Previously published in examiner
Today’s psychology subject is role modeling, in other words being taught by example. It is a big area and includes many areas of research. Basically we are going to approach this wide area of research through the looking at the practice what you preach model of teaching children.
Theoretical Question for Montreal and worldwide families
Have you ever noticed how you can tell children to something over and over again and yet they still do not do it? Is it always because they are rebellious children or is it because they are doing what they see and know from the world they live in? For example you tell your children not to swear and yet every second word that comes out of your mouth is a swear word. Can you now see why children would swear if you are their parent and key role model in their life?
Incidentally in a recent report explained on CTV Montreal news, Canadians known the world around as cheerful friendly people happen to be top on the list for using expletives. The F-word is pretty much part of the average Canadian’s vocabulary, varying in degrees of usage of course.
Behaviorism and Learning Theory
The early behaviorists created a theory whereby they hypothesized that people’s personalities were driven by actions. According to the behaviorists, humans would repeat the same actions over and over again until they became habits. This is the basic theory behind bad habits, . For example, a nose picker may not realize they are picking their nose. We have done these behaviors so often it becomes ingrained within us and sometimes we are not even aware of doing them.
In order to break a bad habit according to behaviorism, we must create a new and positive habit to replace the offending behavior.
Carrying a Kleenex around at all times and reaching for the Kleenex instead of reaching for the nose, would be an example of a positive behaviour. With practice this new behaviour becomes second nature and the Kleenex would be the reminder to blow your nose. A behaviour change such as this can be equally valuable for adult and child alike.
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