John B. Watson's Theory Of Behaviorism

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Behaviourism is defined as “the approach to psychology which argues that the only appropriate subject matter for scientific psychological investigation is observable, measurable behaviour”. (Reber 1985) The changes in our behaviour are developed from the world around us. As these conditions change, we begin to develop a new way of behaving. If we acknowledge the theories of behaviourists, we should then develop a better understanding of the human behaviour. Although John B. Watson defined behaviourism, Do we truly understanding the meaning behind it? As humans, we observe our surroundings and watch what other people do. From this we adapt and maintain certain behaviours. With this knowledge and understanding, we are given a chance to adapt…show more content…
Skinner believed that learning was more than a reflex to stimuli. His view was based on the idea of rewards and punishment. In 1931, skinner invented the “Skinner Box” (Hull, 1933). In this box, Skinner portrayed the idea of positive reinforcement. This is when a stimulus is followed by a response that encourages the repetition of the response. In the case of the pigeons, they were rewarded with food pellets for pressing a lever. At first this action may have been accidental, as the pigeons are trying to make a connection. As the trial and error progresses, they soon realise the relationship between the action and reward. He then also undertook this experiment with rats. Even though his experiment concept, method and conclusion are valid and effective, it imposes limitations as it wasn’t carried out on humans. He then went on to look into different types of partical reinforcement such as Fixed Interval, Variable Interval, Fixed Ratio and Variable Ratio. This was to make sure that the time taken between the action and response would reinforce the idea for the animal. Skinner’s theory is still practised in today’s world. An example of this would be a parent rewarding or punishing a child for their actions. If a child was to behave in the wrong manner, the parent must correct them immediately. If not the punishment may be impacting on a different action and the child would not have comprehended the mistake they have made. Other effective examples are the training for Guide dogs for the blind and the role of hospital personnel. Positive reinforcement is the root of this basic training. With positive guidance, patients are guided to

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