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

Mind Control: Psychology by the Numbers?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on November 28, 2015 The Dolphin Divide
How addition and subtraction affect our behavior. Are we truly in charge of our own choices, or does simple math routinely intrude to manipulate our mental equations? Just who or what is in control of our minds?

Dog Training Using Behavior Capture

Behavior capture is a simple and enjoyable way to train dogs and puppies to respond to basic obedience commands.

Female Serial Killers Are No Myth

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on November 23, 2015 Wicked Deeds
The news and entertainment media focus on and sensationalize the acts of violence and torture perpetrated by male serial killers. Although the graphic images of male serial killers sell countless books and movie tickets, they also perpetuate the myth that all serial killers are demented men.

Rethinking John B. Watson's Legacy

Should Watson be taught to students as a cautionary tale? In tracing his research, it becomes clear that in addition to ethically questionable studies, Watson was promoting problematic and dangerous assertions regarding child rearing without legitimate support for any of his claims.

Five Ways to Teach Children About Gratitude

By Kyle D. Pruett M.D. on November 19, 2015 Once Upon a Child
Help your children appreciate life this Thanksgiving.

How Well Do You Know What Motivates You?

By Rob Kendall on November 18, 2015 Blamestorming
When asked what motivates them, many people are surprisingly vague. And yet deeply understanding your own motivations helps you create the life you want. And when you discover what motivates other people, you can help them fly.

Motivation Is Tied to the Strength of Your Brain Connections

Would you identify yourself as someone who is highly motivated or more apathetic? Neuroscientists at Oxford University recently discovered a neurobiological mechanism that might explain why some of us are inherently more ambitious than others. The findings also explain the neuroscience of why "Just Do It" is such a motivational slogan.

How to Persuade Defiant Teens Without Aggression

Certain types of beliefs promote or hinder access to solution-focused thinking, and a commitment to a non-aggression principle is a belief that promotes greater access to peaceful and effective solutions during conflicts.

The Biological Citizen: Neuropolitics as Aim and Danger

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on November 13, 2015 Side Effects
Neuropolitics is going global. To what end? At what cost?

Creative Psychiatric Revolutions: A History

Psychiatry is one of the most challenging fields in medicine. It has evolved through a series of creative developments, beginning with overcoming beliefs in demonic possession and the removal of chains from the hospitalized to current medicinal, psychotherapeutic and social treatments.

4 Myths About Schizophrenia

Contrary to their portrayal in some media, individuals with schizophrenia are able to live relatively normal lives. As it turns out, myths — not facts — heavily influence how people view schizophrenia. Here are only a few of the commonly believed myths about the mental health disorder.

The Fallacy of Pavlov's Dog

Instead of training our employees (and spouses and children) to salivate on-command, we should be instilling them with the principles of total motivation.

How to Help Prepare Boys For Success in the School System

Our sons love to learn. They are seekers and searchers. The world is interesting to them. Numbers, rocks, trees, mountains, computers, games, thoughts, visions, life’s mysteries – anything and everything can fascinate them, including school.

When Children Are Afraid

By Kyle D. Pruett M.D. on October 28, 2015 Once Upon a Child
The research on what helps temperamentally shy children may surprise. Parents who coddle have more comfortable children in the short run, but by the time they get to kindergarten, their children are more shy, not less. These lessons can help parents of kids with more flexible or feisty temperaments manage their inevitable fear as wells.

Like No One Is Watching

We’d like to believe ourselves to be “good” people — kind and altruistic — it’s not that easy when life’s challenges are in front of us. The culture we live in seems to have rapidly deteriorating standards of how we treat others. Here are five tips to consider if you'd like to get your own personal compass back on track and feel good about making good choices!

Lessons on Addiction: Learned and Not Yet Learned

Even away from reality show lights, Lamar Odom could not escape the glare of public scrutiny. Although there are well documented facts about the disease of addiction, which are important topics of discussion on television shows to make the public aware, that, in and of itself, is not a license to speculate or surmise facts about ndividuals who suffer from addiction.

When Praise is Punishment

Praise May Not Work Quite the Way Parents Hope

The Role of the Brain in Love and Relationship Dependency

Have you trained your brain to want dependent relationships? Understanding the factors – emotional and physical – that contribute to certain behaviors, either within a single relationship or within a relationship revolving door, are important.

Suicide as a Form of Homicide

There are as many reasons for killing oneself as there are for killing other people.

The Vicious Circle of Ignorance

Applying strategies for cancer denial to students who hide their ignorance

Getting a Leg Up on Optimism

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on September 24, 2015 The Dolphin Divide
How positive associations enable learning. None of us can learn without relationships. It turns out that variety and fun provide the spice that keeps both going strong.

Is Addiction a Habit or a Choice?

By Adi Jaffe Ph.D. on September 22, 2015 All About Addiction
It's an age-old debate: Are addicts failing to exercise control or have they fallen victim to a disease that has taken over their brain and rendered them powerless? The answer is neither and both, so pay close attention...

Feeling Guilty?

Guilt can isolate one from friends and family and a healthy social life, trap one’s mind in a never-ending cycle of self-pity and self-punishment, and eventually destroy one’s self esteem. Why are some people not affected by it, whereas others get completely swallowed by this ruinous emotion?

Why Animals Need Psychology

By G.A. Bradshaw Ph.D. on September 18, 2015 Bear in Mind
The study of animal behavior, ethology, alone is not sufficient to the task given scientific understanding of animal sentience.

Does Online Dating Really Work?

By Donna Barstow on September 18, 2015 Ink Blots Cartoons
Three ways to make your dates go more smoothly, and a study that says don't worry about that 3-hour personality test at eHarmony.

The Real Reason Those Annoying Noises Drive You Mad

By Anna David on September 15, 2015 After Party Chat
For as long as I can remember, certain sounds people make have caused me rage. Turns out I'm not just intolerant; I have an actual disorder.

Parents With a Big Appetite for Their Children to Excel

By Kyle D. Pruett M.D. on September 11, 2015 Once Upon a Child
It is a rare parent who does not hope for great success in their children’s lives—for accomplishing at least as much, if not more, than the parents themselves did growing up.

Is Spanking Bad for Children and Families?

By Rebecca Coffey on September 09, 2015 The Bejeezus Out of Me
Since 1997 studies have consistently shown that spanking doesn’t have much of a positive effect on behavior. Meanwhile, it can harm parent-child communication and can lead a child into patterns of anxiety and aggression. So why do so many of us do it? What "no harm" and "good for them in the long run" myths have we bought into?

The Psychological Trick That Will Help You Pay Off Debt Fast

Are you frustrated by debt? Understanding this psychological trick could be the key to becoming debt-free.

Examples of the 4 Things Competent Therapists Do

The problem with principles is that they can lead to rules and checklists instead of empathic understanding.