Introduction: – Humanism
& Behaviourism are two entirely different psychological approaches
practiced and debated over the years in psychology. Humanismi
emphases more on individual uniqueness method of investigation while
focuses on objective oriented stimulus-response methods of investigation. Bearing
in mind, the contrast in between these two approaches, it would be interesting
to know how these two different approach would have effect on the parenting
style and subsequently on psychological behaviour of the child.
this, first we need to know about how humanism and behaviourisms are different
from each other and then we can study the effect of it on different parenting
style involving these two approaches.
that humans are basically good people and they have instinctive desire to make
a world better place. It has conviction in the thought that people grow up
differently with their individual experience of life captured as fulfilment and
satisfaction. Which is somewhat near to self-actualization of the things and
the situation they are in. It is more subjective as each and every individual perceives
and reacts differently to the same situation. So learning from the same
situation could be different for the different individual which will also
depend on the mind-set of the individual, is in at that moment. It also refutes
the belief that each individual can be compared based on certain principals.
That’s why this theory discards the generalization of qualitative research
method outcomes on the population and also generalization of the outcomes of
the experiments done on animals. On the contrary, it mostly relies on case
studies which describe the individual’s experience and their feelings. To sum
up, this approach’s strong point lies within its real life application,
respects each human being but has limitations of not adhering to biology principals,
is unscientific and subjective. Though this is considered as the biggest
drawback of this approach, as it lacks the empirical pieces of evidence to
support its own theory.
humanism, behaviourism is more object-oriented and believes that environmental
factors impacts the individual’s behaviour. So unlike self-actualization in
humanism, behaviourism carries the sentiment of stimulus-response behaviours.
So it doesn’t matter how much complex is the behaviour, it can always be
associated with the response to the external factors. Which also means, every
behaviour can be explained as a response to the particular set of situation or
environment. Being an object-oriented theory, it always relies upon a data
collected from the sample population and generalizing it to the overall
population. This theory also believes that data collected on animals can be
generalized to the human population, as an animal too behaves mostly like a
human to any given situation and there is no basic difference between them. To
predict the reaction for the response it is required to know the amount of
stimulus. In a nut cell, behaviourism
teaches us how one would react in some certain situations whereas humanism
prepares us how to deal with whatever problems, we come across.
Though there are very
limited studies available which clearly portray the effect of humanism and
behaviourism approach to parenting style on children’s psychological conditions
and their behaviour but few of them confers that affection, behavioural control
and psychological control has association with child’s mental development.iii However
(Kaisa 2005) states that high level of psychological control by parents
combined with affection increases the level of problem behaviours in children.
Though behaviour control with low level of psychological control used by
parents reduces this problem.iv But
when it comes to directly comparing humanism and behaviourism on parenting
style there is the dearth of studies which can provide us conclusive evidence.
Behaviourism are the two fundamentally opposite styles of parenting, though
they are at the root of every parenting styles. Humanism is a rather flexible
way of parenting which allows the child to grow with his own experiences of
life rather than imposing the set of predefined rules and regulation, unlike
behaviourism. Which also means that behaviourism tries to outline the child
development in predicated shape whereas humanism believes in letting the child
decide the shape of development with keeping an eye on him and not allowing him
to go out of shape. In other words, behaviourism wants a child to mould as per
the society whereas humanism worries about creating a child who can be a
treasure to the society. In that sense, humanism respects the child’s unique
identity in contrast to behaviourism’s strictness to follow a pre-decided path.
The humanist parenting style concentrates on meeting the needs of children as
individuals and giving them support and care as per their individual needs.
There are no conditions of approval, love, and acceptance of the child. On the
other side, behaviourism believes in predefined conditions and sometimes uses
punishment as a tool to shape the development of the child. Behaviourism
prepares the children to take a decision in the certain situation whereas
humanism prepares the children for any situation. Humanism doesn’t believe in
scripted life and thinks that each individual should prepare itself for any
situation. Whereas behaviourism parenting style believes life is a stage and
everyone should act as per his/her role and should remain in that
boundary. In humanism parents present
themselves as a role model and help the children in deciding their goals
through self-actualization whereas behaviourism trusts in setting the goal for
To conclude we can
say that humanism parenting style seems a more idealistic approach for the
holistic development of children although requires a continuous watch on
children and also requires parents to be absolutely decisive about different
situation arising at any time. Whereas behaviourism seems more orthodox and
non-flexible style of parenting which gives very little space to the children
itself. With this style, as it contains punishment, there are greater chances
that child can turn hostile, can seriously undermine the children’s
relationship with this parents and can cause emotional injuries. It can
interfere with normal development of the child and its intelligence. So
generally, humanism parenting style sounds better compared to behaviourism
style of parenting but there is inadequate empirical evidence to prove that.
Saying this means that there is a need to do more specific research with both
styles of parenting to conclude the things more authentically.