What Is Behaviorism?

Behaviorism seeks to identify observable, measurable laws that could explain all of human behavior. Although psychology now pays more attention to the inner landscape of emotions and thought, behaviorism has had a durable influence on everything from animal training to parenting techniques to the bonuses financial managers receive.

Recent Posts on Behaviorism

Does Change Come from Within?

The environmental location of causality—change comes from without rather than from within—is awfully convenient for therapists, who happen to find themselves in their patients’ environments.

48 Days on the Road

By Jaime Kurtz Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in Happy Trails
Travel can be a catalyst for positive change.

What Pixar’s 'Inside Out' Tells Us About How We Work

By Aaron Hurst on July 16, 2015 in The Purpose Economy
Pixar’s new movie Inside Out explains the vital role we have as parents and educators in setting our kids up for success in their lives -- and their future careers.

Teenage Insecurities

To ensure peace of mind and safety of their children during adolescence, parents need to take early preemptive action. Help teenagers improve their self-esteem during adolescence, and also strengthen and maintain a positive relationship, by taking advantage of these five pieces of advice.

10 Lessons I Learned from Little League Baseball

By Kate Roberts Ph.D. on July 15, 2015 in Savvy Parenting
Most baseball players strike out 7 of 10 times at bat. Baseball is great preparation for achieving life goals in that it requires perseverance, commitment, determination and frustration tolerance in order to be a great player.Baseball is fantastic way to learn those life skills while having fun.

Should a Dog's Name Be Part of an Obedience Command?

Most dog trainers believe that you must use a dog's name before you give him an obedience command if you want to get a reliable response. Are they correct?

The Value of Spending One-On-One Time With Your Children

By Kyle D. Pruett M.D. on July 15, 2015 in Once Upon a Child
One-on-one time with your children - all of them - keeps your unique relationship with each one of them healthy and in tune.

Is Fame Really Worth Risking Mental Health?

I would not have predicted the stranglehold it Reality TV would come to have on “entertainment” today. It wasn’t a bad notion to use TV to shed light on the human condition. However, as a PsyD and LCSW, I know that whenever human beings are pitted against each other in a public forum, it triggers instincts and unpredictable behavior in them.

Brain Scan Predicts Best Treatment Approach for Depression

To be ill with depression any longer than necessary can be perilous. As a neuroscientist, I’m devoted to finding better, safer treatments for patients with mood disorders and other mental illness.

Inside Inside Out (No Spoilers!)

If you want someone to know what you’re feeling, they’ll need the story, not just the headline, and certainly not just which section of the paper it’s in.

Preventing Disaster Through Screening and Assessment

By Kathryn Seifert on June 30, 2015 in Stop The Cycle
Recently we have seen two convicted murderers, Richard Matt and David Sweat, escape prison with the help of two prison employees, Gene Palmer and Joyce Mitchell. It leads us to ask the question, how does this happen?

6 Tips for a Fun 4th of July for Parents of Kids With Autism

The 4th of July is a fun and exciting holiday filled with many amazing activities for your children. However, for some individuals with autism and their families, the crowded public spaces and the crack and shimmer of fireworks can be difficult and uncomfortable.

Serial Killers: Modus Operandi, Signature, Staging & Posing

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on June 29, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
FBI profilers examine, among other things, whether a victim’s body was posed to predict whether an unknown offender is an organized or disorganized killer. Organized criminals are meticulous planners, often psychopathic but know right from wrong, not insane and show no remorse. Disorganized criminals are impulsive, irrational, and assault victims in blitz-like attacks.

It's the Hard Work, Stupid.

For decades, scholars have debated whether talent or effort is the better predictor of success. Research on the topic is mixed – but, this said, I say you put your money on effort – and here’s why.

People Don’t Always Make a Lot of Sense

Patients don't always do what they should, or what they say they will. When you try to figure out the reason, you may find out that there isn't any.

Does Dolezal Get to Choose?

Your race is socially constructed in a given situation by other people, not by you.

Father: Not Just Another Mother

By Kyle D. Pruett M.D. on June 16, 2015 in Once Upon a Child
Safety and security are huge concerns for today’s parents, both at home and in the wider world. So, which approach is more likely to raise a secure child?

The Kindness of Dogs: New Book Explains Why Cesar's Gotta Go

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 10, 2015 in Animal Emotions
"The Secret History of Kindness: Learning From How Dogs Learn" by Melissa Pierson extols behaviorism and positive reinforcement in training dogs. This wide-ranging book provides a detailed history of B. F. Skinner's behaviorism -- where people get it right and many get it wrong -- and how being kind to dogs and other animals is the only way to teach them to live with us.

Yes, You Are Probably Biased:

Scientific evidence declares that prejudice is an inherent part of every person; we are genetically wired to be racist, sexist, ethnocentric, etc. However, does that justify the discrimination and consequential brutality that are so rife in our society? The answer is NO. Catch your triggers and choose to make different choices about how you will react.

What Do You Reach For First Thing In The Morning?

By Gregg McBride on May 23, 2015 in The Weight-ing Game
What do you feel like you have to have first thing in the morning that might give a nutritionist a panic attack? By paying attention to how you feel (how you really feel), you might just realize these substances aren't what you're craving after all. And as our tastes change, our bodies, minds and health can change—for the better.

Perfectionism and Trichotillomania, Like Oil and Water

Striving for perfection but pulling your hair

Boxing and Domestic Abuse

Why boxing is not a causal factor behind domestic abuse

What to Do When Your Anxiety Won’t Go Away

Outsmart your brooding ways with these nine mind games. After all, calm is an inside job.

Proactive Intervention for Psychosis

The adolescent who is encouraged and integrated with his peers may not develop schizophrenia.

Finding Something to Like

There is an art to what you say to people when you are evaluating their work and the work leaves much to be desired. My view is that you don’t want to be dishonest, but at the same time you don’t want to crush a person’s spirit.

5 Tweaks to CBT

Psychotherapy depends on clients messing up the therapy like they mess up their other relationships.

When a Parent Is Incarcerated

A two-step process developed by Dr. Glen Palm may help children cope with their parents' incarceration.

What Is Your Problem, Baltimore?

By Kathryn Seifert on May 04, 2015 in Stop The Cycle
What Is Your Problem, Baltimore? Racism, Lack of Economic Opportunity, Community Engagement, or Something Else?

Getting to the Goal

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on April 29, 2015 in The Dolphin Divide
How focusing on the positive helps us overcome obstacles. What we want is often more powerful than what we fear. But if we’re not careful in how we frame our goals, we may be setting ourselves up for disappointment—and inadvertently turn our fears into reality.

Do You Have the Personality of a Neanderthal?

By Gregg Murray Ph.D. on April 26, 2015 in Caveman Politics
Almost all of us have some Neanderthal in us. What can that tell us about how these ancient cousins of ours thought?