April 9, 2011
Behaviorism, that approach focuses on measuring also describing that is observable, it was the most significant movement in psychology from the nineteen hundred to about nineteen seventy five, (Lefton & Brannon, 2006). Malone, Jr. & Cruchon state that, “The psychology of the late 20th Century took two forms: one was radical behaviorism, distinctly the minority position. The majority position was the “rest of psychology” (2001, p. 31). In this paper I will compare and contrast the perspectives of John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner with that of Edward C. Tolman. I will also describe how each perspective relates to the field of modern-day psychology. John B. Watson
John B. Watson, sometimes he overlooked for the next to work of the B.F. skinner. Which is on when coined the term of behaviorism, he is one of the responsible for “its infiltration into mainstream American psychology” (Kretchmar, 2008). He also was aliment that in that nature versus nurture argument, that nurture was all important and a person’s experiences in his or her environment contributed to his or her behavior (Lefton & Brannon, 2006). “Watson showed that fear could be classically conditioned by presenting a white rat to Litlte Albert alone with a loud, frightening noise, thereby condition the child to fear the white rat” (Wood, Wood, & Boyd, 2006, p. 262). In his effort to invoke fear into Little Albert, the most critical element of his experiment was the combination of pairing a conditioned stimulus (the rat) and an unconditioned response (Little Albert’s crying at the strike of the steel bar) with only a brief interval between the two (Wood, Wood, & Boyd, 2007). He concluded from the demonstration of classically conditioning fear in Little Albert that fears which are conditioned, can persist and modify the behaviors of a person throughout his or her life (Wood, Wood, & Boyd, 2007).
In 1913, Watson initiated a movement to a more objective form of psycholgy when he published his paper Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It, which expressed that psychology should be based on behavioral observations and not the consciousness (Lefton & Brannon, 2006).“Watson poured into his new conceptual and linguistic mold not only his own empirical observations but also the theoretical view point of others” (Leary, 2004, p. 21), Essentially, he took others ideas and instead of expanding his own theories to include them, he took other’s ideas and represented them to fit into his own mold.
Edward C. Tolman
Around the time that Watson was leaving his academic life in the study of psychology, Edward C. Tolman was emerging into the study of behavior (Leary, 2004). “Tolman was as open and nondomestic as Watson was unbending and aggressive” (Leary, 2004, p. 21). “Tolman’s version of behaviorism…gave a wider berth to mentalist than did Watson’s understanding” (World of Sociology, Gale, 2001, p. 1), additionally, unlike Watson and Skinner, Tolman found that purpose and condition were contained in the same category with observable behavior. “Like Watson, Tolman incorporated the insights of others…but unlike Watson he did so by enlarging his system to include their insights rather than shrinking their insights to fit his system” (Leary, 2004, p. 22).
“Tolman’s theory developed the “internal” concepts of purpose, cognition, cognitive maps, and expectancies as a way of explaining behavior” (Elsevier's Dictionary of Psychological Theories, 2006, p. 1), It was this work that led him to develop the idea that animals and humans create maps of their worlds (Lefton & Brannon, 2006). His system of psychology became known as purposive behaviorism and he identified four factors involved with producing behavior: stimuli, heredity, and training, and physiological state (Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science, 2010). “Intervening between these casual factors and the observed...