Behaviorism

Behaviorism (or behaviourism) is a systematic approach to understanding the behavior of humans and other animals. It assumes that all behaviors are either reflexes produced by a response to certain stimuli in the environment, or a consequence of that individual's history, including especially reinforcement and punishment, together with the individual's current motivational state and controlling stimuli. Although behaviorists generally accept the important role of inheritance in determining behavior, they focus primarily on environmental factors.

Behaviorism combines elements of philosophy, methodology, and psychological theory. It emerged in the late nineteenth century as a reaction to depth psychology and other traditional forms of psychology, which often had difficulty making predictions that could be tested experimentally. The earliest derivatives of Behaviorism can be traced back to the late 19th century where Edward Thorndike pioneered the law of effect, a process that involved strengthening behavior through the use of reinforcement.

During the first half of the twentieth century, John B. Watson devised methodological behaviorism, which rejected introspective methods and sought to understand behavior by only measuring observable behaviors and events. It was not until the 1930s that B. F. Skinner suggested that private events—including thoughts and feelings—should be subjected to the same controlling variables as observable behavior, which became the basis for his philosophy called "radical behaviorism."[1][2] While Watson and Ivan Pavlov investigated the stimulus-response procedures of classical conditioning, Skinner assessed the controlling nature of consequences and also its potential effect on the antecedents (or discriminative stimuli) that strengthens behavior; the technique became known as operant conditioning.

Skinner's radical behaviorism has been highly successful experimentally, revealing new phenomena with new methods, but Skinner’s dismissal of theory limited its development. Theoretical behaviorism[3] recognized that a historical system, an organism, has a state as well as sensitivity to stimuli and the ability to emit responses. Indeed, Skinner himself acknowledged the possibility of what he called “latent” responses in humans, even though he neglected to extend this idea to rats and pigeons.[4] Latent responses constitute a repertoire, from which operant reinforcement can select.

The application of radical behaviorism—known as applied behavior analysis—is used in a variety of settings, including, for example, organizational behavior management, to the treatment of mental disorders, such as autism and substance abuse.[5][6][7] In addition, while behaviorism and cognitive schools of psychological thought may not agree theoretically, they have complemented each other in cognitive-behavior therapies, which have demonstrated utility in treating certain pathologies, including simple phobias, PTSD, and mood disorders.

Varieties

There is no universally agreed-upon classification, but some titles given to the various branches of behaviorism include:

  • Methodological behaviorism: Watson's behaviorism states that only public events (behaviors of an individual) can be objectively observed, and that therefore private events (thoughts and feelings) should be ignored.[1][8][9] It also became the basis for the early approach behavior modification in the 1970s and early 1980s.
  • Radical behaviorism: B. F. Skinner's behaviorism theorizes that processes within the organism should be acknowledged, particularly the presence of private events (such as thoughts and feelings), and suggests that environmental variables also control these internal events just as they control observable behaviors. Radical behaviorism forms the core philosophy behind behavior analysis. Willard Van Orman Quine used many of radical behaviorism's ideas in his study of knowledge and language.[8]
  • Teleological behaviorism: Post-Skinnerian, purposive, close to microeconomics. Focuses on objective observation as opposed to cognitive processes.
  • Psychological behaviorism: As proposed by Arthur W. Staats, unlike the previous behaviorisms of Skinner, Hull, and Tolman, was based upon a program of human research involving various types of human behavior. Psychological behaviorism introduces new principles of human learning. Humans learn not only by the animal learning principles but also by special human learning principles. Those principles involve human's uniquely huge learning ability. Humans learn repertoires that enable them to learn other things. Human learning is thus cumulative. No other animal demonstrates that ability, making the human species unique.
  • Interbehaviorism: Founded by Jacob Robert Kantor before Skinner's writings.

