Behavioral Models of Personality

Behavioral Models of Personality
Different personality models are designed to help in the process of
determining various aspects of individual personality, personality
disorders, and appropriate therapeutic treatment approaches for any
detectable personality problems. Personality refers to specific traits
that make people who they are and distinguish them from others (Rohm,
2010). Different models that seek to explain human personality are
enhanced by theoretical perspectives that are developed by various
scholars and researchers. The behavioral model of personality is based
on the study of observable human character or human actions that occurs
outside the human mind. Most theoretical perspectives of the behaviorist
model include the behavioral learning theories that are based on the
principles of observable changes and development. This paper will
address the factors that make the behavioral personality model of
interest for study, the major contributors, theories of behaviorism
model, and a summary of an article in this field of study. The
behavioral model of personality is one of the models with wide
application in human life, especially in the learning environment.
Interests in learning the behavioral model of personality
There are three major factors that make the behavioral models of
personality worth of studying. First, the model is based on an important
principle stating that human behavior should be assessed on the basis of
traits that can be measured, changed, and learned (Rohm, 2010). This
enhances objectivity of the model because it facilitates a systematic
study of observable behavior while internal states (including emotions,
cognition, and moods) that are subjective are avoided. Secondly, the
behavioral model of personality has a wide application where its basic
principles and assumptions are used in different fields such as
psychotherapy, ecology, children learning, business, and industry.
Third, it is a model that gives hope because it is based on an
assumption that the previously learned behavior can be changed to reduce
its impact on current behavior (Stephen, 2013). This is because human
behavior is developed, preserved, and changed when one is subjected to
appropriate learning environment.
The key contributors
There are many scholars and theorists who have made significant
contributions in advancing the field of behaviorism. Ivan Pavlov is a
psychologist who developed the perspective of classical conditioning,
which holds that learning occurs through the individual’s interaction
with the environment (Thornton, 2013). Edward Thorndike conducted the
puzzle box experiment and concluded that pleasant consequences motivates
an individual to repeat a certain behavior, while unpleasant
consequences discourages an individual from repeating the behavior
(Thornton, 2013). John Watson suggested that behavioral differences are
caused by differences in learning experiences. Burrhus Skinner developed
the concept of operant conditioning, which holds that behavioral
consequences enhance learning.
The theory of operant conditioning
The theory of operant conditioning was developed by B.F. Skinner, who
suggested that a learner should be considered to be passive and learns
by responding to stimuli within the environment (Brittaney, 2010). In
addition, Skinner suggested that behavior is shaped by either positive
or negative reinforcements that an individual is subjected to.
Reinforcement increases the chances of an event taking place again while
punishment prevents an individual from repeating certain behavior. This
implies that a positive reinforcement enhance the stimuli while a
negative reinforcement withdraws the stimuli. Under the operant
conditioning theory occurrence of events or behavioral reforms is
achieved by the use of consequences. However, the effectiveness of the
use of consequences to modify behavior can be altered by deprivation of
appetite for the consequence, the immediacy of the consequence,
consistency, and the size of the expected consequence. This theory is
worth learning because of its wide application, especially in the field
of behavioral therapy.
Scholarly article
The article “Advances in behaviorism” was written by Malone, C and
published in the Journal of behavioral education. The main objective of
writing this article was to emphasize on the relevance of the
behaviorism theories following the concern that some educators think
that behavioral theories are dead. The author states that the behavioral
theories have not died, but new advances have emerged in the field and
they are not yet known by some psychologists and scholars. For example,
the concept of the impact of consequences in shaping behavior has been
advanced to include the notion of relative behavior, which includes
different variables such as quality, latency, frequency, delay, and
magnitude (Malone, 2003). This is an important article on the study of
the behavioral model of personality because it highlights on significant
changes that have taken place in the field of behaviorism since the
development of initial perspectives.
The behavioral model of personality is one of the models with wide
application in human life, especially in the learning environment. The
basic principles of the model that emphasize on the use of measurable
traits in the process of determining human behavior make the theory more
objective compared to other subjective models. The model has been
developed by a series of contributors where each of the contributors
attempts to improve the earlier versions of the model. The theory of
operant conditioning fits in the model, but it focuses on the use of
consequences to reform behavior. In overall, the behavioral model of
personality is relevant and has a wide application that makes it worth
to study.
Brittaney, G. (2010). Behaviorism theory of learning. San Francisco:
Slide Share Incorporation.
Malone, C. (2003). Advances in behaviorism: It is not what it used to
be. Journal of Behavioral Education, 12 (2), 85-89.
Rohm, A. (2010). A powerful way to understand people. Atlanta:
Personality Insight Incorporation.
Stephen, J. (2013). What is behaviorism and why is it so important to
Smart Work Ethics. Smart Work Ethics. Retrieved January 13, 2014, from
Thornton, J. (2013). Behaviorist model of learning. Prezi Incorporation.
Retrieved January 13, 2014, from HYPERLINK