January 10, 2013
Behaviorism and The Men who shaped it
Psychology is a subject that is forever changing. There are numerous areas of study and individuals are also revising studies and theories from the past. The topic of behaviorism has been developed and broken down to sub-levels by many psychologists. John B. Watson, B. F. Skinner, and Edward C. Tolman are three individuals who studied behaviorism and gave individual perspectives on this subject that for the most part are still being used today and probably will be used until the end of time. First, John B. Watson is credited with being a founder of behaviorism. He was born in 1978 in Greenville, SC. He studied at Furman University where he graduated in 1899 He then went on to study psychology with a minor in philosophy and neurology at the University of Chicago two years later. In 1903 Watson obtained his doctorate in psychology at John Hopkins. Upon completion, he became a professor and really started to adapt his ideas on psychology. He argued that the problem of psychology was that there are old methods and inappropriate subject matter (Wozniak, n.d.). Watson sought out to describe how psychology as a subject was more than just philosophy. In fact, Watson argued that psychology was a science and focuses on behavior rather than the mind, thinking, and consciousness. He defined this phenomenon as behaviorism. Behaviorism is an objective study of people’s actions with the ability to predict and control them. Watson conducted his study of behaviorism and development with rats. He had a strong interest in animals rather than humans (Wozniak, n.d.). Infant rats exhibited considerable learning ability despite incomplete brain development. , Watson argued that infant humans like infant rats, possessed considerable unrecognized early learning ability (Watson, 1999 ). Watson’s first and most famous experiment “Little...