Two subtypes are:

  • Hullian and post-Hullian: theoretical, group data, not dynamic, physiological
  • Purposive: Tolman's behavioristic anticipation of cognitive psychology

Radical behaviorism

B. F. Skinner proposed radical behaviorism as the conceptual underpinning of the experimental analysis of behavior. This view differs from other approaches to behavioral research in various ways but, most notably here, it contrasts with methodological behaviorism in accepting feelings, states of mind and introspection as behaviors subject to scientific investigation. Like methodological behaviorism it rejects the reflex as a model of all behavior, and it defends the science of behavior as complementary to but independent of physiology. Radical behaviorism overlaps considerably with other western philosophical positions such as American pragmatism.[10]

Experimental and conceptual innovations

This essentially philosophical position gained strength from the success of Skinner's early experimental work with rats and pigeons, summarized in his books The Behavior of Organisms[11] and Schedules of Reinforcement.[12] Of particular importance was his concept of the operant response, of which the canonical example was the rat's lever-press. In contrast with the idea of a physiological or reflex response, an operant is a class of structurally distinct but functionally equivalent responses. For example, while a rat might press a lever with its left paw or its right paw or its tail, all of these responses operate on the world in the same way and have a common consequence. Operants are often thought of as species of responses, where the individuals differ but the class coheres in its function-shared consequences with operants and reproductive success with species. This is a clear distinction between Skinner's theory and S–R theory.

Skinner's empirical work expanded on earlier research on trial-and-error learning by researchers such as Thorndike and Guthrie with both conceptual reformulations—Thorndike's notion of a stimulus–response "association" or "connection" was abandoned; and methodological ones—the use of the "free operant", so called because the animal was now permitted to respond at its own rate rather than in a series of trials determined by the experimenter procedures. With this method, Skinner carried out substantial experimental work on the effects of different schedules and rates of reinforcement on the rates of operant responses made by rats and pigeons. He achieved remarkable success in training animals to perform unexpected responses, to emit large numbers of responses, and to demonstrate many empirical regularities at the purely behavioral level. This lent some credibility to his conceptual analysis. It is largely his conceptual analysis that made his work much more rigorous than his peers', a point which can be seen clearly in his seminal work Are Theories of Learning Necessary? in which he criticizes what he viewed to be theoretical weaknesses then common in the study of psychology. An important descendant of the experimental analysis of behavior is the Society for Quantitative Analysis of Behavior.[13][14]

Relation to language

As Skinner turned from experimental work to concentrate on the philosophical underpinnings of a science of behavior, his attention turned to human language with his 1957 book Verbal Behavior[15] and other language-related publications;[16] Verbal Behavior laid out a vocabulary and theory for functional analysis of verbal behavior, and was strongly criticized in a review by Noam Chomsky.[17][18]

Skinner did not respond in detail but claimed that Chomsky failed to understand his ideas,[19] and the disagreements between the two and the theories involved have been further discussed.[20][21][22][23][24][25] Innateness theory, which has been heavily critiqued,[26][27] is opposed to behaviorist theory which claims that language is a set of habits that can be acquired by means of conditioning.[28][29][30] According to some, the behaviorist account is a process which would be too slow to explain a phenomenon as complicated as language learning. What was important for a behaviorist's analysis of human behavior was not language acquisition so much as the interaction between language and overt behavior. In an essay republished in his 1969 book Contingencies of Reinforcement,[31] Skinner took the view that humans could construct linguistic stimuli that would then acquire control over their behavior in the same way that external stimuli could. The possibility of such "instructional control" over behavior meant that contingencies of reinforcement would not always produce the same effects on human behavior as they reliably do in other animals. The focus of a radical behaviorist analysis of human behavior therefore shifted to an attempt to understand the interaction between instructional control and contingency control, and also to understand the behavioral processes that determine what instructions are constructed and what control they acquire over behavior. Recently, a new line of behavioral research on language was started under the name of relational frame theory.[32][33][34][35]

Education

Behaviourism focuses on one particular view of learning: a change in external behaviour achieved through using reinforcement and repetition (Rote learning) to shape behavior of learners. Skinner found that behaviors could be shaped when the use of reinforcement was implemented. Desired behavior is rewarded, while the undesired behavior is not rewarded.[36] Incorporating behaviorism into the classroom allowed educators to assist their students in excelling both academically and personally. In the field of language learning, this type of teaching was called the audio-lingual method, characterised by the whole class using choral chanting of key phrases, dialogues and immediate correction.

