The good person is created by the good society, and the good society is composed of good people. Social psychologists have tended to focus on antisocial behavior. It is more urgent and more dramatic. Some social psychologists have, however, begun to study prosocial behavior - caring, sharing, helping, and other positive acts - that is, the behaviors that make a synergetic society possible. Paul Mussen and Nancy Eisenberg-Berg have summarized the research so far on the development of such prosocial behavior in children.
Prosocial behavior in children is increased by adults who:
  1. engage in prosocial behaviors (but not by those who demand prosocial behaviors - do-as-l-say-not-as-l-do does not work);
  2. reason with them as a means of discipline;
  3. encourage them to reflect on the feelings and expectations of themselves and others;
  4. assign them early responsibilities for others (like teaching younger children);
  5. reward them for prosocial behavior;
  6. provide them with role-playing and empathy-promoting exercises;
  7. make explicit demands that they act maturely.


      The ends and means of human development, from the outside-in point of view of behaviorism, were presented in section 2(a) The person has only extrinsic needs and section 2(d) The person is conditioned from the outside in, respectively. The person does not have goals but, in a sense, the goals have the person. The goals are in the external environment rather than in the person. The person does not develop but, in a sense, is developed. The person is conditioned from the outside in. This static model of the person reflects the fact that behaviorism is based on physics. As an infant science, concerned about out credentials, we modeled psychology on physics, the most respectable adult science. Thus, the person is viewed as an object 'which will remain at rest or continue to move in a straight line unless acted upon by some external force'.

      The most charitable interpretation of behaviorism is that the goal is survival, which at least brings psychology within biology where it is obviously more at home than in physics. This is a worthy goal but a limited one, since it does not account for people who see success as somewhat beyond mere survival or for people who choose not to survive in undignified circumstances. Also it is still a static goal. My goal yesterday was to survive, today is to survive, and tomorrow is to continue to survive. The only dynamic quality in this model is the environment - that is, each of us must continue to survive under our changing circumstances.

      1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16      

17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29