When my boss taught me about company reorganization, she knew better than to use a behaviorist learning model. Instead, she pulled me aside in the middle of a company reorganization and asked me to try my hand at the challenge.
I stood there in front of the wall-sized whiteboard completely frazzled.
Where do I start? Will she judge me if I do something wrong? Will my personal relationships get in the way of my objectivity?
She sat silently as I started talking through my thought process, sketching company org charts and stepping back to take in the bigger picture.
After I timidly proposed a solution, she smiled and said 'I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you used the same methods as our executive team. The bad news is that's not the best way to solve the problem."
She then proceeded to ask me questions, challenge my thinking, and work me through more advanced models of evaluation. She prompted me to reflect, reason, and justify my answers and pay attention to my underlying thought process.
Had she used a behaviorist model, she could have asked me to read various texts on company reorganization strategies and then given me tests to measure and track my progress. She could have used association and generalization to evaluate my answers and let me know if the changes I proposed were right or wrong, but she wouldn't have focused on the reasoning or mental processes behind my answers.