Within the behaviourist view of learning, the "teacher" is the dominant person in the classroom and takes complete control, evaluation of learning comes from the teacher who decides what is right or wrong. The learner does not have any opportunity for evaluation or reflection within the learning process, they are simply told what is right or wrong. The conceptualization of learning using this approach could be considered "superficial" as the focus is on external changes in behaviour i.e. not interested in the internal processes of learning leading to behaviour change and has no place for the emotions involved the process.

Operant conditioning

Operant conditioning was developed by B.F. Skinner in 1937 and deals with the modification of "voluntary behaviour" or operant behaviour. Operant is a set of stimulus that produces meaningful consequences to an animal. It can further divided into Reinforcement (stimulus that increase the probability of performing behaviors) and punishment (stimulus that decrease the probability of performing behaviors). The core tools of operant conditioning, are either positive (delivered following a response), or negative (withdrawn following a response).[37] The following descriptions explained the concepts of four common types of operant conditioning in details:

  • Positive reinforcement: Providing a stimulus that an individual desires to reinforce desired behaviors. For example, a child loves playing video games. His mother reinforced his tendency to provide a helping hands to other family members by providing more time for him to play video games.
  • Negative reinforcement: Removing a stimulus that an individual does not desire to reinforce desired behaviors. For example, a child hates being nagged to clean his room. His mother reinforces his room cleaning by removing the undesired stimulus of nagging after he has cleaned.
  • Positive punishment: Providing a stimulus that an individual does not desire to decrease undesired behaviors. For example, a child hates to do chores. His parents will try to reduce the undesired behavior of failing a test by applying the undesired stimuli of more chores around the house.
  • Negative punishment: Removing a stimulus that an individual desires in order to decrease undesired behaviors. For example, a child loves playing video games. His parents will try to reduce the undired behavior of failing an exam by removing the desired stimulus of video games.

Classical experiment in operant conditioning, for example the Skinner Box, "puzzle box" or operant conditioning chamber to test the effects of operant conditioning principles on rats, cats and other species. From the study of Skinner box, he discovered that the rats learned very effectively if they were rewarded frequently with food. Skinner also found that he could shape the rats' behavior through the use of rewards, which could, in turn, be applied to human learning as well.

Skinner's model was based on the premise that reinforcement is used for the desired actions or responses while punishment was used to stop the undesired actions responses that are not. This theory proved that humans or animals will repeat any action that leads to a positive outcome, and avoiding any action that leads to a negative outcome. The experiment with the pigeons showed that a positive outcome leads to learned behavior since the pigeon learned to peck the disc in return for the reward of food.

Ratio and interval

In operant conditioning experimentation, research frequently presented reinforcement and punishment based on either time (interval) or number of responses (ratio). They can be fixed and variable by nature. The following descriptions are four common types of ratio and interval schedules:

  • Fixed ratio: Presenting a reinforcement or punishment after a certain number of responses are met. For example, after a child finished 3 homework assignments, the parents presented him a gift. In this case, a reinforcer is present only after 3 responses are made. Therefore, this is a FR3 schedule (the short form of Fixed ratio 3 , the number after fixed ratio representing the number of responses made in order to pursue a reinforcement/punishment)
  • Fixed interval: After an individual/animal performed one targeted behavior (e.g. pressing a bar for food in rats), the reinforcement or punishment is presented after a fixed amount of time. For example, after the rats presses a bar, it will receive some food 60 seconds after the behavior of pressing the bar.
  • Variable ratio: Presenting reinforcement or punishment after several number of random responses are met. For example after the first time a child finished 3 homework assignments, the parents presented him a gift. But for the following four times, the child receive gift after he finished 1, 2, 3 and 1 homework assignments. In this case, the child received a gift after finishing an average of 2 homeworks. Therefore, this is a VR2 schedule (the short form of Variable Ratio 2, the number after variable ratio representing the average number of responses made in order to pursue a reinforcement/punishment).
  • Variable interval: Presenting reinforcement or punishment after random interval of time has pass through. For example, at the first five trials, if a child finished a homework assignment, the parents presented him a gift after 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 minutes respectively. In this case, the gift is presented only if a child finished a homework and wait for a variable period of time. Therefore, this is a VI3 schedule (the short form of Variable Interval 3, the number after variable interval representing the average time after an individual performed the targeted behavior).

