PSYC384 Forum: Question No.2 (Consequences)

According to B. F. Skinner,  behavior is shaped and maintained by its consequences. What mattered most to Skinner was what happened after a response occurred.

This means that teachers/parents can increase or decrease a particular target behavior (of a student/child) by manipulating environmental factors so that the behavior can either be increased or decreased via the exploitation of positive or negative reinforcer(s) (outcome of behavior).

In comparison, the Choice Theory proposed by William Glasser, advocates that students/children should be the ones to decide on what should follow a particular behavior.  In other words, Glasser encourages teachers and parents to allow children to make their own decisions about what consequences should follow their actions. Glasser also emphasizes that children should be allowed to be responsible for their own actions and be made accountable/responsible for everything they do or don’t do in the classroom.

Who, between Skinner and Glasser do you agree with? Why? What is your own view regarding this issue? Defend your answer with (an) example(s).

11 thoughts on “PSYC384 Forum: Question No.2 (Consequences)”

  1. I agree with the Choice Theory, because I greatly believe that behavior is not only shaped or maintained by the consequences of the behavior alone, but it is also a matter of choice. In my point of view, a person or the authority can plan many things or many ways for increasing or decreasing certain behavior but if the kid choose not to follow whatever is planned, then what is planned will be in vain. Each of us is given a right to make decision or to decide what is good or bad for ourselves or even if he or she don’t know what is good or bad for themselves, they will still make a choice. So the behavior is not always maintain by the consequences…….. it is by the choice we make according to what is priority for ourselves…

  2. Both theories are agreeable, because it highly depends on cultural orientations. For instance, in individualistic societies, William Glasser’s theory is widely practiced while B. F Skinner’s theory is very common in collectivist societies like most of the Asian countries. Besides, according to my point of view, both theories have go together for the intention of helping a child to be well-equipped in his/her social world, emotional aspect, and intellectual development. Give him/her choices but restraint the choices by guiding him/her as fellow traveler.
    Best regards,

  3. I would agree with William Glasser. The reason why is because in his Choice Theory, the child is given the choice to do what they prefer and face all the consequences as they deal with the choice that they have made. The child also will face the biggest effect upon their choice because no one is forcing them to make their desired choice. At the same time, William Glasser’s theory also were religiously sound because if we refer to the Bible and Elen G. White’s writings (as Dr.Roy mentioned in the class), God have given man the power of choice and that choice have great impact upon man. This principle is similar to William Glasser’s choice theory.

  4. I agree with Glasser. God also did the same things when He allowed human being the freedom of choice- to obey or disobey Him. He is the creator, He knows what behavior will be good or bad in result for His children. We are the parents and teachers will have to do the same thing. Allow them to make thier own dicision and resposible for thier own consquence. Let them exlore thier life. Being teachers or parents, our duty is inform them the result might occur if they misbehave or behave such a thing. Allow kids to behave accordingly and ask them to responsible with what they have done. If they are willing to change when they know they misbehave, this might change them forever. But we have to keep watching if we know the result will too bad just find good way to block them before result occur or think of good way of helping them. However, if we want to change children’s behaviors by negative or positive reiforcers, they might follow us because they want to get rid of something they don’t like or because reinforcer. If we always wonder why kids do the way they do and that why they don’t do they way we want them to do? Be like the story of lost son or I would say in different a loving father who allow his son to do what he want but in turn when the son knew what he has done is wrong he come back and he will never do it again. Misbehaviors are some part to decorate children’s beauty. It will make thier lives more meaningful in the future when they look back to thier past.

  5. I have learnt concept of choice theory out side of the class, and for me it is very reasonable. No body wants to be forced by others opinion. individual believe in one’s own way and one makes actions. even outcome of the actions are bad one cannot blame anybody, because they made their own choice. some of my high school friends in the adventist school because their parents put them into there. some of them ended up expeled from the school with their violent behavior. those who were expeled were always complaining about the school; I guess they were also blaming their parents. but another group of students in the same school made their own will to be there; most of them appriciated their parents because they paid very expensive school fee. when the behavior is forced it doesn’t last long. however, when the behavior is acted with one’s own choice, it will last long or could be forever. lasting behavior does not depend on power of others, but it is highly depending on one’s mind set.

  6. I agree with Glasser.
    Helping children learn about the impact of their actions is a vital step that teachers need to take in bridging the gap between the real-world and the classroom.

    In teaching children how to take responsibility for their actions and to be creative with consequences and solutions, we are in fact instilling a sense of hope in them as well as teaching them self-efficacy.

    When we children learn self-efficacy, this principle can be generalized outside as the classroom, instead of learning mere overt behaviours that one would train a pet to do.

    In addition, teaching children the importance of their choices and the power their have in deciding what consequences happen can have a positive impact on their metacognitive skills. This in turn will generate better self-awareness and can lead to overall better self-confidence.

  7. I would definitely go for Glasser’s Choice Theory. After all, all of us are free human beings who have the capacity to think and make choices of our own. We are the bosses of ourselves. No one can ever say or force us to do things we don’t want or like. It might work for a short time when there are threats and punishments. But in the long run, no one is going to take our responsibilities consequences but us.

