Behavioral perspectives on Personality

Behaviorism/ behavioral psychology focused on theories of learning based on the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. Behaviorists believe that our responses to environmental stimuli shape our actions. They believe only observable behavior should be considered. Here, you will see different theories of behavioral perspectives on personality.


Theorists explained behavioral perspectives on personality are:

Behavioral theorists-  John Watson, Pavlov, B. F. Skinner, Bandura, Dollard and Millers Arthur Staats,

Behaviorists view personality as significantly shaped and impacted by the reinforcements and consequences outside of the organism. People behave in a consistent manner based on prior learning. B. F. Skinner said, ‘we demonstrate consistent behavior patterns, because we have developed certain response tendencies’. 

What is environment ? It is living things and non living things in our surrounding.

1- Pavlov’s classical conditioning- 

Association between Stimulus & Response : Repeat the association.

2- Skinners operant conditioning-   

learning through Reinforcement & Punishments .

3- Bandura’s social cognitive theory-  

emphasize the role of cognitive processes, such as thinking and judging, in the development of personality. It emphasizes both learning and cognition as sources of individual differences in personality. an individual can learn from observing others, not just his/her own experience. This approach emphasizes both the environment and the individual’s own traits as important factors in personality development.

the concept of reciprocal determinism, in which cognitive processes, behavior, and context all interact with and influence each other. Rotter’s locus of control to describe our beliefs about the power we have over our lives. an internal locus of control  & an external locus of control.

4- Dollard and Millers stimulus- response theory- 

one must want something, do something and get something in order for him to learn; hence factors related to this theory are drive, cue, response, and reward.

  • Drive – An innate internal state, which leads to goal directed behavior aimed at reducing the drive.
  • Cue – Any stimulus in the environment that either triggers a drive, or determines the nature and direction of the goal-directed behavior.
  • Response – The behavior of the individual, who is guided by the cue, towards reducing the drive by attaining a goal, in the appropriate direction.
  • Reward – The reinforcement attained after reaching the goal – drive reduction.

To read more about Dollard and Millers stimulus- response theory- click here.

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