Behavioral Perspective: It's All About Perspective
What is Perspective?
Perspective is defined as a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something. To put it in simple terms it is a “point of view”. Each person has their own perspective of this world and acts accordingly. This ‘perspective’ may be developed as part of their own life experiences or their current situation. It is the point of view for a person that influences them in their decisions.
A person's opinion or thoughts about an object or life situation can drastically vary depending on their past experiences or the way they have been brought up. The concept of slavery might be something which is quite common and accepted during the medieval times but the same will be considered as inhumane and barbaric in our modern world.
Optimism and Pessimism:
There are always two ways to approach any difficulty or challenge. You can either be an optimist or a pessimist. When you bring a glass of water which is half filled, the optimist will see the glass as half full. However, the pessimist will view the glass as half empty. Technically both of them are right in their answer. However, the optimist sees the portion which has water whereas the pessimist is more concerned about the portion which is empty.
When life brings some challenge that has to be overcome, an optimistic person will take this as an opportunity to improve themselves and strive hard to overcome this ordeal. A pessimistic person, on the other hand, may give up on the first sight of trouble. Despite the many blessings they have, they will be more bothered by trivial difficulties in their life. This is why it is very important to be optimistic and to stay positive.
This optimistic outlook of life will also be developed in a person based on the many circumstances they have been through. In some cases though, being optimistic can put you in trouble. Having someone with a pessimistic outlook is also necessary. It was this unwanted optimism that led the crew of the Titanic to sail without enough lifeboats. The “unsinkable” ship paid the ultimate price for being overly optimistic.
Behavioral Perspective is defined as acting throughout your life based on some form of motivation or incentive. This explains why a person is more likely to perform a task if there is some reward associated with completing it. If the task is to study for an exam, the person will be more likely to put more effort into it if he is promised a reward for passing the exams.
An organism requires a certain list of conditions to survive. Food and water are essential for survival so the organism will seek them out and it is these that provide the motivation for the organism. So in order for someone to act on something they need some motivation. This is the driving force which pushes us to do some task.
An example of this could be explained by the drive for hunger. John doesn’t like to cook and refrains from cooking anything at home. One day after returning from work, he finds that his wife has left the apartment for shopping and there are no snacks in his house. Even though John doesn’t prefer to cook, he makes himself some food to eat because his hunger motivates him to cook.
Bobo Doll Experiment:
The Bobo Doll experiment was an experiment conducted by Albert Bandura from 1961 to 1963. This experiment was aimed at studying how a child’s behavior changes after watching an adult act aggressively towards a Bobo doll which is a toy that gets up by itself to a standing position when it is knocked down. Albert studied the behavior changes of a child after the model gets punished or rewarded for hitting the Bobo doll.
This experiment was used to understand how people tend to learn and behave while observing others. The social learning theory claims that people not only learn by being rewarded or punished themselves but also by observing others who get rewarded or punished for their actions. This helps us understand the effect of violence in media for our children.
The experiment consisted of 36 boys and 36 girls of the age group between 37 and 69 months. They were divided into 4 groups and a control group. Half of the children were exposed to an aggressive model who abused and hit the Bobo doll and the other half was exposed to a non-aggressive model. Half of the these were put together with models of the same sex and the other half with models of the opposite sex.
The children were then placed in the corner of a room with an adult model who had some toys, a mallet, and a Bobo doll. The aggressive model would hit the Bobo doll with the mallet and verbally abuse it by saying “hit it”, “kick it”, etc. The non-aggressive model would simply play with the toys and leave the Bobo doll alone. This was done for 10 minutes and then the child was taken out. The child was then allowed to play with the Bobo doll and the toys which the model was playing with.
Albert found that the children who were exposed to the aggressive model were more likely to show aggressive behavior. It was also found that both boys and girls exhibited more aggressive behavior if the model abusing the Bobo doll was of the same sex as them. Boys, in general, tended to exhibit more aggression than girls as well. Thus children tend to observe and follow the things happening around them.
A Person’s Character and Perspective:
The character and personality of a person are also built on his past experiences and challenges faced. According to each person’s perspective what they do is right. This is based on the environment they were brought up in and the list of things which is considered to be ethical and unethical in their society. It is these social norms that shape a person.
More often than not we judge people by the way they live their life. The truth, however, is that we have no right to question the decisions or character of a person. What may be right in our eyes might be wrong in another person’s perspective. This, however, doesn’t mean that it’s not the right thing to do. We need to live our lives in the way we see fit.
“One man’s meat is another man’s poison”
There are people who change themselves just to please others. This may work out for a while but it will zap your happiness in the long run. Each and every person in this world is amazing. That is because for each person he is special and unique. Beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder and as long as you are special from your perspective, you will be amazing.
The Power Of Expression:
“I Never Said She Stole My Money”
The way we express ourselves has a huge impact on how it is perceived in this world. When you read the above-given sentence you will notice something strange. The same sentence can have 7 different meanings based on how it is delivered. Try reading the sentence again by emphasizing the first letter the first time you read it, the second letter the second time and so on. Each time the purpose of the sentence changes.
The way we express ourselves is the same. What we do will be interpreted in many ways by different people. An example of this can be found in the “Potsdam Declaration” by the US asking for the total surrender of Japan during WW2. Japanese Premier Kantaro Suzuki issued in a news report the following, “No comment. We’re still thinking about it.” The word “mokusatsu”, meaning, “no comment” however was misinterpreted as “we’re ignoring in contempt” leading to the dropping of the atomic bombs killing thousands of people.
© 2018 Sudhir