Monday, 7 February 2011
Intrigued by Human Beings
I am truly intrigued by human beings in today's pluralistic and multicultural society. Watching people and wondering is one of my fascinating hobby.
We are indeed social creatures who like to relate to other people and to interact meaningfully with others.
One of my major interests is the power of the situation rather than biological or personality factors as an influence on behavior!
I am interested in what makes different people behave similarly in a given situation. It is interesting to see how different people define or perceive or interpret a social situation.
The social learning perspective proposes that social behavior is primarily learned through observation and imitation.
One of the leading proponents of this perspective is Albert Bandura, whose theory is called observational learning. The learning processes of classical conditioning (Pavlov, 1927) and operant conditioning (Skinner, 1971) are also relevant to the social learning perspective.
The phenomenological perspective emphasizes the individual's subjective perception and interpretation of the social situation. Kurt Lewin (1951), a pioneer of field theory, asserted that behavior is a function of both the person and his/her environment.
Thus, B=f (P, E). That is the same situation may have a different effect on different people based on their definition or interpretation of or interaction with the situation.
I am the kind of person who avoid reliance on personal beliefs, common sense, authority, pure reason, and personal revelation as the source of facts. We are all too often tempted to turn to common sense explanations, intuitions, or eternal truths such as "misery loves company," "revenge is sweet," "actions speak louder than words" to answer questions about human behavior!!!
Indeed, many of these non-scientific explanations or truisms offered from generation to generation are contradictory! Do "opposite attract" or "birds of a feather flock together?" Do "great minds think alike" or "fools never differ?" Does absence make the heart grow fonder" or "out of sight, out of mind?"
The bottom line is that reliance on clichés or truisms as explanations of human behavior is problematic!!!
I base my conclusions on scientific studies. I like to use procedures to prevent subjectivity from influencing the result of my findings. Scientific method, nothing more ;) in order to minimize bias let us try to view a problem from a number of vantage points...