J.b. Watson 's Theory Of Operant Conditioning Essay

J.b. Watson 's Theory Of Operant Conditioning Essay

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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"

B.F. Skinner
Skinner would most likely agree with Watson 's quote and could carry it out through his use of Operant conditioning. Skinner is considered the father of operant conditioning, but he somewhat built his work off of Thorndike 's law of effect. Thorndike studied mice escaping a box using trial and error. He noticed that the effect of each behavior would determine if it 's repeated in the future. Skinner added the reinforcement principle which holds that behaviors that are rewarded are more likely to be repeated in the future and behaviors that are punished are not likely to be repeated. Skinner would train his infants using this reinforcement principle to condition them into the specialist requested. For example, if he 's training someone to become a doctor, he could reward them with a positive reinforcer like a nice dinner if they complete the days training to become a doctor or punish them with no dinner if they don 't complete the tasks. However, this type of reinforcer may only work if you establish a need of food in the children. As observed by Skinner when testing his theory with rats, the pellets only worked as a reinforcer when they were hungry. Skinner would agree with Watson but the type of reinforcer used would have to be something the individuals are dependent on to guarantee his success.

Leon Festinger
Festinger w...


... middle of paper ...


...lso many limitations to this theory because he based it on concepts that can 't be experimentally testable. If Watson knew the exact connection between these forces and how they affect the individual, then according to Freud, he could subconsciously (mostly during childhood) direct the individual to become the specialist required.

My View
I agree with Watson because I 'm a believer in that humans are born with a blank slate and that they are nurtured into the people that they become. Skinners use of operant conditioning would be my primary form of training because I know from personal experience, when my parents wanted me to do something, if there a reward involved I 'll definitely do it. This form of positive reinforcement is a powerful tool used in society today, if someone does well at their job then their boss may give them a raise so the behavior is repeated.

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