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“Am I a Product of My Past or Do I Have a Choice in What I Do? Why Do I Do What I Do?”

In: Science

Submitted By Sprinkles13
Words 631
Pages 3
I believe that our environment can inhibit our options, but the choices we make can enhance our experience within the environment we have been placed in. In my stance on the question at hand I would like to present my take on Skinner’s ideas that, “It is the environment which is responsible for objectionable behavior, and it is the environment, not some attribute of the individual, which must be changed.” and, “A person does not act upon the world, the world acts upon him.” I understand Skinner’s view point, however, I differ from his ideas in three ways: first, we are products of the choices we have made in the past; secondly, our physical environment can be changed by us; and third, our mental environment is influenced by authorities, but not controlled. In the following paragraphs I will use observational learning, instinctive drift, and behavior modification to explain each of my personal views pertaining to the question, “Why do I do what I do?”
I have lived in Southwest Kansas my entire life because my parents chose to start their lives here; therefore I am a product of the choice my parents made for me seventeen years ago pertaining to where I live. However, like any environment there are ecological factors to consider such as weather, wildlife, and resources.
For example, let’s say I had only previously encountered garter snakes and bullsnakes and had had positive experiences with both, and my parents had never told me to fear snakes. Then one day I encounter a rattlesnake. Using my previous knowledge of snakes to be unharmful to me I approach the snake thinking it will slither away. To my surprise it coils up and raises its head with fangs bared. My conditioned behavior towards snakes is now replaced with an instinctive drift, or tendency to use my instinctive behaviors in order to react. I have now learned by observation that snakes are harmful,...

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