Perspectives

Topics: Behaviorism, Psychology, Classical conditioning Pages: 8 (2790 words) Published: April 18, 2014
re used Perspectives Paper
Psychology as we know is the study of the mind and human behavior. Since earlier years, there has been research performed to find out how individuals think, feel, and act. There are many different perspectives that psychologists use as a means of studying human behavior and how individuals think and feel. One of those perspectives is known as the Behavioral Perspective. The main focus of this perspective is behaviors that are learned. The difference between behaviorism and other perspectives is that its emphasis is placed on behaviors that can be observed, not on internal states (Cherry, 2014). There are many major thinkers that made contributions to the Behavioral Perspective, and their theories have been valuable, and serve as a basis for the schools of thought in modern psychology. In this paper, I will be comparing and contrasting the Behavioral Perspectives of John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner, with the perspectives of another major thinker known as Edward C. Tolman. The main focus of John B. Watson and of B. F. Skinner was behaviorism while Edward C. Tolman’s focus was Cognitive Behaviorism (Cherry, 2014). John B. Watson’s Perspectives John B. Watson was a major thinker and also a psychologist who was later known as the father of behaviorism. During part of the 20th Century, he dominated with his perspective of behavior. Watson’s theory of psychology was that it was based on behaviors that one could observe. Watson came to be a strong supporter of behaviorism, and was known for his famous quote “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-informed, and my specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief, and yes, even beggarman and thief, regardless of his talents, pendants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years.” -John B. Watson, Behaviorism, 1930 (Cherry, 2014). John B. Watson was born on January 9, 1878 in Greenville, South Carolina and died on September 25, 1958 in New York City, NY. Watson was a poor student and was raised in South Carolina. When he was 16-years-old, he attended Furman University and began studying psychology shortly after graduation. By 1903, he had obtained his Ph.D. in psychology and was teaching psychology by 1908. Watson gave his first lecture known as “Psychology as the Behaviorist View it,” which fully explained the behaviorist position (Cherry, 2014). Watson also published in 1914 and 1919 other major articles known as “Behavior: An Introduction to Comparative Psychology,” and “Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist.” One of Watson’s most famous accomplishments was the Little Albert Experiment in which he conditioned a little boy to fear furry objects after conditioning the boy to feel fear of loud noises and a white rat (Bradley, 2002). While there were many thinkers and psychologists associated with psychoanalysis, structuralism, and functionalism who all equally emphasized on mental processes that are not seen, John B. Watson did not agree with their perspective. He did not believe that behavior that is not displayed could not be scientifically studied. His perspective only had an emphasis on behavior that could be understood when the relationship of a stimuli and a response were examined (Graham, 2010). Watson presented a process called classical conditioning. His theory of classical conditioning involved an individual learning new behavior by a process called association. Classical conditioning occurs when two stimuli are associated, and the outcome is a new response that is learned (McLeod, 2014). Watson’s perspective changed the study of the mind to the study of behavior that could be...


References: Bradley, M. (2002). Psyography: John Broadus Watson. Retrieved from faculty.frostburg.edu/mbradley/psyography/johnbroaduswatson.html
Cherry, K. (2014). B.F. Skinner Biography (1904-1990). Retrieved from psychology.about.com/od/profilesofmajorthinkers/p/bio_skinner.htm
Cherry, K. (2014). Behavioral Psychology Basics. Retrieved from psychology.about.com/od/behavioralpsychology/tp/behavioral-psychology-basics.htm
Cherry, K. (2014). Edward C. Tolman Biography (1886-1959). Retrieved from psychology.about.com/od/profilesmz/fl/Edward-C-Tolman-Biography.htm
Cherry, K. (2014). John B. Watson (1878-1958). Retrieved from psychology.about.com/od/profilesofmajorthinkiers/p/watson.htm
Cherry, K. (2014). The Rise of Behaviorism. Retrieved from psychology.about.com/od/historyofpsychology/a/psychistory_3.htm
Graham, G. (2010). Behaviorism. Retrieved from plato.standord.edu/entries/behaviorism
McLeod, S. (2013). Tolman - Latent Learning. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/tolman.html
McLeod, S. (2014). Classical Conditioning. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/classical-donditioning.html
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