The Real Father Of Behavior Analysis
This essay concerns the identification of the appropriate founder of behaviorism, both as philosophy and as practice at its birth in the early twentieth century. If we assume that behaviorism was founded, the individual responsible is surely John B. Watson. I already tentatively questioned that assignment and showed a few examples of trends that made the founding of behaviorism inevitable with or without Watson. Given that, another pioneer might be more deserving of that honor. Edward Thorndike was an energetic promoter of the natural science approach to psychology and had an impressive list of accomplishments by the time of Watsons announcement. Should he be considered the founder of behaviorism? It is certain that Watson did not think so. But perhaps a case could be made for Thorndike, whose accomplishments were impressive.
The Rise Of Behaviorism
Psychology changed dramatically during the early 20th-century as another school of thought known as;behaviorism;rose to dominance. Behaviorism was a major change from previous theoretical perspectives, rejecting the emphasis on both the;conscious and unconscious mind. Instead, behaviorism strove to make psychology a more scientific discipline by focusing purely on observable behavior.
Behaviorism had its earliest start with the work of a Russian physiologist named;Ivan Pavlov. Pavlov’s research on the digestive systems of dogs led to his discovery of the;classical conditioning;process, which proposed that behaviors could be learned via conditioned associations.
Pavlov demonstrated that this learning process could be used to make an association between an environmental stimulus and a naturally occurring stimulus.
An American psychologist named;John B. Watson;soon became one of the strongest advocates of behaviorism. Initially outlining the basic;principles of this new school of thought in his 1913 paper;Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It, Watson later went on to offer a definition in his classic book;”Behaviorism“;, writing:
The impact of behaviorism was enormous, and this school of thought continued to dominate for the next 50 years. Psychologist;B.F. Skinner;furthered the behaviorist perspective with his concept of;operant conditioning, which demonstrated the effect of punishment and reinforcement on behavior.
Freud And Watson Agreed: Unconscious Means Unverbalized
In 1915, Freud concluded that he had found the unconscious and that it consisted of a conglomerate of effects of our past that we had not transcribed into words: Now, too, we are in a position to state precisely what it is that repression denies to the rejected ideanamely, the translation of the idea into words which are to remain attached to the object . Watson reached the same conclusion in his behavioral assessment of the unconscious: We have no names, no words with which to describe these reactions. They remain unverbalizedThe theory of the unverbalized in human behavior gives us a natural science way of explaining many things that the Freudians now call unconscious complexes,suppressed wishes, and the like .
Freuds work was not widely known in America until his visit to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the founding of Clark University in 1909. His honorarium was the modern equivalent of US$20,000 for five lectures in German, a language familiar to the psychological elite of the time . In his preparing the way for Watson and for behavior analysis, it is fair to say that Freud contributed the following:
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Arthur Staats Has Proposed A Psychological Behaviorism Portrayed As A More Advanced Perspective Than Radical Behaviorism And Behavior Analysis
The role of the psychiatrist, who is a medical doctor, focuses more on prescribing medication and other interventions to manage mental health conditions. Every behavior is caused by an operating condition . Behaviorism is a worldview, which operates under a stimulus response principle. It can be used to screen employees, and to decide which products will be the. Psychology is the study of mind and behavior. Originally developed in the early 20th century, behaviorism continues to influence contemporary psychology, with behaviorist principles coming into and out of fashion every few years. behaviorism theory of psychology cody mallard gateway community college abstract behaviorism is a theory of learning. Positive psychology is a branch of psychology that serves to develop individuals’ happiness, often by focusing on their own strengths. In psychology in the 1920s. Behaviorism is a type of psychology that believes you can change your actions, modify mood, and better your life. His belief was that positive reinforcement was much more effective in developing the student’s behavior for lifelong learning. Behaviorism dominated experimental psychology for several decades. Introspection was developed to expose the mind to scientific research.
Psychology In Everyday Life: How To Effectively Learn And Remember
One way that the findings of psychological research may be particularly helpful to you is in terms of improving your learning and study skills. Psychological research has provided a substantial amount of knowledge about the principles of learning and memory. This information can help you do better in this and other courses, and can also help you better learn new concepts and techniques in other areas of your life. The most important thing you can learn in college is how to better study, learn, and remember. These skills will help you throughout your life, as you learn new jobs and take on other responsibilities. There are substantial individual differences in learning and memory, such that some people learn faster than others. But even if it takes you longer to learn than you think it should, the extra time you put into studying is well worth the effort. And you can learn to learnlearning to study effectively;and to remember information is just like learning any other skill, such as playing a sport or a video game.
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The Emergence Of Psychoanalysis
Up to this point, early psychology stressed conscious human experience. An Austrian physician named;Sigmund Freud;changed the face of psychology in a dramatic way, proposing a;theory of personality;that emphasized the importance of the;unconscious mind.
Freuds clinical work with patients suffering from hysteria and other ailments led him to believe that early childhood experiences and unconscious impulses contributed to the development of adult personality and behavior.
