Behaviorism and cognitive psychology are two psychological perspectives used to explain human behavior. The underlying assumption of behaviorism is that individuals perceive reality by connecting circumstances to their outcomes and people’s individual behavioral patterns are a choice of the best consequential option. (King, 2019). Cognitive psychology assumes that people are able to analyze data and information and this thought process becomes the basis determining their actions.
Both behaviorism and cognitivism consider learning an internal process and see knowledge as an external entity, which occurs through the processing of input data to achieve the established knowledge goal. The difference between the two perspectives lies in the fact that while behaviorism believes a person’s behavior to be determined by the experience, cognitive psychology explains it by people’s ability to analyze and systematize information (PSYCH EXPLAINED, 2016). Moreover, behaviorism attributes the actual causes of people’s behavior to the environment, while cognitivism sees these reasons as a part of inner mentality or cognition.
From the perspective of behaviorism, John’s behavior is a result of external influences that have formed his behavioral patterns. The fact that he was abused as a child combined with no parental supervision as well as the acceptance and respect of his peers for his brutality serve as a breeding ground for the behavior he indulges in. To resolve the situation, the environment in which John grows should be changed. He should change his company choosing friends who would appreciate his inner qualities and not brutality, and he should move to a more prosperous neighborhood. His mother should devote more time to her son. From the perspective of cognitivism, the main cause of John’s bad behavior lies in the fact that he thinks negatively about himself, and these thoughts are projected onto his behavior patterns. To change the situation, John should have a more robust perception of himself which can be formed by concentrating on his positive sides and not on negative ones.
King, L. A. (2019). Experience psychology (4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
PSYCH EXPLAINED. (2016). Psychology’s Modern Perspectives [Video]. YouTube. Web.