ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Humanism and Behaviorism as Psychological Learning Theories/Principles

Updated on July 4, 2017

Humanism and Behaviorism

Humanism vs. Behaviorism
Humanism vs. Behaviorism | Source

Psychological Learning Theories/Principles

Humanism and Behaviorism as Psychological Learning Theories/Principles
Near the 1950s and ‘60s, Maslow and other researchers became interested in developing humanistic psychology. This desire was mostly in reaction to the behavioral movement that was taking place. Maslow and the others who were interested in developing the humanistic approach to education considered behaviorism to be much too narrow in focus to be dealing with significant issues, such as love, values, self-actualization, choice, spirituality, awe, purpose, and meaning. (Elkins, 2012)

Early research studies on behavior have been conducted by prominent theorists, such as Pavlov, Watson, and Skinner. A lot of information has been learned from the experiments that these men carried out on humans and animals. These men have taught us how behavior can be affected by stimuli and how positive and negative reinforcements affect behavior.

Humanism and Behaviorism are two camps interested in teaching adult learners. Which camp does the best job of educating adult students? This research paper informs readers about the benefits and possible drawbacks of both the humanistic and behavioristic theories/principles in education, and also, it takes a look at what the benefits or drawbacks may be if both camps were utilized together under one roof in adult education.

Two Similarities in Behaviorism and Humanism as Psychological Learning Theories/Principles:
Behaviorism and humanism as psychological learning theories/principles are interested in providing learners with an engaging and fruitful learning experience geared toward success in student learning.
Both the behavioristic and the humanistic method of teaching have their focal point set on activities of learning which has shown results that lead to behavioral changes (learning). (Rostami & Khadjooi, 2010)

Two or More Differences in Behaviorism and Humanism as Psychological Learning Theories/Principles
With the behaviorist theory, the educator uses reinforcement to strengthen the desired actions. These reinforcements are thought of as rewards (reinforcers) that the participant gets when performing the behavior you want (reaction to the stimuli). With the behavioral method of learning, education is very controlled by the teacher. The teacher is the one who chooses what, when, and how the students learn. (Pugsley, 2011)

Behaviorism principles utilized in adult education places emphasis on personal growth and self-actualization in learning. Behavioralistic-style learning puts its focal point on the needs and desires of the learner (Elias & Merriam. 1995). (Walter, 2009, p. 14)

With humanist-style learning for adult learners, the educational system considers adult students to be autonomous and self-motivated in their ever day lives and able to do the same in being responsible for their learning. Following the lead of psychologists Rogers and Maslow, humanist-style education for adult learners left room for spiritual, emotional, and intuitive learning as well as for the personal transforming and fulfilling of the students, and the students’ ability to grow intellectually. (Walter, 2009)

As a method for learning, behaviorism is concerned with learners’ responses to their stimuli. It is also concerned with putting an emphasis on the role the teacher plays in the students’ process of learning. Humanism does not provide educators with the ability to direct the students’ learning process. Humanism provides instructors with a learning atmosphere that is positive, and at the same time, promotes motivation in students and also raises their self-esteem. (Pugsley, 2011)

Analyze and Explain the Essential Connection between the Subjects by Justifying and Making Their Comparison Relevant and Important Humanist and behaviorist theories/principles in education have a lot to offer both educators and students. When synthesized together, these two learning camps would provide learners with a complete education. This type of teaching would encapsulate both humanism and behaviorism. It would also be able to coordinate the two camps together in an intelligent way, at just the right moment, and to the perfect amount. (Combs, Popham, & Hosford, 1977)

Humanism and Behaviorism as Psychological Learning Theories/Principles
The humanism approach and the behaviorist approach to educating adult learners are different from one another. Both camps are interested in teaching adult learners, but they both utilize a unique approach from one another. Which camp does the better job of educating adult students? This research paper informs readers about the benefits and possible drawbacks of both the humanistic and behavioristic theories/principles in education, and also, it considers what it may be like if both camps were utilized together (under one roof) to teach adult education.

Combs, A. W., Popham, W. J., & Hosford, P. L. (1977, Oct.). Behavior
and humanism: A synthesis? Retrieved online at
Elkins, D. N. (2012). The humanistic and behavioral traditions: Areas
of agreement and disagreement. Psychotherapy, 49(4), 465-468.
doi:10.1037/a0027798. PsycINFO database.
Pugsley, L. (2011a, b, c). How to...Begin to get to grips with
educational theory. Education for primary care, 22(4), 266-268.
Academic Search Complete.
Rostami, K. & Khadjooi, K. (Research Institute for Gastroenterology
and Liver Diseases. (2010)., 3(2), 65-70. The implications of
behaviorism and humanism theories in medical education. Gastroenterology and Hepatology from bed to bench. Retrieved
online at file:///C:/Users/Debbie/Downloads/81-361-1-PB.pdf
Walter, P. (2009). Philosophies of adult environmental education.
Adult education quarterly: A journal of research and theory, 60(1),
3-25. ERIC database.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)