Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Personality Theories, Behavioral
David T. Wasieleski
Traditional models of behaviorism, represented by figures like John B. Watson and B. F Skinner, are typically considered inconsistent with the concept of “personality,” which itself represents an unobservable construct. Such “radical” behavioral approaches emphasized the study of observable behavior, and thus any theory of personality was restricted to typical patterns of behavior exhibited by a particular individual based on his or her reinforcement history. More recently, and with the proliferation of behavioral and cognitive-behavioral counseling approaches, newer approaches have attempted to reconcile traditional models of behaviorism with a description of human personality. Traditional behavioral principles have been translated into behavioral approaches to counseling, as well as contributing to modern cognitive-behavioral therapies. This entry begins with a description of the fundamental approaches to learning that represent the foundation of behaviorism. Skinner's personality theory, which has evolved into the modern study of behavior analysis, follows. John Dollard and Neal Miller's attempt ...