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What Does Behavior Mean In Psychology

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The Roots Of Psychology


The word psychology was formed by combining the Greek psych with logia . An early use appears in Nicholas Culpepers mid-17th century translation of Simeon Partlizs A New Method of Physick, in which it is stated that Psychologie is the knowledg of the Soul.Today, psychology is concerned with the science or study of the mind and behavior. Many branches of psychology are differentiated by the specific field to which they belong, such as animal psychology, child psychology, and sports psychology.

How Learning Theory Explains Deviance

Learning theory is based on the principles of behavioral psychology, which hypothesizes that a persons behavior is learned and maintained by its consequences or rewards. Individuals thus learn deviant and criminal behavior by observing other people and witnessing the rewards or consequences that their behavior receives. For example, an individual who observes a friend shoplift an item and not get caught sees that the friend is not punished for their actions and they are rewarded by getting to keep the stolen item. That individual might be more likely to shoplift, then, if he believes that he will be rewarded with the same outcome. According to this theory, if this is how deviant behavior is developed, then taking away the reward value of the behavior can eliminate deviant behavior.

The Origins Of Behavioral Psychology

The origins of behavioral psychology start with John B. Watson in 1913, who proposed that psychologists should focus on the observable behavior of individuals, rather than the invisible, inner workings of their minds .

Later on, B. F. Skinner developed this theory and showed evidence in favor of it becoming one of the most important psychologists of the 20th century in the process. He theorized that all of human behavior was shaped by our environment, that we could be made to act in certain ways depending on the prior consequences of previous actions.

B. F. Skinner essentially proposed that positive consequences to prior actions would lead to an individual carrying out more of those actions, while negative consequences would lead to an individual completing those actions less.

He famously stated Give me a child and Ill shape him into anything a paraphrasing of his belief in the power of the environment to impact who we become. Behaviorism was essentially an argument entirely in favor of nurture, in the nature vs. nurture debate.

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Free Will Vs Determinism

Strong determinism of the behavioral approach as all behavior is learnt from our environment through classical and operant conditioning. We are the sum total of our previous conditioning.

Softer determinism of the social learning approach theory as it recognises an element of choice as to whether we imitate a behavior or not.

Princeton’s Wordnetrate This Definition:

The Definitions of Psychology
  • behavior, behaviour, conduct, doingsnoun

    manner of acting or controlling yourself

  • behavior, behaviournoun

    the action or reaction of something under specified circumstances

    “the behavior of small particles can be studied in experiments”

  • demeanor, demeanour, behavior, behaviour, conduct, deportmentnoun

    the way a person behaves toward other people

  • behavior, behaviournoun

    the aggregate of the responses or reactions or movements made by an organism in any situation

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    Campaign Design And Marketing

    Advertising uses behavioral principles, creating associations between a product and a positive experience like success, comfort or community. Even public service announcements and public health initiatives use behavioral principles, using massive ad campaigns and catchy slogans to create social expectations for desired healthy behaviors and negative associations with illegal or dangerous actions.

    How Does Projection Affect Romantic Relationships

    A common source of projection in romantic relationships emerges when unconscious feelings toward a parent are projected onto the persons partner. If the partner then identifies with and expresses the feelings projected onto them, projective identification is at play.

    Signs of projective identification in a relationship include having the same fight over and over again, feeling upset with your partner but not knowing why, and confusion about your reaction or your partners reaction to a situation. Couples can overcome projective identification by recognizing it, slowing down in conflicts, checking to make sure that they understand each other correctly, and considering couples therapy if needed.

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    What Is The Definition Of Nature In Psychology


    . Consequently, what does nature mean in psychology?

    Nature” means the influence of an individual’s genetic make-up on their development and learning. “Nurture” means the impact of the individual’s family, education and upbringing. There have been many studies of the impact of these two factors. nurture in child development.

    One may also ask, what is nature theory? In the context of the nature vs. nurture debate, nature refers to biological/genetic predispositions’ impact on human traits, and nurture describes the influence of learning and other influences from one’s environment.

    Accordingly, what are some examples of Nature Vs Nurture?

    Nature is those things acquired by genetic or hereditary influences. Nurture on the other hand is those things that are influenced by the environment we live in. An example of this debate is whether high blood pressure and obesity is a health risk that is passed genetically from parent to child.

    What is nature in human development?

    A nativist account of development would argue that the processes in question are innate and influenced by an organism’s genes. Natural human behavior is seen as the result of already-present biological factors, such as genetic code.

    How The 4p’s Influence Consumer Behavior


    The are a marketing tool, and stand for Price, Promotion, Product and Placement.

    Because consumer behavior is influenced greatly by business to consumer marketing, the 4 P’s will have an effect on consumer’s behavior. The price of a good or service is largely determined by the market, as businesses will set their prices to be similar to that of other business so as to remain competitive whilst making a profit. When market prices for a product are high, it will cause consumers to purchase less and use purchased goods for longer periods of time, meaning they are purchasing the product less often. Alternatively, when market prices for a product are low, consumers are more likely to purchase more of the product, and more often.

