Behaviorism Theory

 Behaviorism theory is a learning theory that assumes that the environment greatly influences people’s behaviors. It states that people and animals learn behaviors through conditioning through interaction with the surrounding environment (Mcleod, 2020). People tend to adopt certain behaviors through interaction with the environment. Besides, the theory argues that when a child is born, the mind is in a blank state (Mcleod, 2020). The behavioral characteristic that develops in the child later on, depends on the environment surrounding them. For example, harsh and aggressive caregivers may influence a child to become aggressive. Due to the environment surrounding the child, the child assumes that behavior. The observable behaviors exclude emotions and thoughts as they occur internally, as it is difficult to observe people’s opinions, motives, and desires.

Behaviorism theories state that people acquire various habits from the surrounding environment. Methodological behaviorism argues that cognitive states do not add to understanding a person’s behavior (Mcleod, 2020). The environment influences different habits development. Radical behaviorism argues that a person’s habits depend on the past and present environment to which they are exposed. The reinforcements in the environment influence the behavior either positively or positively (Mcleod, 2020). Classical conditioning states that a neutral stimulus interacts with naturally occurring forces, and in the end, the neutral stimulants dominate and influence a person’s habits (Mcleod, 2020). Therefore, people learn their conduct through the interaction with the environment they are exposed

 I agree with behaviorism theory because the surrounding influences one’s behavior. The reinforcements and challenges customized to a person or animal in their daily lives gradually influence their behavior, and with time, the person adopts those behaviors. Pavlov’s dog experiment exemplifies how people or animals learn behavior through classical conditioning (Lim, 2019). During the experiment, the dogs would salivate when presented with meat. The dogs did not drool after the bell introduction to their feeding scheme. With time, the dog could associate the sound of a bell with beef, and they could salivate, and initially, they could not react to the bell. Their behaviors changed after understanding the stimulant introduced in their environment. Therefore, the surrounding is very vital in influencing one behavior either positively or negatively.

Behaviorism theory has been apparent in my real life. For example, I remember when our teacher introduced a rewarding scheme in class in school. The students who behaved and participated well throughout the week received special treats. During the first week of rewarding, few students got rewarded,  posing a challenge to other students. After several weeks of rewarding the well-behaved students, the number increased as all anticipated to receive the rewards. The teacher introduced positive reinforcement in the form of prizes to transform the students’ behaviors and performance. Over time, the student’s behaviors changed. In this case, operant conditioning was evident. Students could adopt good morals after associating with positive reinforcements in the form of rewards. Positive reinforcements introduced to one’s environment act as a basis for teaching a new behavior. The consequences of missing the prizes challenge people, and with time they change. Therefore, the reinforcements in an environment contribute significantly to people’s behaviors. The behaviors are affected negatively or positively. Behaviorism theory is used in schools and hospitals during the treatment of children with autism to enable them to learn new skills.


Lim, A. (2019). Behaviorism: The Psychological Theory of Stimulus-Response. ThoughtCo. Retrieved 24 May 2022, from

Mcleod, S. (2020). The Behaviorist Approach. Retrieved 24 May 2022, from