Human behavior is an enigma. A person's behavioral pattern is
identified by his thought process, emotional quotient and his
response to a certain given situation. So before we go about
understanding cognitive behavioral theory, it is important to
understand what is cognitive behavior all about? Cognitive
psychology is a huge subject that deals with cognitive behavior. The
subject focuses on how people think, what they perceive from vision
and hearing, how much they retain and remember and how they
react to a stimuli. Precisely, cognitive behavioral therapy also
closely associates itself with neuroscience, linguistics and
philosophy. One of the aspects of this theory also deals with
enhancing the decisive ability of a person and his memory to retain
more information. So let's dig more facts and finds in the history of
this theory, before we get to understand it better!
CBT, classified under psychotherapy, is known by several
other names like Cognitive Therapy, Rational Behavior
Therapy, Dialectical BehavioTherapy and Rational Emotive
Behavior Therapy, etc. But how did this theory come into
existence? Let's take a ride back in time, to know some of
the famous psychiatrists who have been instrumental in
designing this theory.
1. Albert Ellis
He was a famous American psychologist who developed the Rational Emotive
Behavior Therapy (REBT) in the 1950s. As per his approach, the human
tendency is such that the person always wants to remain happy and gay, but life
does not allow it. His revelations further stated that it is not just the events and
circumstances that bring the feeling of sadness or sorrow, but such feelings of
negation are also factored by the thought process and beliefs of the person. This
idea was however, articulated about 2000 years back by the famous Greek
philosopher Epictetus, whose famous lines illustrate this belief, "Men are
disturbed not by events, but by the views which they take of them". Albert
further stated that the cognitive thought process of a human being is controlled
more by beliefs, most of which, he believed to be irrational. These beliefs are
also known as "The Three Basic Musts", which include the feeling of "must do
well at any cost" (leads to anxiety symptoms and depression otherwise), "must
be treated fairly as expected by human nature" (leads to rage and passive
aggressive behavior otherwise) and "must get what is expected" (leads to
procrastination and self pity otherwise). Besides he also has stated about the
sense of disputing thoughts, insight and acceptance towards situations.
2. Aaron Beck
In the 1960s, Aaron Beck, a famous psychiatrist with a background in
psychoanalytical training, further explored the untouched arenas of human
personality, like depression and procrastination. If Ellis was supposedly the founder of
this psychological theory, Aaron took a leap ahead and explored more into this theory
and came up with cognitive behavioral therapy for treating patients suffering from
depression and anxiety. He has stated that many times, people tend to suffer from
depression and anxiety disorders because of a pre formed negative assessment of
themselves. Such an assessment could be attributed to various reasons such as a
prolonged mental trauma, social aloofness and low self-esteem. His theory has been
used for devising the modern-day cognitive behavioral therapies. To get a
comprehensive understanding on this theory, one should read The Cognitive Theory
of Depression by Aaron Beck.
The history of cognitive behavioral therapy remains incomplete without
the mention of Albert Bandura, the famous psychologist from Canada
who has given valuable inputs to cognitive development theory. As per
his learnings, the cognitive behavior of a man is greatly factored by
aggression, which is an outcome of restricted emotions that have been
bottled up for quite some time. His theory of cognitive behavior in
humans mainly revolved around the concept of observation, attention
and retention. He further stated that a person develops his instincts,
intelligence and beliefs from his cognitive mind mapping (includes
observation of the environment around him). Say, a person observes an
incident. If it is interesting, he gives full attention to it and then retains it
in his memory if he finds it interesting. Then he tries to apply his
knowledge wherever his thought process allows him to. This is how the
behavioral patterns of a person develop. Albert Bandura's theories on
cognitive behavior have proved to be quite realistic. In 1977, Albert
Bandura was honored as the Father of Cognitive Theory.
So now that we know a little bit about the
history of this behavioral theory, let's
understand in detail about what this theory has
to say, in modern-day. Cognition, the term itself
means, to conceptualize, to know, to recognize.
Precisely, it is the thought process which covers
grasping the knowledge, remembering it,
applying it, developing beliefs on it, reasoning it
and retaining it. So this theory can be defined as
'a study that is descriptive about how the
concept of cognition plays an important role in
determining the behavioral pattern of a person'.
Let's figure out, how the theory is applicable in
understanding and judging various personalities.
