Home » Content 3 » 17. Limits & Dangers of Behaviorism

17. Limits & Dangers of Behaviorism


Limits of Behaviorism

  • Behaviorism assume the same laws of learning apply to all species and all forms of learning but
    • Cognitive factors (how you think) influences learning
    • Biological factors (brain organization) also influences learning

Dangers of Behaviorism

  1. Abuse/Manipulation
    • Gamification leverages those aspects of our psychology, the way the brain responds to reward and to feedback, to achieve someone’s desired results
    • Systems can be designed to make people addicted such as casino games
    • Can be non ethical
  2. Hedonic Treadmill
    • Once rewards are given, there is a feedback loop effect due to the way the dopamine system works in the brain causing people to learn to respond to the reward and eventually will only respond to the reward
    • Example: traffic monitoring signs that show how fast people are going can help to make people slow down but more signs need to be placed for this system to be effective
    • Gamification designer needs to put in more rewards to keep people interested. But as rewards get familiar or boring, new and more interesting rewards must surface and this can put a significant burden on the gamification designer
    • Brains are pattern recognition machines and our dopamine system gives pleasure for the anticipation of rewards. When the game is no longer interesting, they no longer have the same result for the reward even though they are still receiving the rewards
    • We may kill the rewards that we reply on by making them expected
  3. Overemphasis on Status
    • status doesn’t motivate everyone all the time
    • A behaviorist approach has a tendency in gamification to focus heavily on status which tends to miss some kinds of benefits that can be delivered from a gamified system

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