Within the field of science, there are many techniques that may be adopted to help those with disorders. One such technique is behavioral therapy, which is an approach often used to assist with mental illness treatment. As with all research, studies have been conducted to detail the validity and effectiveness of behavioral therapy. However, behavioral therapy has controversy surrounding its creation because of the studies which were conducted prior to its use in the medical community. Behavior therapy began being studied with animal test subjects. Researchers were able to evaluate the results based on the animals they were subjecting to behavioral therapy. Additionally, behavioral therapy is believed to cause humans treated by it to be more easily manipulated. Therefore, there is disagreement among medical providers about the morality of behavioral therapy. Additionally, it is believed that, if behavioral therapy is to be used, safeguards must be established prior to its use (“Behavioral…,” 2019).
Prior to deciding whether behavioral therapy is ethical, one must understand the origin of its creation. There are varying reasons as to why scientists wanted to use animals as test subjects while studying behaviorism. One of those reasons was to understand how behavioral therapy could benefit humans (Edwards and Poling, 2011). Researchers were looking to establish guarantees that living organisms can be conditioned. Conditioning could be useful for those suffering from mental illnesses. Aversion therapy and flooding are two such techniques that researchers studied, proving that organisms can be taught to detest certain places, experiences, ideas, or objects by subjecting them to repeatedly to a stimulus to overcome it. Behavioral therapy researchers believed animal test subjects to be necessary to benefit humanity; however, necessary does not necessarily mean ethical (McLeod, 2019). For an action to be defined as ethical, it should not endanger life. Scientists were purposely endangering lives as well as the mental and emotional stability of the animals involved in their research. Therefore, it is safe to state that animal testing, as it pertained to behavioral therapy, was unethical. This does not mean that every test resulted in the harm of animal life; however, harm and death did occur during many studies. Additionally, behavioral therapy has been suspected to cause humans to fall victim to manipulation far easier than they normally would. Manipulation causes the effects of mental illness to become worse (“Manipulation…,” 2019). Therefore, it would be unethical as it is worsening an individual’s well-being. To ensure that behavioral therapy does not breach a morality code, safeguards need to be in place. This would mean not allowing animal testing for future behaviorism studies. Also, humans receiving behavioral therapy must not be manipulated. Bearing this in mind, scientists need to shy away from animal testing and use technology-based methods or consenting human subjects. In addition, humans enduring behavioral therapy need to be fully educated on the methods and side-effects, along with giving their full, informed consent (“Informed…,” 2019).
Individuals and Families
Individuals and families influence one another far more often than many may realize. When exposed to the same group of people daily, it would be difficult to not be affected by one another. However, it is not a one-way street. Families influence individuals just as much, and as often, as individuals influence the family. Individuals and families have a way of teaching and shaping one another into the person, or unit, that they are. Everyone learns from one another and must adjust, as necessary, for the sake of others. Additionally, values and morals are exchanged between individuals and families (Ryan, 2019).
Most people know at least one member of their family or have chosen their own family by the people they surround themselves with. Humanity is a social species and connecting with family is a normal part of human society. When a person is born, they are raised by another human, whether that be a parent or guardian. The person who raises the child instills within the child their own sense of right and wrong, ways of life, and religion,
and other life lessons. A parent or guardian normally finds their views to be correct and worthy; therefore, they pass it on to their descendants. This is a natural progression within civilized society. The parent or parents, along with other family members, pass on ideas to younger generations. The information and values they are receiving help to shape them into the individuals they will become. Likewise, individuals can influence the rest of their family as well. Once individuals come of a certain age, they begin developing thoughts for themselves. They also venture outside the family walls and gain worldly insight. This provides individuals with the tools to then influence and shape their families. They can bring fresh ideas to their families and help them change and adapt (Ryan, 2019).
Individuals and families both understand the importance of identifying with a sense of morality and manner of living. Having morals, values, and human experiences set humanity apart from other species. Personally, I have experienced being shaped by family members, and in turn, have helped to positively influence them. My family raised me with the expectation that I would earn excellent grades and attend a post-secondary school. Not everyone in my family attended college and my family instilled within me the importance of extended education. This idea stuck with me throughout my life. Therefore, it was a very natural progression when I studied hard in school, earned good grades, and began applying for colleges. I never even thought twice about it. Not that it was an easy goal to accomplish, but I persevered and rose to where I am today. Being one of a few family members to attend college, I have been able to bring new ideas back to my family. Attending post-secondary school provided me with the opportunity to expand my ways of thinking and then passing that on to my family. This is a prime example of individuals and families helping to shape one another (Ryan, 2019).