Home > Free Essays > Psychology > Behavior > Behavioral theory

Behavioral theory Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Dec 18th, 2019


Behavioral theory proposes that people are driven into doing things not by inner forces, but the external factors surrounding them. This theory proposes that human functioning is intricately related to personal and environmental factors. Personal factors include traits, instincts, among other motivational forces while environmental factors are the situational influences that affect the behavior of an individual.

The development of human behavior is constrained by several factors that it has been exposed to (Cherry, 2009). A family is one of the agents of socialization and it is very important in molding the behavior of children. However, this has not been the case for me (Baum, 2005).

Being brought up by a relative is not the same as being brought up by ones parents. It shows the insignificant of the family unit and does not instill the required behavior in a child.


According to the behavioral theory, behaviors are acquired from the surrounding environment (Rachlin, 1991). I can say that the behavior I have acquired is highly influenced by the way I was brought up. Being brought up by a single parent who was not there when I needed her most taught me to be irresponsible. It was at this tender age that I developed a “don’t care” behavior because that is what my parents showed me.

My mom remarried after some time and even if my step dad was not so bad, it was too late for me to experience fatherly love. I had already developed the perception that my father was bad and this has continued to affect my behavior even today. Even after having my own family, I was not able to support them and deserted them when they needed me most.

I would really want to have a happy family but the things I have gone through keep pulling me down. For instance, I have a sister who is 10 years older than me but we have never lived together as siblings.

We have had a good relationship though, but just that. The only way we get to talk to each other is over the phone since we live far from each other. I have seen this affect the relationship I have with my family, though I have a good relationship with my three daughters, am not able to live with them under the same roof. My love for their mother faded away and no matter how hard she tries for us to me back together, I just do not want to.

It is through the behavioral theory that I have come to understand my behavior. There are moments I thought I was cursed but this study has helped me a great deal. My mom was out of my life for fifteen years and I can say it was not easy living with my aunt.

First you are being ridiculed by other children telling you that your parents do not love you and that’s why they have given you up to be taken care of by your aunt. You suffer both physically and psychologically and this influences your behavior.

Acquired behavior can eat away some of the good behavior attributes we have. For instance, I know I am person who loves to joke and have fun, although I have not been able to do this. I find myself in depressing situations, and don’t have friends I can count on.

No matter how hard I try to be friendly, I find myself holding back because I am always tormented by what I have gone through. Being brought up by divorced parents has really affected my life. No matter how hard I try to be happy, I am not able to achieve it.

The only thing I love at the moment is my job; I work for Best Buy as a supervisor and enjoy it. After parting ways with my wife, I have tried another relationship but it has failed and I am now single. My girlfriend left me after dating for almost one and a half years claiming that I didn’t treat her well.

I agree with her but I cannot help it. I just do not know what to do because I do not even know what it means to treat someone well. I have never seen my parents treating each other well and therefore I do not have anyone to emulate. I am really trying to change and to maintain a good relationship with my former girlfriend.

Behavioral theory proposes that an individual’s behavior depends on an individual intention to perform the behavior. It is not always the case that behavior is influenced by external forces. An individual’s attitude determines his intention which in turn influences his behavior.

Through research it has been found that intention is the most important variable that influences changes in behavior (Baum, 2005). This means that an individual’s behavior is largely influenced by his/her personal motivation. This perception has helped me understand why I always end up in debts.

I have formed the habit of buying new things, especially if the price is a bargain. At times I do not have enough money for the purchases and I always end up borrowing. I borrow money from people who I know can not refuse to give me and I have therefore developed the behavior of taking advantage of people’s kindness.

What I have experienced in life has influenced my determination to work hard. I have lived a life that has taught me to be independent and I have to work hard to excel in life. The hardships I have gone through have increased my levels of self-efficacy and raised my confidence (Mills, 2000).

After completing my high school education, I pursued a business administration course and latter took a four year course in business management. I am currently going for my masters online for psychology and I am still on the race.


In conclusion I can say that, behavioral theory has really helped me understand who I am and why I behave the way I do. There are times I wondered why I did some things but this theory has helped me a great deal.

Through this lesson, I have learnt that a change in behavior may at times prove to be difficult given the type of orientation one has been exposed to. I was brought up by my aunt and did not have much of parental love that I can boast of.

My parents divorced when I was still very early young and didn’t spend much time with. Having known this, I am ready to change for the better and will not let my past experiences influence who I want to be. It is not my choice that I was brought up the way I was but I can shape my future and that of my future generation.


Baum, W.M. (2005). Understanding behaviorism: Behavior, Culture and Evolution. New Jersey: Blackwell.

Cherry, K. (2009). Psychology theories. Retrieved from:

Mills, J. A. (2000). Control: A History of Behavioral Psychology. New York: New York University Press.

Rachlin, H. (1991) Introduction to modern behaviorism.New York: Freeman.

This essay on Behavioral theory was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

801 certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2019, December 18). Behavioral theory. https://ivypanda.com/essays/behavioral-theory-essay/


IvyPanda. (2019, December 18). Behavioral theory. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/behavioral-theory-essay/

Work Cited

"Behavioral theory." IvyPanda, 18 Dec. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/behavioral-theory-essay/.

1. IvyPanda. "Behavioral theory." December 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/behavioral-theory-essay/.


IvyPanda. "Behavioral theory." December 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/behavioral-theory-essay/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Behavioral theory." December 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/behavioral-theory-essay/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Behavioral theory'. 18 December.

Powered by CiteTotal, reference maker
More related papers