    The way that promotion influences consumer behavior has changed over time. In the past, large promotional campaigns and heavy advertising would convert into sales for a business, but nowadays businesses can have success on products with little or no advertising. This is due to the Internet, and in particular social media. They rely on word of mouth from consumers using social media, and as products trend online, so sales increase as products effectively promote themselves. Thus, promotion by businesses does not necessarily result in consumer behavior trending towards purchasing products.

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    How Mean Is The Mean

    • 1School of Psychology and Social Science, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, Australia
    • 2Department of Psychology, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Limerick, Republic of Ireland

    In this paper we voice concerns about the uncritical manner in which the mean is often used as a summary statistic in psychological research. We identify a number of implicit assumptions underlying the use of the mean and argue that the fragility of these assumptions should be more carefully considered. We examine some of the ways in which the potential violation of these assumptions can lead us into significant theoretical and methodological error. Illustrations of alternative models of research already extant within Psychology are used to explore methods of research less mean-dependent and suggest that a critical assessment of the assumptions underlying its use in research play a more explicit role in the process of study design and review.

    Patient Discussion About Health Behavior

    Q. Is there any explanation for this behavior? My son is 7 years old. He has a very uncooperative behavior with all his friends, his teachers and with us as well. He opposes for everything been taught to him by his teachers. He never cooperates with his friends and he always argues with everyone. He is very hostile to us and is always ready to fight. We have discussed about him to a doctor and he said it may be the signs of ADHD. Still he needs to be diagnosed officially which they may start after meeting my son. I was wondering about the reasons which can lead to such a behavior of my child? Is there any explanation for this behavior?


    Q. rude/nasty behavior My sister was diagnosed with Bipolar and continues to take medication. She never went to Psychotherapy. Her demeanor is always very negative and her behavior is often critical and rude. My mother’s attributes this to her condition therefore reinforces her negative behavior. I haven’t read anything about Bipolar that states rude/nasty behavior is a symptom. Is this type of behavior attributable to Bipolar?


    Q. What can I do to check on his behavior and make him regular my 7 year son is seen with ADHD. I am not able to control on his high urges and irregularity and confusion which comes with this ADHD. What can I do to check on his behavior and make him regularI know if I start now probably he will be better in coming years.


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    More Behavioral Psychology Examples

    Let’s talk about how to apply behavioral psychology to your daily life. In each of the articles below, I break down some behavioral psychology research and share practical ways to put it to use in our daily lives.

    Looking for more articles explaining how to apply behavioral psychology principles in practical ways? I have a full list at the bottom of this page.

    Beginning Of Experimental Psychology

    What is Psychology? The scientific definition of ...

    Gustav Fechner began conducting psychophysics research in Leipzig in the 1830s. He articulated the principle that human perception of a stimulus varies logarithmically according to its intensity.:61 The principle became known as the WeberFechner law. Fechner’s 1860 Elements of Psychophysics challenged Kant’s negative view with regard to conducting quantitative research on the mind. Fechner’s achievement was to show that “mental processes could not only be given numerical magnitudes, but also that these could be measured by experimental methods.” In Heidelberg, Hermann von Helmholtz conducted parallel research on sensory perception, and trained physiologist Wilhelm Wundt. Wundt, in turn, came to Leipzig University, where he established the psychological laboratory that brought experimental psychology to the world. Wundt focused on breaking down mental processes into the most basic components, motivated in part by an analogy to recent advances in chemistry, and its successful investigation of the elements and structure of materials.Paul Flechsig and Emil Kraepelin soon created another influential laboratory at Leipzig, a psychology-related lab, that focused more on experimental psychiatry.

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    Relational Frame Theory: Its Our Language

    Relational Frame Theory was developed in the 2000s by Steven Hayes, Dermot Barnes-Holmes and Brian Roche, and builds upon classic behaviorism. Whats new in this theory is the role of human language in learning new behavior.

    Specifically, RFT researchers argue that language enables us to learn new information indirectly. The key learning processes of this theory are centered on relations between stimuli, or relational frames.

    As an example, imagine you meet three new people: Aaron, Bianca and Chris. Aaron introduces himself to you, and explains that Bianca is his sister and Chris is his father. Importantly, with these relations learned directly , you now know several other relations indirectly.

    First, you can derive that Aaron is Biancas brother and Chris son . This is called mutual entailment in RFT. But you can also understand that Bianca is Chris daughter and that Chris is Biancas father , which is referred to as combinatorial mutual entailment.

    Even though these relations may seem obvious, the example shows that we can learn indirectly, through relations or frames we already know. The more relations we know, the more relations we can derive. And, like social learning theory, it shows that we dont need actual experience to learn new information.