The flow behavior behaviorism is a philosophy or in psychology
based on the proposition that all organisms are made including
actions, thoughts, or feelings can and should be regarded as a
behavior. Flow is of the opinion that such behavior can be
described scientifically without seeing the internal physiological
events or hypothetical construct as the mind. Behaviorism
assumes that all theories should have a base that can be observed
but there was no difference between the processes can be observed
in public (action) with the observed process in person (thoughts
In the theory of behaviorism, to analyze only the visible
behavior only, which can be measured, described, and
predicted. Behavoris the theory known as learning theory,
since all human behavior is the result of learning. Learning
means perbahan organise behavior as environmental
influences. Behaviorism does not want memperoalkan
whether good or bad man, rational or emotional;
behaviorism just want to know how his behavior is drived
by environmental factors.
Learning theory in the sense that more emphasis on human behavior. Regard
the individual as being reactive to the environment memberirespon. And
maintenance experience will shape their behavior. From this, timbulah
concept of "human machine" (Homo Mechanicus). The hallmark of this theory
is the priority of the elements and a small part, is mechanistic, emphasizes the
role of the environment, concerned with the formation of a reaction or
response, emphasizing the importance of training, emphasis on the
mechanisms of learning, emphasis on the role and ability to learn the results
obtained is the emergence of the desired behavior. On learning theory is often
called SR psychological meaning that human behavior is controlled by the
reward or reinforcement or reward and reinforcement from the environment.
Thus the behavior of the fabric there is a close study of behavioral reactions to
the stimulus. Teachers who hold this view that the behavior of students a
reaction to the environment and behavior is the result of learning.
The principles of the behavioral theory :
1.The object of psychology is behavior
2.All forms of behavior in the return on the
3.Importance of habit formation
Aristoteles argued that the human soul was born not
have anything, like a candle that is ready to table
painted by the experience. According to John Locke
(1632-1704), one of the empirical character, at the time
of birth will have no "mental colors". This color is
derived from experience.
Experience is the only way into the possession of
knowledge. Ideas and knowledge is the product of
experience. Psychologically, all human behavior,
personality, and temperament is determined by sensory
experience (sensory experience). Thoughts and feelings
are caused by past behavior.
The assumption that experience is the most influential
dala formation behavior, implying how plastisnya
humans. He is easily formed into any environment by
A. Edward Lee Thorndike (1874 -1949)
According to Thorndike studied the formation of associations of
events anatara event called stimulus and response. This learning
theory called the theory of "connectionism". Experiments
carried out with the cat is put on the cage when the door closed
can be opened automatically when knob is touched on in the
cage. The experiments resulted in the theory of Trial and Error.
The characteristics studied by Trial and Error is:
a) the activities, there are different responses to various
b) elimination against the wrong responses,
c) there is progress reactions to reach the goal.
Thorndike finds laws.
1) The law of readiness (Law of Readiness): If an organism is
supported by a strong readiness for the implementation of
behavioral stimulus will lead to individual satisfaction that
asosaiasi likely to be strengthened.
2) The law practice: The more often a behavior trained or
used, the stronger the association.
3) Law of effect: stimulus and response relationship tends to
be reinforced if the result is fun and tend to be weakened if
B. Ivan Petrovich Pavlo (1849-1936)
Classical theory: Is a pair of neutral stimuli or
stimuli that are conditioned by certain non-
conditioned stimuli, which gave birth to a
particular behavior. After installation this happens
repeatedly, gave birth to the neutral stimuli are
Pavlo laboratories experimenting on dogs. In this
experiment the dog was given the stimulus
conditionally conditionally so that the reaction
occurs in dogs. Examples of such experiments on
the human situation is the sound of the bell in the
class for the time marker unwittingly causes the
process of tagging something that sounds different
from the food merchants, bell, and the queue at
From these examples Pavlo strategy was applied to
the individual can be controlled by means of
replacing natural stimulus with the right stimulus to
get the desired response repetition. While
individuals are not consciously controlled by
external stimuli. Learning according to this theory
is a process of change that occurs because of the
conditions that give rise to reaksi.Yang important in
learning according to this theory is the practice
and repetition. The weakness of this theory is to
learn just happen automatically ignored liveliness
and personal determination.
C. Skinner (1904-1990)
Skinner considers reward and rierforcement an important role in
learning factor. Skinner argues that the goal of psychology is to predict
the behavior of control. Pda theory teacher reward prizes or a high
value so that the child will be more diligent. This theory is also called
operant conditioning. . Operans conditioning is a process of
strengthening operans behavior that can lead to such behavior can be
started again or disappear as you wish.
Operant conditing guarantee stimuli. If showed no response to stimuli
then the teacher can not guide the student to direct his behavior.
