Summary Behaviorism

Summary Behaviorism
Behaviorism (or behaviourism), also called the learning perspective (where any physical action is a behavior), is a philosophy of psychologybased on the proposition that all things that organisms do—including acting, thinking, and feeling—can and should be regarded as behaviors, and that psychological disorders are best treated by altering behavior patterns or modifying the environment. The behaviorist school of thought maintains that behaviors as such can be described scientifically without recourse either to internal physiological events or to hypothetical constructs such as the mind. Behaviorism comprises the position that all theories should have observational correlates but that there are no philosophical differences between publicly observable processes (such as actions) and privately observable processes (such as thinking and feeling).

Last meeting we discussion Skinner’s teory about behaviourism, we discussion about:
B.F. Skinner was influential in defining radical behaviorism, a philosophy codifying the basis of his school of research (named the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, or EAB.) While EAB differs from other approaches to behavioral research on numerous methodological and theoretical points, radical behaviorism departs from methodological behaviorism most notably in accepting feelings, states of mind and introspection as existent and scientifically treatable. This is done by identifying them as something non-dualistic, and here Skinner takes a divide-and-conquer approach, with some instances being identified with bodily conditions or behavior, and others getting a more extended "analysis" in terms of behavior. However, radical behaviorism stops short of identifying feelings as causes of behavior. Among other points of difference were a rejection of the reflex as a model of all behavior and a defense of a science of behavior complementary to but independent of physiology. Radical behaviorism has considerable overlap with other western philosophical positions such as American pragmatism.

Criticisms of Behaviorism
·         Many critics argue that behaviorism is a one-dimensional approach to understanding human behavior and that behavioral theories do not account for free will and internal influences such as moods, thoughts and feelings.
·         Behaviorism does not account for other types of learning, especially learning that occurs without the use of reinforcement and punishment.
·         People and animals are able to adapt their behavior when new information is introduced, even if a previous behavior pattern has been established through reinforcement.
Strengths of Behaviorism
·         Behaviorism is based upon observable behaviors, so it is easier to quantify and collect data and information when conducting research.
·         Effective therapeutic techniques such as intensive behavioral intervention, behavior analysis, token economies and discrete trial training are all rooted in behaviorism. These approaches are often very useful in changing maladaptive or harmful behaviors in both children and adults.

While behaviorism is not as dominant today as it was during the middle of the 20th-century, it still remains an influential force in psychology. Outside of psychology, animal trainers, parents, teachers and many others make use of basic behavioral principles to help teach new behaviors and discourage unwanted ones.

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