Behaviorism Essay

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Behaviorism

Psychology is the science of behavior. Psychology is not the science of the mind. Behavior can be described and explained without making reference to mental events or to internal psychological processes. The sources of behavior are external (in the environment), not internal (in the mind). Behaviorism is a doctrine, or a set of doctrines, about human and nonhuman animal behavior. An important component of many psychological theories in the late nineteenth century were introspection, the study of the mind by analysis of one's own thought processes. It was in reaction to this trend that behaviorism arose, claiming that the causes of behavior need not be sought in the depths of the mind but could be observed in the immediate
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Behaviorism was first developed in the early 20th century by the American psychologist John B Watson (1878-1958). Watson was credited with the founding the behavioral movement. This is not because Watson made major contributions to the theory of behaviorism but rather because he publicized the empirical method and made it the battle cry for a new school of psychology, aggressively opposed to subjective approaches. The dominant view of that time was that psychology is the study of inner experiences or feelings by subjective, introspective methods. Watson proposed to make the study of psychology scientific by using only objective procedures such as a laboratory experiments designed to establish statistically significant result. Watson supported his rejection of the introspective method by demonstrating, in a classic experiment, that a supposed subjective emotion such as fear could, like the salvation response of Pavlov's dogs, result from a simple, objective conditioning process. With the help of an associate Watson conditioned a fear of rats into an eleventh month boy. Before the experiment, Albert had no fear of rats. On the first day of the experiment Albert was shown a white rat. Watson than struck a medal bar with a hammer that caused a very loud noise. The first time it was done the boy was simply startled. As it happened again and again, he began to show signs of fright, crying, falling over,
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