By : Ni Luh Putu Ary Asvini Dewi, S1 Guidance and Counseling, Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha


Behavioristic theory is a theory that studies human behavior. The behavioral perspective focuses on the role of learning in explaining human behavior and occurs through stimulus-based stimuli that give rise to reactive behavioral relationships (responses) mechanistic laws. The basic assumption about behavior according to this theory is that behavior is entirely determined by rules, predictable, and determinable. According to this theory, a person engages in a particular behavior because they have learned that, through previous experiences, it relates the behavior to a reward. This psychological approach prioritizes behavioral observation in studying individuals rather than observing the inside of the body or observing people’s judgments about their curiosity. Behaviorism wants psychology as scientific knowledge, which can be observed objectively. Data obtained from self-observation and self-introspection are considered not objective. If you want to study human psychology, observe the behavior that appears, then you will get data that can be scientifically accounted for. So, behaviorism is actually a group of theories that have similarities in observing and analyzing human behavior that spread in various regions, besides America this theory developed in mainland England, France, and Russia. Notable figures in this theory include;

E.L.Thorndike, According to Thorndike, one of the founders of the school of behavior, behavioristic theory associated with learning is the process of interaction between stimuli (which are thoughts, feelings, or movements) and responses (which are also thoughts, feelings, and movements).

I.P.Pavlov, From the example about experiments with dogs that by applying Pavlov’s strategy it turns out that the individual can be controlled through means by replacing a natural stimulus with the right stimulus to obtain a repetition of the desired response, while the individual does not realize that he is controlled by a stimulus that comes from outside himself

B.F.Skinner, Skinner also explained that behavior would only make things more complicated, because the tool would eventually have to be explained again. For example, if it is said that a student performs poorly because this student is frustrated it will demand to explain what frustration is.

J.B.Watson, Watson ignores the various mental changes that may occur in learning and considers them as factors that do not need to be known. That’s not to say all the mental changes that occur in a student’s mind aren’t important. All of that matters. However, these factors cannot explain whether the learning process has occurred or not.  Based on this description, adherents of behavioral schools prefer not to think about things that cannot be measured, although they still recognize that they are important.


In Behavioristic Theory, as a classical approach in psychology, offers a distinctive perspective towards the formation of individual character. In delving into the uniqueness of Behaviorism in the context of character development, we can highlight some key aspects that make it unique and influential. The first uniqueness of this theory lies in its approach to experiential learning. Behaviorism emphasizes the importance of individual interaction with the external environment as the main motor of character development. Through measurable behavioral observation, individuals learn from the consequences of their actions, forming the foundation of unique character development and adaptability. Positive and negative reinforcement, as well as punishment, become the basis of the uniqueness of Behaviorism in shaping individual habits and character. This concept emphasizes that behavior can be reinforced or punished to influence individual tendencies. By providing positive reinforcement, such as praise or reward, individuals can be encouraged to repeat desired behaviors. Conversely, negative reinforcement or punishment can reduce the likelihood of unwanted behavior. Modeling or learning through examples is another aspect that distinguishes Behaviorism. This theory recognizes the power of social influence in shaping individual character. Children and adolescents, In particular, they tend to imitate the behaviors they observe in the surrounding environment. Therefore, a positive role model can be the key in forming the desired character, The importance of the external environment is the basis for the uniqueness of Behaviorism. Family, school, and community provide context for character building. This environment plays a central role in teaching values, norms, and behavior patterns to individuals. Therefore, the role of the closest people and social structure is very influential in shaping a person’s character. One more uniqueness of Behaviorism is its focus on measuring and monitoring behavior change. By focusing on measurable observation, the theory provides a foundation for measuring the progress and development of individual character. Careful monitoring of behavior change allows educators, counselors, and psychology practitioners to design appropriate intervention strategies. However, along with such peculiarities, it is important to note the criticism of Behaviorism. Some critics point out that this theory is too deterministic, ignoring internal factors such as emotions, motivation, and subconscious thinking. Nevertheless, behaviorism still makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of character formation, especially in the context of measurable observation of behavior.


Behaviorism has its own uniqueness in shaping individual character through measurable learning approaches, reinforcement, modeling, and the role of the external environment. Although not without criticism, these uniqueness provide a foundation for the application of the principles of Behaviorism in favor of positive character development. Understanding and integrating these concepts can help shape individuals towards sustainable growth and responsiveness to the surrounding environment.

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