actualization-full functioning
  • 2 sides to every person

1. Organism
2. Self-image of who you are and what you value.
  • The greater the gap, the more problems there are.

1. You want/need people’s positive regard.
2. Conditions of worth.
  • Cured by unconditional positive regard. Others-self

Trait Theories: The Main Points
Studying personality traits in detail assumption
1. Every trait applies to all people
2. Descriptions can be qualified (1-10)
Hans Eysenck
Factor Analysis
1. Stability-control over feelings.
2. Extraversion-Extraverts? Introverts?

Big five
1. Openness to Experience
2. Conscientous
3. Extraversion
4. Agreeable
5. Neurotism


As the famed psychologist John Watson said, “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select -- doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.” This quote basically describes behaviorism in a nutshell. Behaviorism can be summed into either classical or operant conditioning. Classical conditioning is prying on the naturally occurring events with the mind. Dr. Pavlov did a famous study on this topic.

Ivan Pavlov- He was a soviet physician who originally wanted to test the gastric function in dogs by analyzing their drool. To test this he would make a sound on a tuning fork to get the dog’s attention and then feed them followed by taking their drool. After enough times he noticed, he doesn’t have to have food to make the dog drool. He had to hit the fork. This made him change his field into psychology. He wondered and noticed it also worked on all beings of cognitive thought. Thus, earning him the respect of many respectable psychologists.
Ivan Pavlov
Ivan Pavlov

Eventually people noticed that the same reaction wouldn’t happen if they stopped giving the same stimuli. As in, when the dog stopped getting food. The dog stopped drooling for the fork. A more permanent effect would have to deal with operant conditioning. Take in account, The Little Albert Experiment, and the man behind it, John B. Watson.
John B. Watson
John B. Watson

John B. Watson- After abandoning his plans on animal studies, he reluctantly ended up at human studies (as most behaviorist have). Still keeping in mind of that his “subjects” we’re just subjects. He underwent a semi-inhuman experiment on an orphan child named Albert. Dr. Watson wanted to find out what makes people tick. Was it fear? What does everyone fear? Do babies fear? These were all questions he went out to find no matter what the consequences. Dr. Watson took this baby and showed him some scary things. Nothing scared him. Was given animals to play with and yet he played with all of them. He found dropping him works, but that would break his test subject. Then he found out loud noises scared him. This was the ticket. Dr. Watson figured he could condition the child into being afraid of all those lovable animals just by making a loud noise. This worked. Albert began to cry and fear all of the animals and anything similar to it, like beards, Santa and fur coats. With fear instilled into the child and human rights after the doctor, he had to drop his experiment and no one has officially tried since and the science world has accepted his ideas.

Even though most psychologists aren’t as willing to use babies in their experiments, they almost all can agree that events in people’s lives affect how they think and act. Most of psychologist use animals as their animals. One of which doctors to do so was Dr. B. F. Skinner, who used electroshock therapy, but all in the name of science of course!

B.F. Skinner

B.F. Skinner- The good doctor checked to see if all animals could be conditioned. He used some pigeons in one of his experiments. He set them into a cage and in order to get food pellets, they would have to peck at the correct button to get food. And if they got it wrong he might zap them. The birds learned faster when there was punishment. But after enough playing around with the birdies for food, he also tried to teach them nifty tricks like jumping on a xylophone and doing math! He later devoted his attention to rats. He discovered that if he had one button give one pellet of food immediately and the other button give more pellets, but at a delayed time. The rat would always go for the instant food button. But when he made both buttons give out at delayed times regardless of how much food it gave out, the rats went with the “more food” button

Cognitive Theory
Though our class doesn’t teach a lot on cognitive theory, it does exist and we should mention it. The bad thing is that there are far to many scientific words to even explain. One of the psychological professors of the cognitive theory was George Kelly.

Trait Theories
The basic idea of trait theories is that some one isn't made a leader, they're born one. that's not saying that a baby alexander would have taken over the world, but saying that they had the right traits and skills to lead. Carl Jung- Once an assosiate of Sigmond Freud, he left being his "yes man" after a fight about the libido being the secret driving force behind every human being. Now on his own he needed to prove himself to the world. what better way then proving what he needs to prove the world? Jung came up with a rough list of what all of the greatest leaders had. He identified all of the traits each of them had and all of the skills, his list was... Some of the traits they look for the most are:
Adaptable to situations
Alert to social environment
Ambitious and achievement-orientated
Dominant (desire to influence others)
Energetic (high activity level)
Tolerant of stress
Willing to assume responsibility

As some of the skills that arise from this would be:
Clever (intelligent)
Conceptually skilled
Diplomatic and tactful
Fluent in speaking
Knowledgeable about group task
Organised (administrative ability)
Socially skilled later on people would add onto this list, but above all he noticed a thing he called "self-actualization" which basically ment that, that person knew who they were. they were'nt following in anyone else's footsteps. they were'nt trying to be someone they're not.

Self Actualized People:
Perceive Reality Accurately:
Self-actualized people have more of an understanding of reality. They are comfortably where they are. They are unthreatened and are not afraid of the unknown. They are higher in reason, to see the truth and logically efficient.

Accept Themselves:
Accepts themselves, others, and the world around them. Sees human nature as it is, and has a lack of crippling shame or guilt. Enjoys themselves without regret or apology and has no unnecessary inhibitions.

Will Deal With Problems Immediatly:
Self-actualized people are not procrastinators. If there is a problem, they will deal with it right away, and not wait for the last minute to do things.

Seeks Identification With People:
Does not like to feel alone most of the time; he/she would like to be identify himself/herself to other people.

Sense of Humor:
They have a sense of humor. Thats it.

These people are not boring. They want to have fun. They have fun with knowing full-well what the consequences are.
Learn more about Self Actualization

Carl Rogers
Carl Rogers

There are 2 sides to every person. One sideis the organism, you need your basic needs met and are made of carbon. The second side is basically your personality, what you value and who you are as a person. The greater the gap between these two the more problems you are likely to encounter.

You want people to like you. you strive for people positive reconditioning after a deed has been done.

And that was our chapter, by:
Eric Mahoney
Erik Milzarski

Wikipedia citations-