Teachers have a role in controlling and directing students in the learning
process in order to reach the desired goal.
Skinners learning principles are:
The results of the study should be notified immediately if any
student is given a fixed if amplifier.
The learning process should follow the rhythm of the study.
The subject matter is used as a module system.
first importance in the learning process of the activity itself, not
to use punishment.
For environments that need to be changed to avoid punishment.
Educators desired behaviors are rewarded and the reward should
be given to use of the variable ratio schedule of reinforcer.
In learning to use shapping.
D. Albert Bandura (1925-present)
It turned out that not all behavior can be explained
by pelaziman. Bandura adds the concept of social
learning (social learning). He questioned the role of
reward and punishment in the learning process. The
traditional behaviorism to explain that the words
originally no meaning, or paired with a pile of
objects that have meaning.
Bandura's theory of learning is social learning theory or social cognitive
and self-efficacy demonstrated the importance of observing and
imitating the behaviors, attitudes and emotions of others. Bandura's
theory explains human behavior in the context of reciprocal interaction
behavior between kognitine continuous behavioral and environmental
influences. Factors which proceeds in the observation is attention,
memory, motor production, motivation.
Behaviorsime is rather difficult to explain motivation. Motivation
occurs within the individual, while the behaviorists just look at external
events. Feelings and thoughts of people do not attract them.
Behaviorism emerged as a reaction to the psychology of "mentalistic".
Behaviorsime is rather difficult to explain motivation. Motivation occurs within the individual, while the behaviorists just look at external events. Fe
VJean Piaget, (1896-1980)
Piaget divided schemes that children use to understand
the world through four main periods are correlated with
and more sophisticated with age :
a) The sensorimotor (age 0-2 years)
b) preoperational period (ages 2-7 years)
c) The period of concrete operations (ages 7-11 years)
d) The period of formal operations (ages 11 years to
A. Stages of sensorimotor
According to Piaget, infants born with some innate reflexes as
well as encouragement to explore his world. The scheme was
originally formed through the differentiation of the congenital
reflexes. Sensorimotor period is the period of the first four
periods. Piaget argued that this stage marks the development of
essential spatial abilities and understanding in the six sub-stages:
1) Sub-reflex scheme stage: occurs from birth to age six weeks
and is associated primarily with the reflex.
2) Sub-stage primary circular reaction phase: from ages six weeks
to four months and is associated particularly with the advent of
3) Sub-stage phase of secondary circular reactions: appears between the
ages of four to nine months and is associated primarily with the
coordination between vision and meaning.
4) Sub-phase coordination of secondary circular reactions: emerging
from ages nine to twelve months, while developing the ability to see
objects as permanent even though it seems different when viewed
from different angles (object permanence).
5) Sub-stage tertiary circular reaction phase: appears at the age of
twelve to eighteen months and is associated primarily with the
discovery of new ways to achieve goals.
6) Early stages of the sub-symbolic representation: relates primarily to
the early stages of creativity.
B. Preoperational stages
This stage is the second stage of the four stages. By observing sequences of play,
Piaget was able to show that after the end of the second year a qualitatively new kind
of psychological functioning occurs. Preoperative thinking in Piaget's theory is a
procedure to act mentally on these objects. The hallmark of this stage is a rare mental
operations and logically inadequate. In this stage, children learn to use and represent
objects with images and words. Thinking is still egocentric nature: the child difficult to
see from others' viewpoints. The child can classify objects using one characteristic,
such as collecting all the red objects of different shapes while collecting all the objects
round or even a different color. Pre-operational phase following the sensorimotor
stage and appear between ages two to six years. In this stage, children develop the
language skills. They begin representing things with words and pictures. However,
they still use intuitive rather than logical reasoning. At the beginning of this stage, they
tend to be egocentric, that is, they can not understand his place in the world and how
they relate to each other. They have difficulty understanding how the feelings of those
around him. But as maturation, the ability to understand another person's
perspective, the better. The child has a very imaginative mind at the moment and
consider every living thing that does not have any feelings.
C. Stage of concrete operations
This stage is the third stage of the four stages. Appear between the ages of six to
twelve years and has characteristics of an adequate use of logic. These processes are
important during this phase are:
1. Ordering: ability to mengurutan objects by size, shape, or other characteristics. For
example, if given different-sized objects, they can be sorted from the largest object
2. Classification: the ability to name and identify a set of objects according to
appearance, size, or other characteristics, including the idea that a set of objects can
include other objects into the circuit. Children no longer have the limitations of
logic in the form of animism (the notion that all living things and feeling)
3. Decentering: children begin to consider some aspects of a problem to solve. For
example, the child will no longer consider a wide but short cup less content than
the small cups are high.
