Table of contents:
- An entertaining case from psychological practice i
- Erroneous conclusions2
- Everything is explained by the theory of behaviorism3
- So why didn't he ask her out on a date then?
Why might a person avoid dating? Sometimes the reasons are not as obvious as they seem. It turns out that our behavior is directly shaped by external impulses - and here previous experience is very important.
The content of the article
- 1 An entertaining case from psychological practice
- 2 Erroneous conclusions
- 3 Everything is explained by the theory of behaviorism
- 4 So why didn't he ask her out then?
An entertaining case from psychological practice i
“One day in a week I received three letters - all on the same topic,” says sexologist and psychologist Jeremy Nicholson. “Two women and one man wrote to me. They all wanted to know why a potential partner behaves in a certain way."
“For women, it all came down to the fact that guys didn't want to ask them out. The man was in despair for the reason that he was avoided by a woman who caused him deep sympathy. Interestingly, all three cited fear as the reason for the unwillingness of the new acquaintance to continue the relationship. It seemed to them that these people were simply 'afraid' to continue relationships with them."
“I'm not at all surprised that all these people came to a similar conclusion. Popular psychology journals often point to fear as the main reason for our behavior. Men are allegedly "afraid" of asking girls out on dates. Women are also “afraid” that relationships with this or that partner will become problematic. As if our society only consists of cowardly individuals."
Everything is explained by the theory of behaviorism3
But in fact, fear is not always the cause of human behavior, explains Jeremy. Fear itself doesn't say much. Even F. Skinner, one of the authors of the behavioral approach to psychology, argued that our behavior largely depends on reinforcement. Feelings (including the same fear) are just a side effect of gaining experience.
In other words, both men and women behave as they were "taught" to behave in the past. They do the things that people have previously approved of; and avoid actions that have been rejected or punished. “Basically, each of us seeks pleasure and strives to avoid discomfort. And we form our own reflexes - just like Pavlov's dog,”says Nicholson. "In this respect, we must admit: people are not much different from representatives of the natural kingdom."
So why didn't he ask her out on a date then?
“So, from the point of view of the behaviorist approach, we cannot say that supposedly“fear”prevented a man from asking a girl out on a date. Only one thing is clear - positive reinforcement and potential punishment did not make him want to. And this could be due to two reasons. First, there might not have been any reinforcements at all. Or it was irrelevant. For example, a man was not attracted to this woman."
“It is also possible that there was a possibility of punishment - the man really expected that this woman was too unattainable for him and might refuse. Or the punishment could be manifested differently - for example, because of the relationship with this girl, a man could lose friendship, be ridiculed by the environment, and so on."
So it is impossible to explain human behavior solely through the prism of the concept of fear. Most often, if we are talking about fear, it means fear of potential failure. On a date, a new partner may either not seem attractive enough; or a person may think that he will receive a refusal from him in the future - that's all arithmetic.