B. F. Skinner and Albert Bandura

B. F Skinner came up with Skinner’s theory of personality. According to the theory, differences in individual behavior are as a result of different kinds of learning experience different people encounter. Some of the behavior pattern may be learned through direct experience (direct reinforcement) while others are through observational or sensational learning. Reinforcement plays a major role in shaping the expression of the learned behavior. Reinforcement takes three shapes. Direct reinforcement involves social approval or disapproval and tangible rewards.
Vicarious reinforcement involves observing someone receive a reward or punishment for behavior similar to his/her own behavior. Self administered reinforcement is whereby a person evaluates his/her own performance with self honor or criticism (Zillman and Bryant 2001). Therefore, a given behavior in a specific situation will bank on the likely result. According to Bandura social cognitive theory, behaviorism is based on the concept that development is cultured and is subjective to environmental factors.
1). The theory put more stress in the fact that environment, behavior and cognition work together and hence wield important influence among each other (Travers 2001). In personality development, Albert Bandura came to a conclusion that environment causes behavior while on the other hand behavior causes environment. This factor led to Bandura’s idea of reciprocal determination and had a belief that an action of an individual and the action of his environment are linked together. According to his theory, personality development comes as a result of relations between environment, psychological process and behavior of an individual (Travers 2001).

2). Discuss the similarities between each theorist’s ideas of personality Theories by B. F Skinner and Albert Bandura played a great role in the environmentalist point of view of development. The two theories are similar in stating that the environment shape learning and the behavior of an individual from childhood stage to adulthood stage (Travers 2001). Both theories recognize the significance of reinforcement in learning and behavior. In both case, motivation is embedded and reinforced by the consequences and so one can easily learn if he/she values the consequences and also one can be reinforced vicariously.
In both the theory, the individual is at the center stage of determining his/her behavior. In skinner theory, self administered reinforcement play a major role in self criticism or honor and so he/she can decide on what behavior to adopt without influence from another party. This fact is the same as in Albert Bandura theory of personality where an individual has self regulatory mechanism which provide for the potential for self directed change and for the capability of one influencing his own behavior (Zillman and Bryant 2001). This is inclined to self observation, self decision and self-reaction.
3) Discuss the differences between the theorists’ ideas of personality (include any reasoning for the differences—personal history B. F. Skinner theory of personality differ with Albert Bandura social cognitive theory in that it specified that a behavior was only as a reaction of environmental stimuli while social cognitive theory state that behavior of an individual can be modified by external stimuli while putting into consideration the fact that learning can take place through copying. Albert Bandura also state that learning also take a cognitive perspective.
Skinner theory of personality provides room for operant conditioning while Bandura social cognitive theory does not. In Skinner theory of personality, the behavior is influenced by the environment and it is a one way tier while in Albert Bandura social cognitive theory, the behavior of an individual is influenced by the environment while at the same time, the environment is influenced by the individual behavior and so it is a two way tier. 4) Discuss each theorist’s ideas concerning the role of society in the development of personality and any developmental stages
Albert Bandura’s idea about the role of society concerning the development of personality and any developmental stage in cognitivism, behavior is guided by cognitions about the world. The cognitive theories are personality theories which stress on cognitive processes like thinking and offering judgment. Bandura’s theory further draws the importance of modeling through the social cognitive theory, in that as a result of direct training of an individual in the society or conditioning (for instance through reinforcement a child is subjected to such as punishment) models behavior hence development of personality (Travers 2001).
Through the influence of the society, an individual learns several issues from childhood which help in development of personality. Through this idea of social learning, the role played by role models in development of personality becomes very significant. B. F. Skinner also gives a perspective of personality development that is based on learning through others in the society.
Skinner (Quoted in Travers 2001: 156) also further notes that the adolescent stage of human development requires that the positive behaviors exhibited by the adolescents since adolescents are more vigorous in repeating the behavior for which they have obtained reinforcement.
Reference List: Travers, F. , John, (2001). “Human growth and development through the lifep” Jones & Bartlett Publishers Zillman, D. and Bryant, J. (2001). “Media effects: Advances in theory and research 2nd Edition,” NJ Lawrence Erlbaum; Hillsdale: <http://www. fca. pucminas. br/saogabriel/raop/pdf/social_cognitive_theory. pdf. >


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