Write 6 pages with APA style on Freud and Skinner’s Approaches to Understanding Behavior. Human behavior and its evolutionary process have been explained by numerous psychoanalysts, but such explanations have always been under the scanner because of their abstract nature. This does not conclude that such explanations are false but they are always akin to speculations since it is never possible to know the accuracy of human behavior. B.F. Skinner was a twentieth-century American psychologist, behaviorist, and social philosopher. He talked about Radical behaviorism which is a philosophy of behavioral pattern. He believed that behavior is in general casual and is affected by circumstantial events. His perception of behavior has influenced other scientists to study social behavior and contingencies. Freud was an Austrian neurologist and is an important name in the world of psychology. He believed that human behavior is influenced mostly by the unconscious mind. His theory is in direct contrast to Skinner as the latter has taken a more scientific approach. Skinner did not consider a person’s consciousness as valid data while Freud has mainly focused on the unconscious mind. This paper will attempt to compare and contrast Freud and Skinner’s approaches to understanding behavior.
Skinner believed that human behavior is completely influenced by external factors and genetic influences. He did not believe in free will and regarded it as a myth. His behavioral theory was based on response to circumstances and their consequences. He gave a more formal shape to this type of learning and he called it operant conditioning. Skinner was both a popular and controversial psychologist among his peers. His most controversial theory was radical behaviorism, which explains that “behavior, whether animal or human, is completely determined by environmental and genetic influences” (Nevid, 2012, p.191). Skinner firmly believed that behavior must be measured and identified based on observational processes. .