Numerous theories explaining human behavior have been advanced. In this essay, we shall use Freudian and Behaviorist Theories of behavior to account for the behavior of the key participants in the American presidential debate held on 26th September 2016 (Kane, & Pence).
Freudian Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality asserts that human behavior results from the interplay between the id, superego and ego (Schultz, Duane, & Sydney 35). The id seeks instant satisfaction of whatever need. The superego determines how moral one’s intention is while the ego neutralizes the motives of the first two. In the presidential debate, we find Hillary and Trump exchanging pleasantries after arriving on stage. It is morally and professionally expected of them to do that when in such a set up despite their differences. They also thank each other for sharing the stage. The superego controls their actions. However, as the debate gets hotter especially when one touches on the unpleasant or personal issue of the other party, we see interruptions in the middle of speeches. The id makes the individual want to retaliate or defend their person. In some instances, their lips are moving, but no words are heard. The ego restrains the person from speaking since it is not rational to do that.
The Behaviorist Theory states that behavior is learned from interactions with the external environment in response to stimuli (Schultz, Duane, & Sydney 315). The interruptions we find in the debate signify a reaction to a stimulus: aggression. One party feels that their personal space has been invaded. Therefore, they need to retaliate. Also, when one presidential aspirant is speaking, the other person keenly listens so that they can find points to respond or counter them on any matter they disagree with. None verbal communication such as nodding or shaking of the head is also portrayed by the participants in agreement or disagreement with their opponents.