Sociology of Behavior

Sociology of Behavior




In my early learning stages, my father used to emphasize on a better position in class work. What I could not understand by then his different reactions when I became position one in class and when I failed. In one occasion, he bought me a nice toy car when I lead my class in all subjects. I got a rude shock when he scolded at me and even gave my younger sister the cake he had bought while awaiting a better result from me. I was not in a position by that time to observe the factors surrounding this kind of behavior from my father.

Daily interaction of people is based on different emotional circumstances. Human being has different ways of expressing their needs and behavior is such an example. When I recall the events surrounding my childhood learning, I can attribute many socio-cultural factors to it. Several aspects of sociology can be attributed to my ordeal and gifts from my father during my earlier learning days. From a behavioral perspective, I realized that my father showed consistent behavior towards the outcome of my results. At the end of every term, he would look at my results and react accordingly. Praises and gifts always kept flowing when I attained desirable results. On the other hand, I used to receive shocking quarrels and absence of gifts whenever I underperformed in school. I, therefore, realized that the action of my father was associated to my results, and I tried to work hard in class work to make him happy with me. From a cultural perspective, I learned that my father had already developed a culture of expecting better results from me. I began to develop a culture of working hard in respect of my father’s reaction. Failure meant punishment and success meant presents and encouragement. It is evident from this case that the culture is developed from what the society considers a way of life. That is why I learnt that success is associated with good things while failure is considered a disappointment and unacceptable by the society. Cognitive development of a child is gradual and relies mostly on what is experienced from the parents and other members of the society they interact with (Brain & Mukherji, 2005). An event that occurred in my life shaped my way of seeing things because I began relating behavior with certain actions.

The event that occurred in my life can be associated with operant conditioning or learning. By definition, Operant conditioning is a mode of learning that is based on punishment and rewards for specific behaviors. It is through operant learning that behavior is associated with its specific consequence. In this method of learning two basic concepts are emphasized, and that is reinforcement versus punishment. These two concepts dictate behavior by encouraging it or doing away with it. In regard to my father’s different reactions, each time I presented my class work results, it is evident that operant conditioning is relevant (Coon & Coon, 2006). When I performed better, the rewards were many in the form of gifts and praises, and this encouraged me. Consequential praises and gifts from my father after excellent performance instilled the spirit of hard work, and this constitutes reinforcement. On the other side, withdrawal of privileges and negative sentiments when I performed poorly made me believe that success is the best at all costs. Negative consequences arising from undesirable behavior like the event I experienced during my early stages of education constitute punishment. I began to associate failure with unhappiness of my father and success with joy. This influenced me to work hard and I pursue success as the best behavior hence the relevance of this sociology concept in my case (Coon, et al. 2010). I finally associated my behavior of getting better results with receiving the gifts and other rewards from my parent.

The event I discussed is completely accurate because it consistently took place, and the results were always the same. In-depth research and review of past literature indicates that such an event occurs to many people in different ways. Even presently, the society has laws and regulations that are meant to shape behavior of citizens. Operant condition is always in effect and helps in managing the conduct of people towards desirable outcomes. Observed facts and figures support my assertion that the event I experienced is true. From infancy, human being learns about good behaviors or bad one in regard to the consequences attached to it. This is how children grow to take socio-cultural beliefs from what is learnt through observation as they interact in various social environments (Brain & Mukherji, 2005). In addition to this, parents play a critical role in shaping behavior as they are the people who interact with the child first.

In conclusion, memory is reinforced by the length of time a given behavior and consequences inflicts in the mind of and individual. A part from operant conditioning, behavior can also be shaped through Classical conditioning.


Brain, C., & Mukherji, P. (2005). Understanding child psychology. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.

Coon, D., & Coon, D. (2006). Psychology: A modular approach to mind and behavior. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Coon, D., Mitterer, J. O., Talbot, S., & Vanchella, C. M. (2010). Introduction to psychology: Gateways to mind and behavior. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

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