Classical conditioning

Although operant conditioning plays the largest role in discussions of behavioral mechanisms, classical conditioning (or Pavlovian conditioning or respondent conditioning) is also an important behavior-analytic process that need not refer to mental or other internal processes. Pavlov's experiments with dogs provide the most familiar example of the classical conditioning procedure. At the beginning, the dog was provided a meat (unconditioned stimulus, UCS, naturally elicit a response that is not controlled) to eat, resulting in increased salivation (unconditioned response, UCR, which means that a response is naturally caused by UCS). Afterwards, a bell ring was presented together with food to the dog. Although bell ring was a natural stimulus (NS, meaning that the stimulus did not had any effect), dog would start salivate when only hearing a bell ring after a number of pairings. Eventually, the neutral stimulus (bell ring) became conditioned. Therefore, salvation was elicited as a conditioned response (the response same as the unconditioned response, pairing up with meat—the conditioned stimulus) [38] Although Pavlov proposed some tentative physiological processes that might be involved in classical conditioning, these have not been confirmed. The idea of classical conditioning helped behaviorist John Watson discover the key mechanism behind how humans acquire the behaviors that they do, which was to find a natural reflex that produces the response being considered.

Watson's "Behaviourist Manifesto" has three aspects that deserve special recognition: one is that psychology should be purely objective, with any interpretation of conscious experience being removed, thus leading to psychology as the "science of behaviour"; the second one is that the goals of psychology should be to predict and control behaviour (as opposed to describe and explain conscious mental states; the third one is that there is no notable distinction between human and non-human behaviour. Following Darwin's theory of evolution, this would simply mean that human behaviour is just a more complex version in respect to behaviour displayed by other species.[39]

In philosophy

Behaviorism is a psychological movement that can be contrasted with philosophy of mind.[40][41][42] The basic premise of radical behaviorism is that the study of behavior should be a natural science, such as chemistry or physics, without any reference to hypothetical inner states of organisms as causes for their behavior.[43][44] Behaviorism takes a functional view of behavior. According to Edmund Fantino and colleagues: "Behavior analysis has much to offer the study of phenomena normally dominated by cognitive and social psychologists. We hope that successful application of behavioral theory and methodology will not only shed light on central problems in judgment and choice but will also generate greater appreciation of the behavioral approach."[45]

Behaviorist sentiments are not uncommon within philosophy of language and analytic philosophy. It is sometimes argued that Ludwig Wittgenstein defended a logical behaviorist position[9] (e.g., the beetle in a box argument). In logical positivism (as held, e.g., by Rudolf Carnap[9] and Carl Hempel),[9] the meaning of psychological statements are their verification conditions, which consist of performed overt behavior. W. V. O. Quine made use of a type of behaviorism,[9] influenced by some of Skinner's ideas, in his own work on language. Quine's work in semantics differed substantially from the empiricist semantics of Carnap which he attempted to create an alternative to, couching his semantic theory in references to physical objects rather than sensations. Gilbert Ryle defended a distinct strain of philosophical behaviorism, sketched in his book The Concept of Mind.[9] Ryle's central claim was that instances of dualism frequently represented "category mistakes", and hence that they were really misunderstandings of the use of ordinary language. Daniel Dennett likewise acknowledges himself to be a type of behaviorist,[46] though he offers extensive criticism of radical behaviorism and refutes Skinner's rejection of the value of intentional idioms and the possibility of free will.[47]

This is Dennett's main point in "Skinner Skinned." Dennett argues that there is a crucial difference between explaining and explaining away… If our explanation of apparently rational behavior turns out to be extremely simple, we may want to say that the behavior was not really rational after all. But if the explanation is very complex and intricate, we may want to say not that the behavior is not rational, but that we now have a better understanding of what rationality consists in. (Compare: if we find out how a computer program solves problems in linear algebra, we don't say it's not really solving them, we just say we know how it does it. On the other hand, in cases like Weizenbaum's ELIZA program, the explanation of how the computer carries on a conversation is so simple that the right thing to say seems to be that the machine isn't really carrying on a conversation, it's just a trick.)

