Behavioral Psychology as Discussed by John B Watson, Ivan Pavlov and B.F. Skinner


Behaviorism, also known as behavioral psycology, was founded by John B. Watson and later contributed by Ivan Pavlov and B.F. Skinner. Behaviorism is a personality theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. It also states that all things that organisms do, including acting, thinking and feeling, can and should be regarded as behaviors.Another element is basically saying what happens to you as a child follows you throughout your life. It seeks to identify observable, measurable laws that could explain all of human behavior. Behaviorism has two major types of conditioning; Operant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning. These theories show that we learn many behaviors just because they have been reinforced by positive consequences and assosiations.

John B. Watson's work origanated behaviorism. He was an american psycologist who thought that pschology was not concerned with the mind but it concerned bahavior. He believed that if he had contol of someones life scince they were a baby, he could make that person anything from a doctor to a thief. He did some research on fear. The research stated that people are afraid of objects becuase of frightening associations that we connect with them in the past. It rejected the notion of individual differences, considered emotion to be just another example of classical conditioning, and opposed mentalistic concepts. He got many of his ideas from a man named Ivan Pavlov.

Ivan Pavlov was a Russian physiologist who discovered classical conditioning, one of the major factors in behaviorism. His theory of classical conditioning is a technique used in behavioral training in which associations are made between a natural stimulus and a learned, neatural stimulus. Stimulants are anything that elict a response. Thier are steps to help you understand this process. First you must pair a natuaral occuring stimulus with a response. Next, you take one of the previous neutral stimulants and pair it with the natural occuring stimulus. Then the previosly neutral stimulus starts to call forth a response without the presence of the natuarally occuring stimlulus. These then become a conditioned stimulus and a condition response. Ivan pavlov demonstrated this theory with a dog. He rang a bell everytime the dogs ate, and each time the dogs heard the bell they would salivate.He then rang the bell without feeding the dogs and they still salivated. He belived that humans react to stimului in the same way. Classical conditioning can impact how quickly a behavior is acquired and the strength of that association.

B.F.Skinner is one of the most famous recent behaviorlist. He believed that how we turn out in life is the result of what we learned from all the associations we make over the years. He was was best known for his theory of operant conditoning, the second major factor in behaviorism.Operant conditioning is condtioning that results from the individual's actions and the consequences they cause. In this theory assosiations are made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior. A major factor in operant conditioning is reinforcement and its split into two categories: positive reinforcment and negative reinforcement. In positive reinforcement you do something to get rewarded for it and in negative reinforcement you do something to remove something unplesant.Another factor is punishment which is a response followed by something unpleasant.Punishers are most likely to decrease a behavior and reinforcesare likly to increase a behavior. Skinner discovered that the timeing of these rewards and punishments has an important influence on how quickly a new behavior is acquired and the strength of the response.

Operant condtioning also includes scheduals of reinforment. Scheduals of reinforcement have four contributing factors that include fixed interval, variable interval, fixed ratio and varied ratio. Fixed intervals reinforce a response after a certain fixed amount of time. For example, every fifty minutes the bell rings to go to go to the next class. You hear the bell ring; you start heading torward your next class. Variable interval is when reinforcers will be distributed after a varying amount of time. For example, I can get an email at any time of the day. Fixed ratio reinforce a response after a certain fixed number of responses have been made. take assembly lines they get paid for every ten items they make.A variable ratio happens when reinforcers are distributed based on the average number of correct behaviors. A good example of this would be gammbling.

I choose this theory because it makes sense to me. I believed that experiences that happen in your childhood can follow you through your whole life. I also believe this theory works because some of its concepts are used in education and parent techniques. When I have a child I would use the oparnant conditioning aspect of behaviorism. It basically states that if I start my child in the right path; My child will succeed and go down the right path in life. If you start your child in the wrong path; your child will end up down the wrong road. For example, if I was to teach my child disepline, explain to it how important school was, and taught it how to be on its own; it will most likely end up knowing how to be on thier on when that time comes. If I spoil them from the start; they're not going to know any life skills and have a hard time on thier own. I would also use the classical condtioning aspect by looking for that behavior that i want to increase and reinforce it. Then look at the behaviors I want to decrease and end them by punishing them. For, Example If my child brought home a report card with straight A's I would reward it. If my child bought home all F's I would punish it by grounding them.

Overall, Behaviorism has had a durable influence on everything from animal training to parenting techniques. It implies that evrything is a behavior and it gives us tips on how we can correct them or control them. It has its ups and downs like everything else in the world. I think behavioriam is an acceptional theory.