    Parents and teachers are the most important figures when it comes to nurturing the children. Children need freedom of choice at home and at school. Children also need to have a sense that they are in control of their lives and environment. If they think and feel that they are being controlled and told to do things, there is a great possible that they will take every thing and keep quiet or they will become mischievous and rebellious to get attention and control. When children are not allowed to make decision and take responsibilities, they will definitely become dependent. They won’t engage in creative and critical thinking since everything they have to do is planned and structured by parents and teachers. By doing so, parents and teachers are killing the spirits and creativities of young individuals.

    I come from a very conservative family and collective society. From very young, I was told to do things, even the things that I never wanted to do. And I was often forbidden to do the things are really want to do and I got frustrated day by day that I become rebellious. Even I tried my best not to show my frustration to my parents and teachers, I was actually battling inside to suppress my own desire so that I won’t go against any superior person. I become too dependent on others and I’m afraid to take any responsibilities, big or small.

    Now that I’m learning about psychology and many concepts and ideas, I could ease the pains I had to a very great degree. I become more thoughtful since I learned and practiced the method “Metacognition” and engaged in critical thinking skills. Now that I found my freedom and got control of my action and life, I become a healthy human being. I was always thankful that I never got involved in bad habits while I was suffering from inner conflicts. There was a high possibility for me to do all the silly things since I felt that I was in control of nothing, not even my own life. So I don’t want any young individual to go through the same depressing frustrations and conflicts that I went through and do some foolish things just because they are so desperate and that they don’t have a meaning of living. Children need to learn to be responsible and independent. They should be allowed to have their own choices, make their own decisions and take responsibilities for what they do. The role of parents and teachers is to support them and be there as mere mentors or facilitators.

  8. Like DoeDoh said, it depends on cultural orientations. I believe it depends too on how young or mature or individualistic the child is. Some kids can easily make decisions, some kids don’t know how and can’t yet. In my opinion, teachers can make use of both theories depending on the child’s situation. The integrated use of both theories should be leaning toward the goal of guiding kids in the right path and at the same time making them understand the real underlying reason of their own behavior; how the behavior in actuality impact oneself and others.
    “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
    Proverbs 22 : 6 King James Bible
    Can children at a very young age be responsible for their own actions and be made accountable/responsible for everything they do or don’t do in the classroom? Yes they can be taught to be responsible beings. But can they be the only one held responsible for their acts? Adult surrounding the kid is suppose to train them. Training connotes a meaning that is far beyond dictating one what is right or wrong; training is an activity between a teacher and a student where the goal is far more than a change of behavior but more of a change of attitude from inward out. It simply does more than what mere manipulations do.
    In my opinion, choice theory (by Glasser) in its nature is manipulative too but is less obvious than the Skinner’s theory. The difference in choice theory is that the trainer is not the one holding the remote for giving positive or negative reinforce to the student; the student instead holds the remote and is responsible for making the consequences and is responsible for punishing and rewarding himself because the trainer told him to do so.
    Yet still I believe principles from both theories can be borrowed and integrated with other theories in the purpose of doing more than mere manipulation, in providing real training for young kids where once they have learned, there is just no turning back to old crooked ways.

  9. I agree with the choice theory. because once the child is given responsibility for their action, they will be very cautious in everything they do. and i noticed that in our case study. when we made Allie responsible for what she was doing (getting distracted), she decreased he behavior from 10 times per lesson to 2 times per lesson only!
    this proves that children can change their behavior easily if they’re given responsibility for their actions.

  10. I won’t say I agree only with Skinner’s theory or with Glasser’s choce theory because in my pinion, taking out best suitable points for a child from both theory can be more meaningful then sided with one theory.
    DoeDoh and Kessarin has already talked about this. In addition, I think merely manipulating to increase or decrease the behavior of a child might not work out every time. But when it’s met with his/her interest, this will be the best of helping a child for their overalll development. Most importantly in this situation, parents or teachers have to observe the interest of their children or students well.
    However, we can not neglect Glasser’s choice theory. Let a child to take responsibity for their action might depend on the maturity. As Kessarin said that at the very young age children can be taught to be responsible beings but let them be responsible/accountable for what they do or don’t do might be harsh if they are too young. Misbehavior can be menifested in this situation.
    Finally, taking from both point of views, the choice of a child and the guide, rather than manipulation, will definately help the devolopment of a child’s behavior.

  11. I am sorry to fill in on this topic. Can I raise a question on this topic about giving a child a freedom of choice. But what age are we talking here? Because I am a bit confuse with the word choice. Is it wise to give those even if this child is in developing choice. Remember we are adults who models to a childs behavior. I think their are certain boundaries we need to agree on before any choices are given to any misbehavior. The best behavior management is prevention, communicate the expectation and flexibility on any given situation. I am a believer of choices, because we live on that, but isn’t it right to teach a child how to RESPECT, and be RESPONSIBLE before giving CHOICES? I don’t know perhaps you can enlighten me on this one, just curious. Again sorry for my comment. Thank You.

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