Last updated on June 12th, 2020 at 09:39 pm
Hello and welcome to my blog!
Who should be reading this blog?
Anyone who is interested in finding out more about themselves and their behaviour!
Why do we behave in the way that we do? What influences our responses in any given situation? How can I change my habits for the better? The answers to these questions and more are all here waiting for you to discover them.
Why the name ‘Behaviour Babble’?
I chose the name Behaviour Babble because psychology tends to use a LOT of jargon, which can be confusing to understand at times (I am looking at you negative and positive reinforcement!). It is my aim for this blog to explain these terms in a way that anyone can understand.
I also chose the word ‘Babble’ because I recognise that I am on a continuous journey to learning more about psychology. Exciting new research takes place each day. You deserve to know how to use psychology to help improve your life for the better. I believe that Psychology needs a voice which is informative and more relatable than most.
Why did you start a blog about Psychology and Behaviour Analysis?
When I first became aware of psychology, I was a young college student and still had much to learn about the world. But there was something about psychology that really connected with me. I was instantly inspired and I haven’t really stopped since then!
In 2015 I completed a masters degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis. It is now my passion to share my ideas about behavioural psychology and spread the word about this amazing approach to behaviour change. If more people knew about it, then maybe we could use it to solve problems in a way that we never thought possible. And so this blog was born.
I also have a general interest in psychology and for the past two years, I have taught the subject since completing my PGCE in 2018.
I am serious about psychology, but I try not to take myself too seriously!
Who created ‘Behaviour Babble’?
I am a 20 something girl living in the UK who just so happened to become interested in psychology. Aside from blogging in my spare time, I also enjoy watching Studio Ghibli films, baking and travelling to explore new cities.
Quick Introduction to Psychology
I have included a quick overview of the “behaviour babble” AKA the psychology terms that you might come across in this blog. I hope that this will help you to get the most out of your visit.
What is a psychological approach?
There are several different approaches within the field of psychology today (behaviourist, cognitive, developmental, psychodynamic and evolutionary, to name a few of the main ones). All of these approaches have different points of view about human behaviour. Within each approach, there is a specific set of assumptions which guide the way in which they study behaviour. These beliefs, or assumptions, are what makes each perspective distinct and identifiable from each other. So the behaviourist perspective will have a different set of assumptions about how to study behaviour than other approaches, like the psychodynamic approach.
I like to view the psychological approaches as a set of different hats. They all have there own unique qualities and some will naturally appeal to you more than others. But no matter which one you pick, it is wise not to stick exclusively with the same old hat 100% of the time.
It is up to you to decide for yourself which psychological approaches you identify with and focus on. However, I believe that it is important to know as much as you can about all of the approaches. Even if you do not agree with a certain psychological perspective, there is always something to be learned from it if you look at it with an open mind.
What is Behaviourism?
The psychological approach which I tend to favour (and the hat which I wear the most often!) is the behaviourist perspective. Behaviourism has evolved over the years since it was first created and as such it has different variations. But in a nutshell, behaviourist assumptions are..
- Behaviour is determined and selected by the environment
This is the assumption which immediately identifies behaviourism as different from other psychological approaches. Originally, behaviourists believed that people were born with a mind that was a completely blank slate (tabula rasa). However, more modern behaviourist ideas have come to accept the role that genetics and biology play in shaping our behaviour. But we still believe that the environment has a major influence on our behaviour!
- Psychology is a science.
We need to study behaviour in a carefully considered and objective way. This involves conducting controlled research experiments, to determine what specific factors cause a particular response to occur. In other words, we do not create our ideas about behaviour from thin air. Instead, we rigorously test them to prove that they are consistent and valid. Skinner (often seen as the grandfather and creator of behaviourism) viewed behaviourism as the philosophy of the science of behaviour.
- We tend to focus on observable behaviour, rather than internal events like thinking.
This is because observable behaviour is easy to measure and therefore, it can be clearly studied in a scientific manner. After all, it makes more sense to define the cause and effect of behaviour when you can see (with your own eyes!) what changes are occurring. But (and this is where things can get confusing) some behaviourists take the view that we should study all behaviour and this includes the study of private events like thoughts and emotions. We have made great progress in this area of research recently. Check out Relational Frame Theory and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for some real-life applications.
Do you want to learn more? Simply Psychology has written an in-depth article about it here.
What is Applied Behaviour Analysis or ABA?
In short, behaviour analysis takes the view that most behaviour is learned and we can apply these scientifically validated techniques to bring about behaviour change that makes a significant difference to the lives of individuals. ABA is popular as an intervention for people with developmental disabilities, but it also has applications in business, classroom management and animal behaviour to name a few. Intrigued? You can read my quick guide to behaviour analysis here.
Where can I find out more about Behaviour Analysis?
If you are just starting to get to know behaviour analysis then make sure you check out this great book “How to Think Like a Behavior Analyst” by Dr. Jon Bailey and Dr. Mary Burch. It should answer all of your ABA questions in a Q&A style format and includes fun chapter titles such as “Isn’t a behaviour analyst just a super nanny with a British accent?”!
If you want to know everything there is to know about behaviour analysis then the best place to start is the book by Cooper, Heron and Heward, simply titled “Applied Behaviour Analysis”. Be warned though, this book is not for the faint of heart! It is an extremely useful but extremely detailed read.
What other blogs do you recommend?
My favourite psychology/ABA blogs are..
An interesting new blog that I have come across is Lyrics of Life. Please check it out.
And my favourite general blog, which I think is a must-read is Zen Habits. Why? Because this guy gave me the motivation to finally start this blog! Read it if you are interested in learning practical tips for improving your life one step at a time.