Two Models of Human Behavior and Reading Instruction

  • Frank B. Murray


All psychology is behavioristic, in the sense that it is concerned with the description, prediction, explanation, and even control of human and other animal behavior. The various psychologies differ primarily in their description of the place of the events and mechanisms which each supposes controls human behavior. There are at present three principal models or theories of human behavior: the operant or S-R model, the cognitive-constructivist model which is the focus of this volume, and the psychoanalytic model. The operant theorist places the control of human behavior in the environmental consequences of the behavior itself. The locus of control, therefore, is external to the person and is public. Cognitive theorists, while accepting quite fully that environmental events or reinforcements are powerful determiners of human behavior, suppose in addition the existence of a mind and argue that behavior is controlled by a structure or system of rules, of plans, and of cognitions that reside within that mind. The psychoanalytic model supposes the existence not simply of a mind but of an unconscious mind, and attributes the control and the motivation of all behavior to it.


Human Behavior Reading Comprehension Cognitive Structure Reading Instruction Intellectual Development 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank B. Murray
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational FoundationsUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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