John B. Watson work on classical behaviorism that paved the way for B. F.
Skinner's radical or operant behaviorism which has had a large impact on educational
Watson was one of the influential psychologists of the twentieth century. His material is still used in most psychology and educational psychology texts. Watson helped with defining the study of behavior anticipated Skinner's emphasis on operant conditioning and the importance of learning and environmental influences in human development. Watson’s criticized of Sigmund Freud has been given credit for helping to disseminate principles of Freudian psychoanalysis.
Watson is known for the Little Albert study and his dozen healthy infants quote. Watson is given credit for popularizing the term behaviorism with the publication of his seminal 1913 article "Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It." In the article, Watson argued that psychology had failed in its quest to become a natural science, largely due to a focus on consciousness and other unseen phenomena. Rather than study these unverifiable ideas, Watson urged the careful scientific study of observable behavior. His view of behaviorism was a reaction to introspection, where each researcher served as their own research subject. The study of consciousness by Freud and Watson believed to be subjective and unscientific. Watson believed that controlled laboratory studies were the most effective way to study learning. In approach manipulation of the learner's environment was the key to fostering development. The approach stands in contrast to techniques that placed the emphasis for learning in the mind of the learner. The 1913 article gives credit for the founding of behaviorism but it had a minor impact after its publication. Watson prepared psychologists and educators for the highly influential work of Skinner and other radical behaviorists in subsequent decades.
B.F. Skinner was one of the most...
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