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Behaviorism: Social Cognitive Analysis

Behaviorism, is the social cognitive (learning/social) perspective. As the behaviorism observe from the environment aspect, the social cognitive focus on one’s mindset as they think and learn from their environment. Therefore, social cognitive theory focuses on the behavior, environment, and the person to determine their personality styles. As the behavioral and social cognitive perspective work together, they focus on the way people control their behavior in different environments that change who they are, personally (Kay, Sullivan, & Landau, 2015).

The reciprocal determinism (the person, environment, and the behavior) is conducted by the control of a person and the optimism. Bandura define optimism as the tendency to explain bad events as specific (accident), while pessimism is the tendency to explain bad events as internally caused (purpose). While optimism is seen as being more understanding, pessimism is noted as being helplessness. Being that the optimism is a specific bad event, it would not affect the behavior as much as the pessimism (Phelps, 2015).

The behavioral and social cognitive perspectives, together, focus on the changes caused by the environment that develops one’s personality. These perspectives can be seen as reliable because observation is a great tool when evaluating the behavior and response of an individual. Observing the same behaviors in the same environment setting determines the personality style (Phelps, 2015). For example, observing the same frightening behaviors as an individual come in contact with a snake in the usual environment concludes that a person dislikes that environment because of snakes.

However, the humanistic perspectives focus on the importance of a person’s growth and describing one’s “true self” (Cloninger, 2013). Roger’s theory explains how each individual are given love and respect only if we behave accordingly to the expectations (condition of worth). So Roger creates unconditional positive regards to enhance our self-concept to not rely on required behaviors to accept and value the love of a person (Glazer & Friedman, 2009). For example, if a parent only loved their child when they behaved accordingly, the child would not develop a closer relationship with their parent.

A more positive self-concept can arise by showing unconditional love for one another. According to Maslow (2009), people strive for self-actualization. Self-actualization is the development of a person’s full potential. Maslow express how several needs are arranged in a hierarchy with physiological needs being the lowest and self-actualization being the highest need of one’s full potential. As each level of need is satisfied, the person moves up, but it needs are not satisfied, the growth stops.

The personality trait, self-esteem, is discovered within Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Self-esteem being a person’s overall evaluation of their self-worth, leads to define their personality type. As one achieves and grows, so does their self-esteem. The human perspective is reliable and valid because Roger and Maslow remind us of the importance of one’s need and growth that creates the way a person see themselves, personally (Glazer & Friedman, 2009). Lastly, the Trait perspective describes personality as one focus on the characteristics within a person.

There are two common theories that are associated with the trait perspective which are Allport and the “Big- Five Theory” (Cloninger, 2013). Allport conducted three categorized traits such as the cardinal, central, and secondary traits. The central trait is used to describe a particular person. For example, my mother could describe my personality with central traits because she know me well. The secondary trait describes many consistent behaviors within a person, but does not necessarily cause them to have central traits.

For example, a person that enjoys salads from different places would show secondary traits and prefer salads from specific places to receive a better taste. The cardinal trait is a personality trait that dominates everything a person does. In regard to personality, Allport analyzed the traits according to how they influenced one’s personality (Lynn & Miller, 2015). On the other hand, the Big Five theory consists of five factors of personality such as openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

These personality factors are used to analyze many individuals by personality tests and self-report questionnaires to determine their personality description. Many structure techniques and assessment are used to determine one’s personality style (Lynn & Miller, 2015). Also, Eysenck’s model included standardized test and tools to conduct traits in personality using three major factors. Neuroticism versus Emotional Stability, Introversion vs. Extroversion, and Psychoticism are used to study the brain activities on certain behaviors (Lynn & Miller, 2015).

Rammstedt, Kemper, & Borg, (2013) provide evidence that the way in which an individual respond to the test, honestly, based on what should be right or what someone want may affect their results in a self-report questionnaire assessments causing it to become invalid (Rammstedt, Kemper, & Borg, 2013). Conclusion Psychology is a science and the different personality assessments developed by many psychologists are intentionally made to be accurate and reliable for every individual (Cloninger, 2013).

Different types of personality assessment such as self-report and behavioral techniques are great tools to help evaluate the personality traits of a person. Within psychology, self-report test are greatly used to give one the ability to describe their own personality by numerous questions. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and the Big Five test are the commonly used self-report assessments. Projective tests are given to individuals to ask for a description or story to study the unconscious feelings and thoughts that stimulate the mind.

The Thematic Apperception Test and the Rorschach inkblot assessments are very useful in psychology (Cloninger, 2013). As discussed in behavioral assessments, an individual’s behavior is observed and reported to evaluate their personality and cognitive assessment are used to determine what thoughts are being made to undergo certain behaviors. In conclusion, the major theoretical approaches, research methods, and assessment was discussed based on the major perspectives of personality. In regard to cultural consideration, every assessment can affect the outcome depending on the individual’s age, educational level, and environment. Rammstedt, Kemper, & Borg, 2013).

Some assessments are better and more familiar than others, allowing one to gain a stronger or weaker understanding of the personality type and behavior. Using the major perspectives gave a better understanding of the way one’s personality is determined, according to the heredity (physical appearance once they are born), environment (the culture they are brought up in and the family background tradition), and the situation at hand that changes one’s personality. Basically saying, an individual’s appearance, character, intelligence, and style form their personality type.

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