Behavioral Psychologist

Behavioral Psychologist
Behavioral psychologists are people who undertake thorough research with respect to the human mind and study the different factors that trigger different behaviors in a person. The aim of behavioral psychology is to help people hoist themselves out of the disorders and problems of the mind that is hindering them from leading a pleasant life.The human mind is the most fascinating field of study, simply because its behavior is so predictable, as well as unpredictable at the same time. Psychology is the study of the human mind and the way a person behaves. The analysis of the way thoughts stem in the mind and conduce to various actions in response to external and internal stimuli is called behavioral psychology. This form of study examines all kinds of behaviors, the effect of the environment on people, the way new behaviors are learned and the factors leading people to change their habits or remain the same.

Behavioral Psychology

This study states that all behaviors stem from different interactions with the environment, which means the circumstances we have come across in life, the people we have encountered, etc. shape the way we behave in life. This shaping of behavior takes place in two forms: classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning states that pairing of stimuli shapes our behaviors.

Consider the example of a specific fragrance or aroma. The minute the fragrance hits our nostrils, certain intense emotions are triggered in our body. Now, the fragrance or aroma by itself does not conduce to those emotions, instead our mind has paired the stimuli of that fragrance with a loved one's scent. This is what is called pairing of stimuli that spearheads different emotions in people. For some it may be a particular place, day or gesture. These associations we make are classical conditioned responses.

The operant conditioning, on the other hand, takes into consideration the environment in which we exist. This kind of conditioning stems from the manner in which we respond to the situations, circumstances, etc. presented to us by the environment we live in. To explain this theory, let us consider an example. Consider you take a particular route to reach your destination. You drive for a few kilometers and find that the road ends abruptly. You turn and take another route, which successfully takes you to the required destination. The next time you want to reach the same place, you will take the second route only, because you learned from your previous mistake. Thus, operant conditioning involves acting differently due to the natural consequences of one's past experiences.

What Does a Behavioral Psychologist Do?

A behavioral psychologist observes, studies and analyzes the different forms of human behavior and finds out the different reasons that trigger such behaviors. Today, we hear about scores of personality disorders, eating disorders like anorexia, orthorexia, etc. behavior disorders, obsessive thinking disorders and schizophrenia, etc. All these disorders have one thing in common, which is that they are all triggered due to the predominance of certain unhealthy or negative thoughts in the brain. The behavioral psychologist studies the mindset of such people, by trying to enter their minds and understanding the pattern of their thought whirlpool. Behavioral psychologist job description would be to listen to people's problems and help them hoist themselves out of the pit of depression, self pity and self condemnation to a place of self confidence.

As of 2010, the average behavioral psychologist salary ranges from $90,000 to $100,000. To become a behavioral psychologist, one needs to enroll in an undergraduate psychology program. Then the graduate program that follows will equip the person with information about the history of psychology, the principles of behavioral psychology, techniques to analyze different behaviors, etc. This will take about 4 years to complete. In the masters and doctorate programs the behavioral psychologists are taken to an in-depth study on the mind.

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While this formal training is vital, it is important to remember that as a behavioral psychologist, you need to have a lot of compassion and patience to help people out of their depressive situation. You should be able to empathize with them and encourage and motivate them. The extensive training will be an entire waste if you cannot understand the minds of people with different disorders and are unable to help them out of their condition. Sincere compassion, concern, patience and diligent efforts are some of the essential requirements in a behavioral psychologist.

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