Comparing Behaviorist And Humanistic

The field of psychology is complex and fascinating precisely because there are many schools of thought on various matters related to the field. In the study of the human behavior and personality, there are two main directions in which researchers and professionals place themselves: the behaviorist direction and the humanistic one. Both of them study the same thing, yet they are very different in essence and sometimes they are even opposing.

Basically, behaviorists believe that human behavior can be measured and that it can be studied scientifically. For this branch of the psychology professionals, the behavior a human has is the result of his/her environment and, in one way or another, this is how animals’ behavior function as well. The most well-known experiment made in this direction is that of Pavlov’s dog that got to associate the sound of a bell with the meals it received precisely because Pavlov rang a bell each time he fed the dog. Even more though, for the behaviorists out there, the human being has absolutely no free will and that everything about the human behavior is a result of an external stimuli (such as in the case of the above-mentioned dog).

On the other hand though, humanists think the opposite. For this branch of psychology professionals, the human being has free will and it is responsible for its behavior and actions. For them, the human behavior is shaped by the inner desire each human being has when it comes to making the world a better place. In this light of things, humans are completely different from animals precisely because they can think, feel and speak about it. Unlike the behaviorist approach that uses laboratory experiments, this direction uses interviews and individual observations as main methods of research.

Up to the moment, psychologists and researchers in the field of psychology from all over the world have not agreed 100% on which of these approaches is more truthful to the actual nature of the human being’s behavior. In the end, the choice has to be made by each psychology professional out there, according to his/her own beliefs when it comes to this topic. While there can be a common bridge between the two of the directions in which human behavior studies split themselves, the truth is that nobody has managed to create a verifiable and palpable theory that would combine both of these schools of thought.