Theories Of Explaining Behavior Through Observation

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Adolescent Psychology Term Paper
Jamila Williams
Tuskegee University
Behavioral psychology is based on the concept of explaining behavior through observation. Behaviorists, psychologist that study behavior, believe a person can be understood through observing their behavior. This school of psychology assumes that we are born as a blank state and everyone is equal. However, environmental factors are what leads to us behaving differently from one another.
American Psychologist and Founder of Behaviorism John B. Watson studied the ultimate goal to provide basis for prediction and control of human beings acquired through conditioning. Conditioning occurs through interaction with the environment. Scientist strongly believe that individuals respond to an environmental stimulus that shapes our actions. Russian Physiologist Ivan Pavlov and American Psychologist and Behaviorist B. F. Skinner broke down conditioning into two types: classical conditioning and operant conditioning.
Classical conditioning is a behavioral intervention technique by means of two stimuli being paired together in a consistent pattern to result in the same behavioral response. Pavlov was looking at salivation in dogs in response to being fed. His notion was that dogs can be taught to do certain things, for example dogs salivating when they see food. Operant conditioning is a similar technique that aims on the association between voluntary behavior and consequences. Skinner believed that subjects
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