3. Reversibility: the child understands that numbers or objects can be
changed, then returned to its initial state. To that end, the child can quickly
determine that if 4 +4 equals 8, 8-4 will equal 4, the number before.
4. Conservation: understanding that quantity, length or number of items is not
related to the setting or appearance of the object or the objects. For
example, if the child was given a cup the size and contents are the same lot,
they will know when water is poured into another glass of different sizes,
the water in the glass will remain the same lot with the contents of another
5. Disappearance of egocentrism properties: the ability to see things from the
viewpoint of others (even when people are thinking the wrong way). For
example, show the comic puppet show Siti store in the box, and then left
the room, then Ujang move the doll into a drawer, only then Siti back into
the room. Children in concrete operations stage will say that Jane will still
think it's in the box even though the boy knew that the doll has been
moved into the drawer by Ujang.
D. Stage of formal operations
Formal operational stage is the last period of cognitive development in Piaget's theory.
This stage children begin to be experienced in eleven years of age (puberty) and
continues into adulthood. Characteristics of this stage is the acquisition of the ability
to think abstractly, reason logically, and draw conclusions from available information.
In this stage, one can understand such things as love, logical proof, and value. He does
not see things only in black and white, but there are "shades of gray" in between.
Judging from biological factors, this phase appears at puberty (when there is a variety
of other major change), marking its entry into the adult world in physiological,
cognitive, moral reasoning, psychosexual development, and social development. Some
people do not fully achieved until the development stage, so he does not have the
skills to think as an adult and still use the reasoning of the concrete operational stage.
Keep in mind, that at each stage can not move to the next ketahap when the previous
stage has not been completed and any age can not be the main criterion one is certain
because it depends on the stage of development characteristics of each individual. It
could be a child will experience the preoperational stage longer than any other child
that age is not the main criterion.
General information about the stages
The fourth stage has the following characteristics:
a) Although the stages can be achieved in age vary but the order is
always the same. There are no skipped steps and no reverse order.
b) Universal (not culturally)
c) can be generalized: the representation and the logic of existing
operations in a person applies to all the concepts and content
d) The steps are a logically organized whole
e) The order of hierarchical stages (each stage includes elements of
previous stages, but is more differentiated and integrated)
f) Stages represent qualitative differences in modes of thinking, not
just a quantitative difference
An individual in his life is always interacting with the environment. Interact
with them, one will obtain the scheme. Schemes form a category of
knowledge that helps in interpreting and understanding the world. The
scheme also describes the actions both mentally and physically involved in
understanding or knowing something. So in view of Piaget, the scheme covers
both categories of knowledge and the knowledge acquisition process. Along
with the experience of exploring the environment, newly acquired
information is used to modify, add, or replace a previously existing schemes.
For example, a child may have a scheme of the kind of animal, such as birds. If
the child's early experiences related to canaries, child may assume that all
birds are small, yellow, and squeak. At one point, the child may see an ostrich.
The child will need to modify the scheme which he had before about the birds
to enter this new bird species.
• Assimilation is the process of adding new information into existing
schemes. This process is subjective, because one tends to modify the
experience or information obtained in order to enter into a pre-existing
• Accommodation is a form of adjustment that involves the conversion or
replacement of the scheme as a result of new information that is
incompatible with the existing scheme. In this process may also occur the
appearance of the new scheme.
Through the adjustment process, the system is changing and evolving one's
cognition that can increase from one stage to the top. Adjustment process is
carried out an individual because he wanted to achieve a state of equilibrium,
namely a state of balance between much cognitive structure with
environmental experience. Someone will always try to be a state of balance is
always achieved by using both the adjustment process in atas.Dengan Thus, a
person's cognition develops not because of receiving knowledge from outside
the person passively but actively construct knowledge.
According to Piaget, cognitive development has four aspects, namely:
1. maturity, as a result of development of the nervous system
2. experience, the mutual relationship between the world orgnisme
3. social interaction, the effects obtained in conjunction with the social
4. ekullibration, namely the ability or the system is set up within the
organism so that he always mempau maintain balance and adjust to
According to Piaget every living organism tends to perform adaptation
In the process of adaptation and organization rerdapat 4 basic
concepts that :
Stage of cognitive development of children can be understood that
at some stage how children construct knowledge and abilities vary
by intellectual maturity of the child. On this theory the
consequences dalah fatherly skills students should have to adjust or
adapt as appropriate.