In his book;”The Psychopathology of Everyday Life“ Freud detailed how these unconscious thoughts and impulses are expressed, often through slips of the tongue and;dreams. According to Freud, psychological disorders are the result of these unconscious conflicts becoming extreme or unbalanced.
The;psychoanalytic theory;proposed by Sigmund Freud had a tremendous impact on 20th-century thought, influencing the mental health field as well as other areas including art, literature, and popular culture. While many of his ideas are viewed with skepticism today, his influence on psychology is undeniable.
Thorndike Was A Mindbody Dualist
If he was not a dualist, he certainly wrote like one. Watson and Skinner, later definers of behaviorism, both argued strongly and consistently against mindbody dualism. The clearest arguments appear in the first pages of both editions of Watsons Behaviorism , and Skinner made the most convincing case. No real behaviorist can believe in an unnatural mind or write so as to give that impression, but Thorndikes writings are shot through, as Watson would say, with such references. Despite his argument against mental causes, he was still a mind/body dualist; Skinner referred to him as a mentalist. The first sentence of Thorndikes Notes on Child Study published when he was 27;years old and head of the Department of Comparative Psychology at Woods Hole, reads, A child, like an adult human being, is both a body and a mind, and the study of children includes the study of both their bodies and their minds . On page 86, he wrote, The mental stuff involved in human thinking is not only percepts and images.
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Scientific Psychology Comes To The United States
Wundts version of psychology arrived in America most visibly through the work of Edward Bradford Titchener . A student of Wundts, Titchener brought to America a brand of experimental psychology referred to as structuralism. Structuralists were interested in the contents of the mindwhat the mind is. For Titchener, the general adult mind was the proper focus for the new psychology, and he excluded from study those with mental deficiencies, children, and animals .
Experimental psychology spread rather rapidly throughout North America. By 1900, there were more than 40 laboratories in the United States and Canada . Psychology in America also organized early with the establishment of the American Psychological Association in 1892. Titchener felt that this new organization did not adequately represent the interests of experimental psychology, so, in 1904, he organized a group of colleagues to create what is now known as the Society of Experimental Psychologists . The group met annually to discuss research in experimental psychology. Reflecting the times, women researchers were not invited . It is interesting to note that Titcheners first doctoral student was a woman, Margaret Floy Washburn . Despite many barriers, in 1894, Washburn became the first woman in America to earn a Ph.D. in psychology and, in 1921, only the second woman to be elected president of the American Psychological Association .
The 4th Wave: Positive Psychology
As already pointed out earlier in this article, positive psychology is psychology with a positive orientation, concerned with authentic happiness and a good life.
Humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow maintained that psychology itself does not have an accurate understanding of the human potential and that the field tends not to raise the proverbial bar high enough with respect to maximum attainment.
The science of psychology has been far more successful on the negative than on the positive side; it has revealed to us much about mans shortcomings, his illnesses, his sins, but little about his potentialities, his virtues, his achievable aspirations, or his full psychological height. It is as if psychology had voluntarily restricted itself to only half its rightful jurisdiction, and that the darker, meaner half
While the previous waves of psychology focused on human flaws, overcoming deficiencies, avoiding pain, and escape from unhappiness, positive psychology focuses on well-being, contentment, excitement, cheerfulness, the pursuit of happiness, and meaning in life.>
The humanistic movement wanted to look at what drives us to want to grow and achieve fulfillment. However, even though their conceptual ideas of human nature did influence the development of positive psychology, they are separate. While the humanistic approach used more qualitative methods, positive psychology is developing a;more scientific epistemology of understanding human beings.
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Working In Behavioral Psychology
There are several opportunities for integrating behavioral psychology into practice. For instance, many psychologists research topics like conditioning to examine the nature of human behavior. Often, they are able to apply findings to mental health disorders.
Behavioral psychology has had a major impact in clinical applications. For instance, mental health counselors, substance abuse counselors, and other professionals use therapeutic techniques from behaviorism to help people overcome specific issues. Even newer fields, like applied behavior analysis, have emerged by adapting concepts from behavioral psychology.
The foundation to all those careers is an undergraduate degree in psychology. You can start your journey to becoming a psychologist, mental health counselor, applied behavior analyst and more with an;online bachelors in psychology;from Rivier University. Gain the knowledge and skills needed to open up several career paths upon graduation.
Study in a fully online learning environment, which allows you to complete your education and maintain your current work and personal schedule. Multiple term starts, a generous transfer credit policy, and competitive tuition rates are all designed to help you start, and finish, faster.;Rivier University has been educating students to transform the world;for more than 80 years, so you can trust you will receive a high-quality education in a format designed to help you succeed.
A Brief Historical Overview
It should be noted that in the intellectual history of western culture there have been individuals who held views very similar to theories supported by one or both of these movements, even though they did not use the term behaviorism ; others have championed views that may not be characterized as behavioristic, but which have had a strong impact on behavioristic ways of thinking . The writings of Aristotle , in particular his De Anima, his account of practical rationality in the Nicomachean Ethics, and his scientific work on animals , contain ideas that were assimilated by later behaviorists. Likewise, the writings of the Stoics and the Skeptics contain several theoretical accounts that are sympathetic to a general behavioristic approach, especially their views about animal cognition.
