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Human Behaviour In Children Essay

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A study of human behaviour in children and adolescents: To what extent is our behaviour shaped by the approval or disapproval of parents, teachers and other role models?

As small children, we need adults to care for us and provide us with food, warmth, and shelter. The caregivers, usually our parents, are important to our psychological development; we make emotional bonds with them from an early age, which gives us the security we need in order to explore and learn about the world . Similarly, as we grow up, we learn how to behave in everyday life, but to what extent is our behaviour shaped by the approval or disapproval of parents, teachers and other role models?

Some people consider that children are born as “blank slates”, since they are
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For example, Edward Thorndike, who is famous in psychology for his work on learning theory that lead to the development of operant conditioning within behaviourism, focused on his contributions to the development of testing by devising a series of events using animals, such as cats and rats, so as to eventually conclude, that animals, including humans, learn by making links between actions and results. Thorndike emphasized that success or reward reinforces these links, which can be further strengthened by repetition of action i.e. the Law of Effect ; this is relevant to the question at hand, for this evidence supports the fact that a child’s behaviour- his or her actions- are learned by the results, or approval and disapproval in this case.

For this reason, many psychologists have been led to believe that whilst growing up, children and teenagers develop a “moral compass” at the hand of their caretakers, which largely contributes to the way in which we behave in run-of-the-mill situations, subsequently impacting our decision making. We are not born knowing what is right from wrong, just as we are born with no knowledge, so surely- using the idea of stimuli and response- our good behaviour is conditioned by rewards and our bad behaviour is discouraged by
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