The Theory Of Self Control

Better Essays

Self-control has become an important part of society today, as individuals are believed to have control of their own destiny, in terms of financial success, personal achievement and many other facets of life. But how do we arrange the contingencies in our own life to create for our own success when many feel as though there are greater forces at work?
Skinner’s seminal book, Science and Human Behavior, published in 1953, outlined his behavioral interpretation of human nature. Because a main facet of behaviorism is that environmental events control our behavior, it can sometimes lend itself towards a life view in which the individual has no control over his own behavior. However, Skinner provides an analysis of self-control, wherein he posits that behavioral contingencies can be arranged to benefit the individual and make changes in one’s own behavior. Epstein (1997) provides a succinct summary of Skinner’s views on self-control in the following statement: “we manage our own behavior when we deliberately alter the variables of which that behavior is a function; that is, when we act in some way in order to change our subsequent behavior.” (Epstein, 1997, p. 545).
An outline of these methods is provided in the present paper, as well as an interpretive analysis of the behavioral principles involved in each method.
Skinner’s Nine Categories Self-Control Methods Physical restraint and physical aid. Skinner describes physical restraint and physical aid as a manipulation of the

Get Access