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Theory And Contributions Of John Watson's Behaviorism Theory

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John Watson (1878-1958) Behaviorism Theory John Broadus Watson was born in 1878 in Greenville South Carolina. His family was poor and his father left in 1891. (Watson, 1999). While Pavlov, Skinner and Thorndike provided important influences to behavioral psychology, it was Watson who championed the behaviorist movement (Weibell, 2011). “Behaviorism is a scientific study of human behavior. Its real goal is to provide the basis for prediction and control of human beings: given the situation, to tell what the human being will do; given the man in action, to be able to say why he is reacting in that way” (Weibell, 2011 p. 1). In his writing, The Ways of Behaviorism, Watson defines behaviorism as the scientific study of human behavior, “it is simply what people do” (Watson, 1999 p. 3). Behaviorism addresses both development and learning. “Learning occurs when an individual interacts with the environment and through these experiences, their behavior is adapted” (Gordon, 2013 p. 139). Behaviorism begins with an assumption that each child comes into the world with a clean slate (Locke’s tabula rasa) upon which experiences, interactions are recorded throughout their lifespan.

Arnold Gesell (1880-1961) Maturation Theory Arnold Gesell was born in Alma, Wisconsin in 1880. “Gesell stands as a giant in the field of developmental psychology. He pioneered the scientific observation of infants and children through innovative and technically sophisticated methods for collecting a
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