Several seventeenth- and eighteenth-century works inspired behavioristic followers, including Thomas Hobbess generally mechanistic account of the mind, The Leviathan , René Descartess 1637 account of animal behavior, Discourse on Method, and the writings of several individuals who belonged to the French Encyclopedists tradition of the Enlightenment, such as Julien de La Mettries Man a Machine , Pierre Cabaniss On the Relations between the Physical and the Moral Aspects of Man , and Baron dHolbachs The System of Nature , among others.
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Mathematics And Behavior Modification
The matching law suggests that operant behavior is determined by the rate of reinforcement for one alternative relative to all other sources of reinforcement. Even in situations that involve a single response on a schedule of reinforcement, the behavior of organisms is regulated by alternative sources of reinforcement. A rat that is pressing a lever for food may gain additional reinforcement from exploring the operant chamber, scratching itself, and so on. In a similar fashion, rather than work for teacher attention a pupil may look out the window, talk to a friend, or even daydream. Thus in a single-operant setting, multiple sources of reinforcement are functioning. Herrnstein argued this point and suggested an equation for the single operant that is now called the quantitative law of effect.
In fact, McDowell showed that the boy’s scratching was in accord with Herrnstein’s equation . He plotted the reprimands per hour on the x-axis and scatches per hour on the y-axis. When applied to this data, the equation provided an excellent description of the boy’s behavior. The quantitative law of effect also suggested how to modify the problem behavior. In order to reduce scratching , one strategy is to increase reinforcement for alternative behavior. As reinforcement is added for alternative behavior, problem behavior must decrease; this is because the reinforcement for problem behavior is decreasing as reinforcement is added to other behavior.
The Perspectives Of Psychology
Structuralism and functionalism have since been replaced by several dominant and influential approaches to psychology, each one underpinned by a shared set of assumptions of what people are like, what is important to study and how to study it.
Psychoanalysis, founded by Sigmund Freud was the dominant paradigm in psychology during the early twentieth century.Freud believed that people could be cured by making conscious their unconscious thoughts and motivations, thus gaining insight.
Freudâs psychoanalysis was the original psychodynamic theory, but the psychodynamic approach as a whole includes all theories that were based on his ideas, e.g., , Adler and Erikson .
The classic contemporary perspectives in psychology to adopt scientific strategies were the behaviorists, who were renowned for their reliance on controlled laboratory experiments and rejection of any unseen or unconscious forces as causes of behavior.
Later, the humanistic approach became the ‘third force’ in psychology and proposed the importance of subjective experience and personal growth.
During the 1960s and 1970s, psychology began a cognitive revolution, adopting a rigorous, scientific, lab-based scientific approach with application to memory, perception, cognitive development, mental illness, and much more.
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Structuralism: Introspection And The Awareness Of Subjective Experience
Perhaps the best known of the structuralists was Edward Bradford Titchener . Titchener was a student of Wundts who came to the United States in the late 1800s and founded a laboratory at Cornell University . . Perhaps he was ahead of his time; Brenda Milner did not open the Montreal Neurological Institute until 1950.) In his research using introspection, Titchener and his students claimed to have identified more than 40,000 sensations, including those relating to vision, hearing, and taste. An important aspect of the structuralist approach was that it was rigorous and scientific. The research marked the beginning of psychology as a science, because it demonstrated that mental events could be quantified. But the structuralists also discovered the limitations of introspection. Even highly trained research participants were often unable to report on their subjective experiences. When the participants were asked to do simple math problems, they could easily do them, but they could not easily answer how they did them. Thus the structuralists were the first to realize the importance of unconscious processesthat many important aspects of human psychology occur outside our conscious awareness, and that psychologists cannot expect research participants to be able to accurately report on all of their experiences.
The 2nd Wave: Behaviorism
B. F. Skinner of Harvard University was the originator, along with John B. Watson and Ivan Pavlov, of the behavioral approach in psychology. Skinner believed that free will was an illusion, and human behavior was largely dependent on the consequences of our previous actions.
If a particular behavior attracted the right type of reinforcement it had a high probability of being repeated, and if, on the other hand, the behavior resulted in punishment it had a good chance of not being repeated .
Skinner believed that given the right structure of rewards and punishments, human behavior could be totally modified in an almost mechanical sense.
This theory undoubtedly has a lot of merits, particularly the idea of;operant conditioningthe;influencing and eliciting desired behavior, through a well-conceived reward system.>
However, the manipulation of behavior that such a properly structured reward system allows;is open to gross abuse by autocrats and dictators in terms of oppressing their subjects. And not just in society at large, but in the workplace as well. J E R Staddon and Noam Choksy were among Skinners major critics .
Furthermore, Skinners total rejection of free will is still disturbing. It goes against all that human history stands forthe ultimate, and the enduring;triumph of the human spirit against overwhelming odds.>
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