— Curtis Brown, Philosophy of Mind, "Behaviorism: Skinner and Dennett"[48]

Molecular versus molar behaviorism

Skinner's view of behavior is most often characterized as a "molecular" view of behavior; that is, behavior can be decomposed into atomistic parts or molecules. This view is inconsistent with Skinner's complete description of behavior as delineated in other works, including his 1981 article "Selection by Consequences".[49] Skinner proposed that a complete account of behavior requires understanding of selection history at three levels: biology (the natural selection or phylogeny of the animal); behavior (the reinforcement history or ontogeny of the behavioral repertoire of the animal); and for some species, culture (the cultural practices of the social group to which the animal belongs). This whole organism then interacts with its environment. Molecular behaviorists use notions from melioration theory, negative power function discounting or additive versions of negative power function discounting.[50]

Molar behaviorists, such as Howard Rachlin, Richard Herrnstein, and William Baum, argue that behavior cannot be understood by focusing on events in the moment. That is, they argue that behavior is best understood as the ultimate product of an organism's history and that molecular behaviorists are committing a fallacy by inventing fictitious proximal causes for behavior. Molar behaviorists argue that standard molecular constructs, such as "associative strength", are better replaced by molar variables such as rate of reinforcement.[51] Thus, a molar behaviorist would describe "loving someone" as a pattern of loving behavior over time; there is no isolated, proximal cause of loving behavior, only a history of behaviors (of which the current behavior might be an example) that can be summarized as "love".

21st-century behavior analysis

The early term behavior modification has been obsolete since the 1990s as it currently refers to the brief revival of methodological behaviorism in the 1970s and early 1980s.[52][53][54] Applied behavior analysis—the term that replaced behavior modification—has emerged into a thriving field.

The independent development of behaviour analysis outside the US also continues to develop, In terms of motivation, there remains strong interest in the variety of human motivational behaviour factors, e.g.,.[55][56][57][58][59] Some, may go as far as suggesting that the current rapid change in organisational behaviour could partly be attributed to some of these theories and the theories that are related to it.[60]

The interests among behavior analysts today are wide-ranging, as a review of the 30 Special Interest Groups (SIGs) within ABAI indicates. Such interests include everything from developmental disabilities and autism, to cultural psychology, clinical psychology, verbal behavior, Organizational Behavior Management (OBM; behavior analytic I–O psychology). OBM has developed a particularly strong following within behavior analysis, as evidenced by the formation of the OBM Network and the influential Journal of Organizational Behavior Management (JOBM; recently rated the 3rd highest impact journal in applied psychology by ISI JOBM rating).

Applications of behavioral technology, also known as applied behavior analysis or ABA, have been particularly well established in the area of developmental disabilities since the 1960s. Treatment of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders has grown especially rapidly since the mid-1990s. This demand for services encouraged the formation of a professional credentialing program administered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. (BACB) and accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. As of early 2012, there are over 300 BACB approved course sequences offered by about 200 colleges and universities worldwide preparing students for this credential and approximately 11,000 BACB certificants, most working in the United States. The Association of Professional Behavior Analysts was formed in 2008 to meet the needs of these ABA professionals.

Modern behavior analysis has also witnessed a massive resurgence in research and applications related to language and cognition, with the development of relational frame theory (RFT; described as a "Post-Skinnerian account of language and cognition").[61][32][33][34] RFT also forms the empirical basis for the successful and data-driven acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).[62][63][64][65][66][67]

Some of the behavior analytic journals include the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA), the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (JEAB), the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management (JOBM), Behavior and Social Issues (BSI), the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS), as well as the Psychological Record.

Currently, the US has 14 ABAI accredited MA and PhD programs for comprehensive study in behavior analysis.

Behavior analysis and culture

Cultural analysis has always been at the philosophical core of radical behaviorism from the early days (as seen in Skinner's Walden Two, Science & Human Behavior, Beyond Freedom & Dignity, and About Behaviorism).

During the 1980s, behavior analysts, most notably Sigrid Glenn, had a productive interchange with cultural anthropologist Marvin Harris (the most notable proponent of "cultural materialism") regarding interdisciplinary work. Very recently, behavior analysts have produced a set of basic exploratory experiments in an effort toward this end.[68] Behaviorism is also frequently used in game development, although this application is controversial.[69]

Behavior informatics and behavior computing

With the fast growth of big behavioral data and applications, behavior analysis is ubiquitous. Understanding behavior from the informatics and computing perspective becomes increasingly critical for in-depth understanding of what, why and how behaviors are formed, interact, evolve, change and affect business and decision. Behavior informatics[70][71] and behavior computing[72][73] deeply explore behavior intelligence and behavior insights from the informatics and computing perspectives.

