Behaviorist Theories


Behavior is learned and sustained through good or bad experiences. There is good research that happened with animals and human in the domain called Behaviorism.


American psychologist B. F. Skinner theories of conditioning which says that behavior is determined by the consequences. He did experiments with the animals to reach his theories. Behaviorist theories advocate that behaviors which are encouraged will continue and on the contrary, it will cease if punished. Pavlov's classical conditioning and Skinner's operant conditioning defines how behaviors are channelized.

  • Classical Conditioning: Classical conditioning triggers the involuntary response to the stimulus. After repetitive stimulus object learns the behavior which will be demonstrated involuntarily after receiving the same stimulus.
  • Operant Conditioning: On the contrary, Operant Conditioning is about the voluntary response to the stimulus. Positive and negative reinforcements can be used to promote specific behavior. These reinforcements help in developing the association between the stimulus and reaction.

Positive and negative reinforcements

  • Positive reinforcements: It refers to the pleasant response to the desired behavior.
  • Negative reinforcements: It refers to the removal of pleasant responses to undesired behavior.


  • Classical Conditioning: If a child is bullied in the school, then it develops the anxiety about the school. Children start hating the schools and then ultimately reflects in the psycho-somatic responses.
  • Operant Conditioning: When teachers and parents give the rewards (which matters to children) after doing good in studies, students start performing better in anticipation of similar rewards.