    The Goals Of Psychology

    The four main goals of psychology are to describe, explain, predict and change the behavior and mental processes of others

    Describing a behavior or cognition is the first goal of psychology. This can enable researchers to develop general laws of human behavior.

    For example, through describing the response of dogs to various stimuli, Ivan Pavlov helped develop laws of learning known as classical conditioning theory.

    Once researchers have described general laws behavior, the next step is to explain how or why this trend occurs. Psychologists will propose theories which can explain a behavior.

    For example, classical conditioning predicts that if a person associates a negative outcome with a stimuli they may develop a phobia or aversion of the stimuli.

    Once psychology has described, explained and made predictions about behavior, changing or controlling a behavior can be attempted.

    For example, interventions based on classical conditioning, such as systematic desensitization, have been used to treat people with anxiety disorders including phobias.

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    How Does Behavioral Finance Differ From Mainstream Financial Theory

    Mainstream theory, on the other hand, makes the assumptions in its models that people are rational actors, that they are free from emotion or the effects of culture and social relations, and that people are self-interested utility maximizers. It also assumes, by extension, that markets are efficient and firms are rational profit-maximizing organizations. Behavioral finance counters each of these assumptions.

    Other Types Of Studies

    What is a Maladaptive Behavior? ABA Terms Explained!

    Surveys are used in psychology for the purpose of measuring attitudes and traits, monitoring changes in mood, and checking the validity of experimental manipulations . Psychologists have commonly used paper-and-pencil surveys. However, surveys are also conducted over the phone or through e-mail. Web-based surveys are increasingly used to conveniently reach many subjects.

    Exploratory data analysis refers to a variety of practices that researchers use to reduce a great many variables to a small number overarching factors. In Peirce’s three modes of inference, exploratory data analysis corresponds to abduction.Meta-analysis is the technique research psychologists use to integrate results from many studies of the same variables and arriving at a grand average of the findings.

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    Understanding Similarity And Stability In Behavioral Performance

    The idea of a stable and shared set of basic cognitive processes underlying some of our use of the mean is not entirely an assumption. It is rooted in the success of our everyday interactions, the ease with which we can coordinate with one another, share experiences and activities. A critical reader would no doubt at this point be arguing that the statistical tests we typically use in data analysis invariably take the variance or deviations within the sample into account, while also emphasizing the plain fact that while it might be true that everyone is unique, it is plainly true that we share a great deal. People vary, sure, but looking around, they do not vary nearly as much as they could in most cases, and most of what differences do exist seem to be quite subtle certainly nothing requiring any fundamental re-think of our use of statistics or theoretical perspective.

    Amongst these new approaches to psychological research, how is this simple truth about the similarity of human beings to be captured and explained?

    How Can You Tell If Someone Is Projecting On You

    If someone has an unusually strong reaction to something you say, or there doesnt seem to be a reasonable explanation for their reaction, they might be projecting their insecurities onto you. Taking a step back, and determining that their response doesnt align with your actions, may be a signal projection.

    A harmful consequence of continual projection is when the trait becomes incorporated into ones identity. For example, a father who never built a successful career might tell his son, You wont amount to anything or, Dont even bother trying. He is projecting his own insecurities onto his son, yet his son might internalize that message, believing that he will never be successful.

    Although its difficult to do so, individuals who experience this can try to remember that the criques are about the other person, and to be confident in who they are outside of that relationship.

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    Illustrating The Problem In Brain Imaging Research

    Psychology has recently faced a number of controversies that have caused us to take stock of our assumptions and practices as a discipline . Little about the implications of these controversies is really new though because of the relatively recent development and excitement of brain imaging research scrutiny in that domain is a particularly burgeoning field , where sources of apparent stability or reliability in a behavior, effect or cognitive process are being increasingly questioned. While there are a number of different statistical and methodological bases for the various concerns raised by critics, the assumption of stability of function and consistency of operation across individuals that averages suggest so strongly is one that has not been carefully considered in much of the localization of function neuroscience literature.

    While the logic of averaging is clearly problematic in the case of brain imaging research, and is under current active scrutiny, this issue nevertheless remains problematic for other areas of psychology too.

    Who Developed The Concept Of Projection


    Freud first reported on projection in an 1895 letter, in which he described a patient who tried to avoid confronting her feelings of shame by imagining that her neighbors were gossiping about her instead. Psychologists Carl Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz later argued that projection is also used to protect against the fear of the unknown, sometimes to the projectors detriment. Within their framework, people project archetypal ideas onto things they dont understand as part of a natural response to the desire for a more predictable and clearly-patterned world.

    More recent research has challenged Freuds hypothesis that people project to defend their egos. Projecting a threatening trait onto others may be a byproduct of the mechanism that defends the ego, rather than a part of the defense itself. Trying to suppress a thought pushes it to the mental foreground, psychologists have argued, and turns it into a chronically accessible filter through which one views the world.

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