The Mind Body Problem-Behaviorism

the mind boby problem-behaiourism 6

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In most cases, people assume that behavior and behaviorismhave the same meaning. However, the analysis of elements ofbehaviorism highlights that there is a significant difference betweenthe two factors. For example, behavior is the way in which a personacts and reacts towards different situations and others (Behaviorism,2015). On the other hand, behaviorism is a theory, which argues thathuman beings can train, change, measure, and condition their behaviorto suit a new environment. The paper takes the initiative to analyzethe mind body problem with respect to behaviorism. Hence, the papertakes the stance, which argues for behaviorism by mentioning theadvantages it has on human beings and society as a whole (Carter,2007).&nbsp

Most behaviorists attribute John B. Watson for reinforcing the theoryof behaviorism in the 1930s. According to the psychologist, when youplace a person in a new environment, he or she will change theirattitudes, opinions, and perceptions to appeal to their newsurroundings. Supporters of this theory argue that there are manyadvantages to using behaviorism in solving different mental andpsychological issues, which often determine the physical reactions ofhuman beings(Rosenthal, 2000). However, critics mention thatbehaviorism does not meet the needs of human beings given that thereare other determinants, which influence the mind of the human beingthat the theory does not discuss. While experts recognize Watson fordedicating a considerable amount of time establishing the connectionbetween behavior changes, most behaviorists state that Skinner’sresearch forms the basis for using human conditioning to adapt to newenvironments (Behaviorism, 2015).

The mind body problem is a common topical discussion in subjects ofphilosophy, psychology, and social sciences. Ideally, mostbehaviorists tend to understand the connection between the mind andthe body. The mind deals with a human beings thoughts, pains, andbeliefs while the body is associated with the physical state of thebody such as the functions of the atoms and neurons. In this case,the mind and the body are two different factors. However, one factoraffects the other. For instance, a person’s thoughts, feelings, andperceptions are reflective of the physical actions of the humanbrain. On the other hand, one can separate the two factors bydistancing the processes of the mind from the physical processes,which determine such actions (Dardis,2008).&nbsp

Advantages of Behaviorism

In essence, the mind body problem seeks to identify the behavior ofan individual in different situations and environments. In fact,behaviorists use concepts of behaviorism to identify the pros ofbehaviorism on individuals and society as a whole. Notably,psychology is a science associated with the study of human behavior,and not the study of the mind. On the other hand, the notionseparates psychological processes and ones mental actions. In otherwords, a person’s actions are determined by their externalenvironment and not by the internal processes of the mind. With thatsaid, one is able to recognize the advantages of behaviorism afterunderstanding the mind body problem (Carter,2007).&nbsp

The first advantage of behaviorism is that over the years, the theoryhas been used to solve mental and psychological issues faced by humanbeings. Following the analysis of the mind body problem, psychologyis essential in understanding the behavior of an individual. Hence,in the case that a person is suffering from depression, lowself-esteem, and facing an identity crisis, doctors can introduceexternal factors to influence the way the persons mind functions. Forexample, Skinner provides the example of classical conditioningwhereby he introduces a stimulus (food) to influence the behavior ofthe dog (salivate). Currently, doctors use conditioning to change theway a patient reacts to different stimulus. If a person suffers froman identity crisis, he or she can be introduced into a newenvironment. This action can change their thought process drasticallyto reflect on a healthy lifestyle. Psychotherapists use this processto treat millions of patients on an annual basis. Therefore,behaviorism serves as a form of treatment for people with mentalpsychological issues (Dardis,2008).&nbsp

Secondly, behaviorism is used as a means of learning and education.Ideally, behaviorists believe that all human beings are born with noknowledge (a blank state). Hence, they acquire their knowledge andbehavior from the environment. Critics mention that most research onhuman behavior can be misconstrued or falsified to suit targetedresults. This is because most information is derived fromobservational experiments as opposed to scientific experiments(Rosenthal,2000). However, the study of different experimentsconcerning behaviorism highlights how children use their surroundingenvironments such as the home, schools, and playgrounds to learn newinformation. In addition, people can use behaviorism to unlearn badhabits, which may have been acquired in a negative environment. Giventhat, the body can influence the mind and vice versa, millions ofpeople take advantage of their knowledge of behaviorism to drop badhabits and change addictions (Carter,2007).&nbsp

Behaviorism is essential in acquiring interpersonal skills.Interpersonal skills are vital to the survival of human beings infamiliar and new environments. Such skills are important in makingfriends, associations, and alliances in society. Seeing that anindividual will change their behavior to reflect on that of their newenvironment, they can use a new social environment to learn skillsthat can improve their personal, educational, and professionallife(Behaviorism, 2015).

Lastly, behaviorism has been adopted to solve areas of humanpsychology, which in the past did not get much attention. Forexample, behaviorism uses cognitive psychology, which focuses onchanging the way in which an individual views a challenge, issue ornegative situation. Hence, one is able to manage their personalproblems by using external sources to influence their mental state.While the mind and the body may be separate, they are all influencedby external stimuli. As such, one can learn how to use psychology toby using healthy methods of reasoning in negative situations (Dardis,2008).&nbsp

To conclude, a number of people still question behaviorism as a meansof solving human related issues such as depression, work problems,social-economic challenges, and political issues. Nonetheless, thereis a significant amount of evidence, which explains how behaviorismis been used in hospitals, counseling, schools, and even businessenvironments. Behaviorism has its advantages and its disadvantages.However, the pros outweigh the cons making this process ideal forhuman and social growth. Currently, new studies are focusing onintroducing concepts of behaviorism in the social media, socialinteraction, and global structures. This in turn, enhances the use ofbehaviorism in the modern setting, which is technologically enhanced.


Behaviorism (2015). In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.Retrieved from

Carter, M.(2007).&nbspMindsand computers: An introduction to the philosophy of artificialintelligence.Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Dardis, A.(2008).&nbspMentalcausation: The mind-body problem.New York: Columbia University Press

Rosenthal, D.M. (2000).&nbspMaterialismand the mind-body problem.Indianapolis: Hackett