Pavlov, Watson, and Skinner Essay

733 Words Mar 6th, 2011 3 Pages
The twentieth century was a turning point in the way we view behavior. Sigmund Freud shook the medical world when he claimed that unconscious forces dictate our behavior and childhood experiences play a large role in personality formation. Freud’s psychoanalytic theory placed the subject of behavior into the forefront of medical study. Freud’s theory brought much criticism and controversy but most importantly; it brought interest to the subject of behavior and personality. This newfound interest caused many young doctors to begin studying how behavior is created. Many new theories would follow Freud’s and forever change the way science views behavior. Ivan Pavlov, John B. Watson, and B.F. Skinner are three of the men that contributed in …show more content…
Eventually, the irrational fear may be deconditioned.
B.F. Skinner agreed with Pavlov but he believed there was more than one way that conditioning takes place. Skinner believed that learning could take place as a result of stimuli that took place after the action. Skinner stated that a simple system of rewards and consequences governed much of human behavior. When a person is rewarded for an action they are more likely to repeat that action. When an action is followed by unfavorable consequences it is more unlikely the action will be repeated. Skinner called this operant conditioning. His principle has three components reinforcement, extinction, and punishment. Skinner recognized two types of reinforcement, negative and positive (reward). An example of positive reinforcement would be a parent giving their child a dollar for every A they received on their report card. Negative reinforcement would be taking away your sons driving privileges because he failed his math exam. Positive reinforcement strengthens the chance behavior will be repeated while negative strengthens the chance negative behavior will cease. Extinction is a weakening of the response to the conditioning. Punishment refers to any response that leads to a negative outcome. When an outcome continues to be negative the behavior will begin to cease. Skinner’s theories continue to be popular today.
John Watson was the founder of the
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