One of the most influential members of the behaviorist movement, as well as among psychologists who study human development was B. F. Skinner (Diessner, 2008, p. 134).
Skinner was notable for his description of the acquisition of new behavior through the use of reinenforcement and punishment called operant conditioning (Diessner, 2008).
To Skinner verbal behavior is basically a behavior which is “reinenforced through the mediation of others” (Skinner, 1957, p. 2) and ultimately the speaker by applying controlling variables of operant conditioning principles (Burk, 2009; Diessner, 2008).
We use words to express many things such as feeling, emotions, ideas, needs and desires, and how a person communicates depends on the verbal community they are a part of, the “community” which encompasses their socio-economic status (class), religion, job/career, culture, etc. (Burton & Kagan, 1994; Diessner, 2008).
Skinner states that a “verbal repertoire” can have similar effects on various listeners due to the speaker who possesses different repertoires which are shaped and maintained by different verbal communities and languages (Diessner, 2008, p. 134).
Non-Verbal Behavior at the Bus Stop Every culture has developed its own way of communicating. Communication can take place either verbally or non-verbally. Some forms of non-verbal communications are hand gestures, eye contact, touching, space, and time. We all communicate non-verbally every day. Most of the time we do not even realize it. For example, some Americans do not realize how uptight ...
It is also noted by Skinner that verbal behavior does not need an audience, and that a speaker can become a listener as a result reinenforcing his own behavior (Diessner, 2008).
The interaction between language and behavior is emphasized by Skinner in Diessner (2008), in which the speaker is “in contact with a situation to which a listener is disposed to respond” (p. 35), and the verbal response from the speaker allows the listener to respond properly. Even though it is implied by communication theory that the speaker and listener share the same meanings in the messages conveyed, Skinner states that meanings are not the same in the speaker and the listener; instead the verbal responses are understood as signs or symbols of the situation, by the listener (Diessner, 2008).
Through the manipulation of sentences, invention of alphabet, and discovery of grammar and such, it is understood that verbal behavior has its own independent status, which can be further explained by the meaning onveyed in written records by the writer and the meaning a reader produces on his own without regard of the verbal behavior of the writer (Diessner, 2008).
Skinner’s concept of verbal behavior “outlined his analysis of verbal behavior, which described a group of verbal operants, or functional units of language, explaining that language could be analyzed into a set of functional units, with each type of operant serving a different function” (Burk, 2009).
Simply, learning new words is the effect of a “singe reinenforcement” (Diessner, 2008, p. 138).
Jean Piaget: Volume Conservation
Jean Piaget, a Swiss born scientist often referred to as a developmental psychologist, but truly an epistemologist, who made many contributions to educational psychology conducted many experiments to support his theories and concepts (Diessner, 2008; Mooney, 2000).
One of his experiments called the conservation of volume experiment, had suggestions of children learning and understanding arithmetic, geometry and aspects of spatial reasoning by trying to understand how substances maintain the same quantity in volume even after the shape changes (Diessner, 2008).
Piaget’s theory, the four stages of cognitive development directly correlate to the theory of conservation presented in the experiment but it must be noted that everyone develops at their own pace, some faster than others in certain areas (Maranowski, n. d. ).
There are three main theories of development that I shall discuss in this assignment, Cognitive, the main theorist being, Piaget, (1896 1980), The, Psychosocial Theory, Erikson, (1902 1994), and, The Psychosexual, of, Freud, (1856 1939). Cognitive Psychology draws the comparison between the human mind and a computer, suggesting that we like the computer process the information we acquire from ...
In the experiment described in Diessner selection 25 Conservation of Continuous Quantities, two identical, squat beakers and one tall, narrow beaker were used, despite a different setup in the original experiment by Piaget, with children ages ranging from 4 years to 7 years and 2 months old.
Children in the first stage “Absence of Conservation” corresponding to the preoperational stage, thought there was an increase of decrease in the quantity of liquid contingent on the size or number of containers (Diessner, 2008).
An explanation of this can be since in the operational stage Observation">preoperational stage a child’s ideas are based on their perceptions and only focus on one variable at a time, like the smaller containers of liquid (Mooney, 2000).
In the second stage of “Intermediary
Reactions” which would be the transition between the preoperational stage and the concrete operational stage, behaviors not displayed by all children was noted (Diessner, 2008).
First, some children were able to assume that the quantity of liquid would not change when poured from the one tall beaker into the two smaller glasses, but when more glasses were introduced the child went back to the prior stage belief of nonconservation (Diessner, 2008).
Another reaction to the experiment was that the child accepted the concept of conservation but as soon as the quantity was greater the child became uncertain (Diessner, 2008).
An explanation for these reactions can be that as the child transitions from preoperational to concrete operational stage their ideas of reasoning are still developing (Mooney, 2000).
Finally in stage 3 “Necessary Conservation” corresponds to Piaget’s concrete operational stage of cognitive development (Diessner, 2008).
In this group children recognized that the quantities of liquid are conserved and the nature of its changes immediately, for the most part, without hesitation (Diessner, 2008).
Erikson believed that people develop in psychosocial stages. He emphasized developmental change throughout the human life span. In Erikson's theory, eight stages of development result as we go through the life span. Each stage consists of a crisis that must be faced. According to Erikson, this crisis is not a catastrophe but a turning point. The more an individual resolves the crises successfully, ...
Since the children in this stage are considered to be in the concrete operational stage of cognitive development, it can be said that their understanding of the experiment can be explained by the behavior of being able to form ideas based on reasoning and their perception of the changes is better (Mooney, 2008).
References Burk, C. (November, 2009).
What is AVB?. Retrieved from http://www. christinaburkaba. com/AVB. htm Burton, M. , Kagan, C. (1994).
The verbal community and the societal construction of consciousness. Behavioral and Social Issues. 4(1&2).