Developmental Behavior Analysis And Motor Development Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Children Type: Term Paper Paper: #71218111 Related Topics: Developmental Stage, Behaviorism, Behavior, Youth Development
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Developmental Behavior Analysis and Motor Development

Developmental Behavior Analysis

Motor development and developmental behavior analysis is an important behavior related concept and much of the profound work on this field has been done by John. B. Watson. Behaviorism which can also be termed as learning perspective is regarded as a philosophy of psychology. The main concept of behaviorism is that all actions that are shown by the organisms and the human beings are to be termed as behaviors. The second important fact argued by Watson's theory of Behaviorism is that all kinds of psychological disorders must be treated by making sure that the behavioral patterns are altered or the environments of the subjects are changed. One of the main facts that can be seen in these theories is that more stress has been given to the environment for better behavior development. Thereby environment can play more important roles in the development of behaviors.

Sometimes mentioned as the Behaviorism Manifesto, Watson published an article in 1913, "Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It." The article highlighted some of the major features of his theory of behaviorism (Brucker, 1980, p. 189). It believes that the explanation of behaviors is based on their scientific explanation rather them being linked to the psychologies of hypothetical constructs. Most of the facts argued by Watson in his theory of behaviorism is based on an extensive research conducted by him in the field of child psychology. Child psychology was advanced with an introduction of natural sciences, which were more based on methods of objective research in which observable and measurable behaviors could be taken into account. Motor development in accordance to Watson is more of a conditioning process. Watson has mentioned some of the most important preprogrammed reflexes that are exhibited by the infants...


An important fact that can be learned from his viewpoint is that experience and practice can help condition these reflexes.

Current Research

One of the most important researches in the field of motor development and developmental behavior analysis has been conducted by Esther Thelen. Thelen's research supports the fact argued by Watson that all the behaviors learned by the children are based on their experiences. Chaos theory by Thelen supports Watson's view on motor development and developmental behavior analysis. She argued that there is a great difference in the dynamic systems theories and conventional approaches where the standing of conventional approaches is lesser. Dynamic theories as argued by Thelen make use of an understanding of an overall system and the interaction of the parts is taken into consideration (Savelsbergh, 2005, p. 244). It has been argued by Thelen that the development of mind cannot take place in the absence of life experiences and body. Her research clearly showed that the walking and steeping reflexes in the children ward off as they gain weight but if these infants are placed in the water, the stepping and walking reflexes are restored. Before the revolutionary work of Thelen surfaced, the terms of stages and phases was used by the conventional scientists. They used to believe that behaviors of the children and infants are more dependent on the maturity of parts of the brain. But the studies conducted by Thelen showed that the behavioral development and the reflex development in the children and infants is more dependent on a number of factors that include an exposure of the environment as well as the physical changes that take place in the bodies of the children. Major stress was given by Thelen on the physical therapies for the babies rather the physical therapies that tragedy children of specific ages. From here, it can be seen that behaviors and experiences have great effect on the reflexes (Thelen, and Fisher, 1982, p. 770).

It is important to highlight that motor development also depends on physical situation. A number of researches and studies have shown that physical stimulation has important roles to play in motor development in infants and children. Infants deprived of physical stimulation exhibit delayed motor responses. The current research has also shown that training children suffering from Down's syndrome can help children in learning steeping and walking in an efficient manner. In these cases, one of the most important models that have been developed to study motor development is the behavioral development model. The main techniques used in the model…

Sources Used in Documents:


Brucker, B. (1980). Biofeedback and rehabilitation. In L.P. Ince (Ed.) Behavioral Psychology in Rehabilitation Medicine: Clinical Applications (pp. 188 -- 217). Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins.

Miller, N. & Brucker, B. (1981). A learned visceral response apparently independent of skeletal ones in patients paralyzed by spinal lesions. In D. Shapiro, J. Stoyva, J. Kamiya, T.X. Barber, N.E. Miller & G.E. Schwartz (Eds.). Biofeedback and behavioral medicine (pp. 355 -- 372). Hawthorne, NY: Aldine.

Savelsbergh, G.J.P. (2005). Discovery Of Motor Development: A Tribute To Esther Thelen. The Behavior Analyst Today 6 (4): 243 -- 249.

Schlinger, DH, and Poling, D.A. (1998). Introduction to scientific psychology, Applied clinical psychology. Springer.

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