Behaviorism Vs. Pavlov And Edward Thorndike

2020 Words Nov 29th, 2016 9 Pages
Behavioral psychology has long been a part of society and an innovative part of psychology since the founding by John B. Watson. Behaviorism stresses the environmental role on behavior and is also referred to as the learning theory (McLeod, 2007). Two major contributors to Behaviorism are Ivan Pavlov and Edward Thorndike. These two very important psychologists had quite different views when it came to conditioning, but are surprisingly similar in some aspects as well. Having lived during the same time, Thorndike and Pavlov were aware of one another’s work and while Pavlov is credited as the father of classical conditioning, Thorndike’s discoveries led to the founding of operant conditioning by B.F. Skinner. To Pavlov, what we learned is a link between stimuli while contrastingly Thorndike believed we learn what is reinforced in our minds. This paper will delve deeper into the similarities and differences of these two psychologists. However, before we can examine Pavlov and Thorndike, it is important to understand Behaviorism and the role it has played. As previously stated, behaviorism focuses primarily on a person’s environment as well as previous life experiences to shape behavior. Unlike structuralism and functionalism which came before that only focused on psychological experiences; with structuralism being focused on the elements of one’s experiences while functionalism is more focused on the purposes of psychological experiences. Behaviorism is concerned with how…
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