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
B.F. Skinner was one... [continues]
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