John B. Watson & Behavioral Psychology Part 2

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Contributions to Psychology
During the zeitgeist of Watson’s early career, the focus of psychology was on the analysis of the conscious mind. During the late 1800’s, Sigmund Freud, a leader in psychology at the time, had proposed theories of psychology that focused on the conscious and unconscious mind. He explained behavior as a response to the desires of our unconscious and conscious minds, implying that individuals did not have much control over their behaviors or thoughts. In the early 1900’s, during Watson’s career, the country was recovering from the First World War. American societies were trying to cope with the feelings of loos of control that were brought about by the war. Freud’s idea of human consciousness and uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors did not easily explain any of the traumas that the American people had just lived through.
In1919, a year after World War I ended, John Watson published his work, “Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist”. In this book, Watson elaborated on his behaviorist ideas of psychology, specifically focusing on the prediction of behavior and our ability to control behaviors. This idea of prediction and control was much more scientifically based than Freud’s theory of the unconscious mind. During the countries time of confusion and uncertainty, many people welcomed Watson’s behaviorist theories, and his book ignited a change in the goal of psychology (Hergenhahn & Henley, 2014).
Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist rejected the idea of introspection and the role of the human conscious, or unconscious, in the behaviors of human beings. Instead, it focused on the experimental exploration of human behavior based on stimuli and human response to the stimuli. Watson’...

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