Behaviorism is a foundational theory in the world of psychology. However, behaviorism though it was a flourishing influential idea during the beginnings of psychology, it suffered a decline when other aspects of scientific research entered the psychology practice. Behaviorism was the scientific study of behavior. A plethora of great thinkers have made their marks with discoveries in behaviorism but B.F. Skinner was one of the most influential thinkers during the decline of behaviorism and the rise of experimental psychology.
Behaviorism was developed to study observable behavior. Because behaviorism describes the learning process it is also known as the learning theory. Behaviorists indicate that learning and development progress over time, and that the process is due to natural behavior guidelines that control responses and actions. Behaviorism theorists explain conditioning as a response that is paired with a specific stimuli, and thus learning begins. The two types of conditioning are classical and operant. These two types of theories are different in many ways, but are also extremely similar.
In 1913 Watson published an article which became known as “The Behaviorist Manifesto”. His colleagues did not accept his beliefs as being scientifically valid due to a lack of evidence to prove his theory. His theory focused on the external and outward behavior of people rather than the internal emotional and psychological conditions which was more typical of his time pe...
Behaviorism is defined as a school of psychology that takes the objective evidence of behavior (as measured responses to stimuli) as the only concern of its research and the only basis of its theory without reference to conscious experience (Merriam-Webster). B.F skinner, Ivan Pavlov and John B. Watson are known as the fathers’ of behaviorism. They all had a different prospective on what makes someone learn, the one thing they had in common is reinforcement methods. Their experiments did have enough true findings to spark others to want to explore how behaviorism affects learning. Behaviorists often look at learning as a characteristic of conditioning and will promote a system of prizes and targets in education.
Behaviorism is a branch of psychology that has a theoretical approach that gives emphasis to the study of behavior in place of the subject of the mind or the physiological correlates of one's behavior. Behavior is the externally visible response to a stimulus of an animal or human (Weidman). B.F. Skinner is one of the most prominent psychologists of the study of behaviorism. Skinner was on the advance of behaviorism. B.F. Skinner created a group of theories that set out to prove that subjective impetus is not what behavior in humans and animals is so much based on but that behavior is more based on possible reward received and chastisement applied to the animal or human (Newsmakers). Skinner entered into the branch of behaviorism in the 1920s. Behaviorism was still a fairly new branch to psychology at this time. However, Skinner's experiments in his libratory were broadly consideration to be electrifying and ground-breaking, illuminating an knowledge of human behavior and logistics (Newsmakers). Skinner called such behavior based on possible reward received and chastisement that was followed by the repetition of that behavior operant.
Many psychologists have contributed to behaviorism becoming the approach that is today. Behaviorism was first presented by the American psychologist John B.Watson. The new concept that Watson presented perceived behavior as a physiological response to environmental stimuli. He disagreed with the belief that mental processes could not be studied scientifically (Behaviorism, 2013). Watson sought to make psychology “a purely objective, experimental branch of natural science,” with conditioning as one of its chief methods (Irvine, 2007). Watson took an extreme standpoint on environmentalism and stated that personality can be created (Irvine, 2007).
The school of psychological thought that B.F. Skinner is most well known for is that of behaviorism. Behaviorism is the psychological theory that individuals are born as blank slates, and that all actions are essentially learned responses to environmental stimuli. Before Skinner, behaviorism had its roots in scientists and psychologists such as John Watson, Ivan Pavlov, and Edward Thorndike. Their theories and experiments of conditioning responses to external stimuli based on other stimuli were very convincing to Skinner, who began developing the school of behaviorism into an applicable ideology.
Watson had come up with a new psychological study which consisted that of behaviorism. His new study of adjustive behavior had been primarily said it had nothing to do with the conscious content in one’s mind. Watson believed that animal and human seem to just adapt to the environment around them and results in their behavior can be predicted to a certain extent. Watsons’ goal was to come up with a technique in which the leaders of society can control behavior.
John B. Watson was born in South Carolina in 1878 (John Watson (1878-1958), 2007). In 1913 he published an article on behaviorism, “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it (John Watson (1878-1958), 2007).” This article is often referred to as, “The Behaviorist Manifesto (John Watson (1878-1958), 2007).” Watson was the president of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1915, and during this time he was awarded a gold medal for his contributions in the field (John Watson (1878-1958), 2007).
J.B. Watson was very influential in the psychological field of behaviorism and stated the following in the early 20th century "Give me a dozen healthy infants and my own specified world to bring them up in and I 'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select - doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant, chief and, yes, even a beggarman and thief"
The behavioral perspective is a theoretical perspective that says that abnormal behavior is caused by flawed learning experiences (Halgin and Whitbourne, 2013). B.F Skinner, the most common behaviorist, believed a person’s environment or anything external can influence a person mentally (AllPsych, 2011). The main point of the behavioral perspective is how the environment affects a person’s overall behavior (AllPsych, 2011). The three types of behavioral theories are classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and contiguity theory. Operant conditioning is when a person learns behaviors through reinforcement (Halgin and Whitbourne, 2013). Skinner studied operant conditioning by doing experiments using dogs that he placed in a “Skinner Box” (McLeod, 2011). Contiguity theory says that any stimulus and response that is connected will be associated with each other (Ramo and Howe-Tennant). Contiguity theory comes from the work of E. R. Guthrie (Ramo and Howe-Tennant). Classical conditioning is a learning connection between an original stimulus and a naturally evoking stimulus that causes an automatic reflexive reaction. Classical conditioning was the first type of learning to be discovered (Halgin and Whitbourne, 2013). Classical conditioning was also the first to be studied by behaviorist (Halgin and Whitbourne, 2013). Classical conditioning was discovered by Ivan Pavlov (AllPsych, 2011). During Pavlov’s experiments, he would put meat powder in dogs mouths that had tubes inserted in different organs to measure the dogs body responses (AllPsych, 2011). Pavlov found that the dogs began to salivate before the meat powder was presented to them (AllPsych, 2011). He also found that the dogs began to salivate as soon as the person feedi...
Classical conditioning lead Watson to the discovery of behaviorism. Ivan Pavlov discovered classical condition meaning that control of a stimulus-response reflexive relationship. “Watson assumed that human behavior and the behavior of animals were both governed by the same law of nature” (Jensen, 1). He demonstrated on his experiment with Albert that human emotional response could be
John Watson Influenced the world of Psychology heavily. Watson’s behaviorism helped move psychology away from its philosophic origin and helped custom it into a science. In many areas such as learning, behaviorism controlled American psychology throughout much of the twentieth century. B.F Skinner, one of the most famous twentieth century psychologists, who was a strong advocate of behaviorism as well.
Behaviorism can be defined by events that can be directly observed, unlike the psychoanalytical theory. John Watson initiated the beginning of North American Behaviorism in the early twentieth century. He wanted to create an objective science in psychology, and so he rejected the unseen workings of the human mind that the psychoanalysts were concerned with.
In conclusion, the theory of behaviorism is based on observable behaviors for easier quantification and data collection. Effective techniques such as behavior intervention and discrete trial training originate from this school of thought. The approaches are very essential in altering the maladaptive behaviors in adults and children (Cherry, 2011). Today, conditioning and the use of reward and punishment are used to help people learn accepted behavior and in other cases to help them stop problematic behavior (Coon & Mitterer, 2008). This has made behavior modification and training easy and possible. Therefore, Dr. John Watson played a tremendous role in the transition of psychology from the work of earlier scholars to the modern scholars.