Behaviorism - Essay Example

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John B. Watson established the psychological school of thought pertaining to behaviorism. Evidently, in Watson’s psychology review paper, the fundamental precincts of behaviorism were based on notion that beliefs could be changed, trained and measured. …
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Download file to see previous pages To this end, behaviorism or behavioral psychology is based on the notion the all behaviors resulted from conditioning. This condition process manifests itself through an active environmental interaction. Thus, the implication connoted by behaviorist is that environmental stimuli responses determine behavior. In the development of behaviorism, notable scientists such as Ivan Pavlov, John B. Watson and Albert Bandura played critical roles. Pavlonian Classical Conditioning In retracing the history of behaviorism, the renowned physiologist, Ivan Pavlov is credited with pioneering the classical or pavlonian conditioning. Evidently, the classical conditioning was arrived at accidently. It was during Ivan Pavlov’s scientific experimentation with dogs that the fundamentals of classical conditioning began to take root. Pavlov was observing at the physiological response of salivation in dogs when subjected to feeding. Evidently, whenever Pavlov approached the dogs, they would incidentally begin salivating. Interestingly enough, this phenomenon was constant whether Pavlov was bringing them food or not (McLeod, 2007). At this juncture, Pavlov developed an initial theory that there existed some things that are not essentially learnt by dogs. A case in point was the salivating response in which the reflex is naturally fixated in the dog. Thus, he termed the phenomenon as an unconditioned response. An unconditioned response is basically a stimuli reflex that is disassociated from learning. To this end, Pavlov scientifically discovered the presence of an unconditioned reflex by showing a dog some food and proceeding to measure its amount of salivary excretions. However, it is of essence to note that Pavlov discovered that the dogs had developed a new characteristic whereby they associated his lab assistant with. Evidently, the salivating increased whenever the dogs saw his lab assistant. Previously, the did not exhibit this behavior with his lab assistant. Consequently, Ivan Pavlov concluded that this newly acquired behavior must have been learnt by the dogs. The dogs had developed the behavior of associating his lab assistant with food; which would instantly trigger increased salivation. To this end, Pavlov believed that a learning process by the dogs had led to the newly acquired behavior. The behaviorist fundamentals show that the lab assistant was previously a neutral stimulus. The neutrality state is justifiable due to the lack of a response. However, over time the dogs had learnt to associate the lab assistant (neutral stimuli) with food (unconditioned stimulus). In order to ascertain this theory, Pavlov incorporated a bell to be used as a neutral stimulus. Incidentally, the bell was rang at around the same time when the dogs were about to be fed. This procedure was repeated several times until whenever the bell was rang on its own without food, it triggered an instantaneous salivation from the dogs. As a result, the dogs had learnt a new behavior by developing an intricate relationship between the food and the bell. This response is what became termed as a conditioned response due to the fact that it was learnt. Moreover, the neutral stimulus from henceforth changed to a conditioned stimulus. Classical Conditioning John B. Watson is credited with publishing the article entitled, ‘Psychology as the behaviorist views it’ In the article, Watson demonstrated all the fundamentals of human psychology by the use of classical conditioning. It is of essence to note that Watson’s conditioning perspective drew inspiration from Pavlov’s observations. To this end, Watson theorized that the aspects of human emotional responses and speech were basically derivatives of stimulus and response. Interestingly enough, Watson was in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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