Criticisms and limitations

In the second half of the 20th century, behaviorism was largely eclipsed as a result of the cognitive revolution.[74][75] This shift was due to methodological behaviorism being highly criticized for not examining mental processes, and this led to the development of the cognitive therapy movement. In the mid-20th century, three main influences arose that would inspire and shape cognitive psychology as a formal school of thought:

  • Noam Chomsky's 1959 critique of behaviorism, and empiricism more generally, initiated what would come to be known as the "cognitive revolution".[76]
  • Developments in computer science would lead to parallels being drawn between human thought and the computational functionality of computers, opening entirely new areas of psychological thought. Allen Newell and Herbert Simon spent years developing the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) and later worked with cognitive psychologists regarding the implications of AI. The effective result was more of a framework conceptualization of mental functions with their counterparts in computers (memory, storage, retrieval, etc.)
  • Formal recognition of the field involved the establishment of research institutions such as George Mandler's Center for Human Information Processing in 1964. Mandler described the origins of cognitive psychology in a 2002 article in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences[77]

In the early years of cognitive psychology, behaviorist critics held that the empiricism it pursued was incompatible with the concept of internal mental states. Cognitive neuroscience, however, continues to gather evidence of direct correlations between physiological brain activity and putative mental states, endorsing the basis for cognitive psychology.

List of notable behaviorists

See also

Related therapies

References

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Further reading

  • Baum, W.M. (1994) Understanding behaviorism: Behavior, Culture and Evolution. Blackwell.
  • Cao, L.B. (2013) IJCAI2013 tutorial on behavior informatics and computing.
  • Cao, L.B. (2014) Non-IIDness Learning in Behavioral and Social Data, The Computer Journal, 57(9): 1358–1370.
  • Chiesa, Mecca (1994). "Radical Behaviorism: The Philosophy and the Science". Authors Cooperative, Inc.
  • Cooper, John O., Heron, Timothy E., & Heward, William L. (2007). "Applied Behavior Analysis: Second Edition". Pearson.
  • Ferster, C.B. & Skinner, B.F. (1957). Schedules of reinforcement. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
  • Malott, Richard W. Principles of Behavior. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. Print.
  • Mills, John A., Control: A History of Behavioral Psychology, Paperback Edition, New York University Press 2000.
  • Lattal, K.A. & Chase, P.N. (2003) "Behavior Theory and Philosophy". Plenum.
  • Pierce, W. David & Cheney, Carl D. (2013). "Behavior Analysis and Learning: Fifth Edition". Psychology Press.
  • Plotnik, Rod. (2005) Introduction to Psychology. Thomson-Wadsworth (ISBN 0-534-63407-9).
  • Rachlin, H. (1991) Introduction to modern behaviorism. (3rd edition.) New York: Freeman.
  • Skinner, B.F. Beyond Freedom & Dignity, Hackett Publishing Co, Inc 2002.
  • Skinner, B.F. (1938). The behavior of organisms. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
  • Skinner, B.F. (1945). "The operational analysis of psychological terms". Psychological Review. 52 (270–7): 290–4. doi:10.1037/h0062535.
  • Skinner, B.F. (1953). Science and Human Behavior (ISBN 0-02-929040-6) Online version.
  • Skinner, B.F. (1957). Verbal behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  • Skinner, B.F. (1969). Contingencies of reinforcement: a theoretical analysis. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
  • Skinner, B.F. (31 July 1981). "Selection by Consequences" (PDF). Science. 213 (4507): 501–4. Bibcode:1981Sci...213..501S. doi:10.1126/science.7244649. PMID 7244649. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 July 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  • Klein, P. (2013) "Explanation of Behavioural Psychotherapy Styles". [10].
  • Staddon, J. (2014) The New Behaviorism, 2nd Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press. pp. xi, 1–282.
  • Watson, J.B. (1913). Psychology as the behaviorist views it. Psychological Review, 20, 158–177. (on-line).
  • Watson, J.B. (1919). Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist.
  • Watson, J.B. (1924). Behaviorism.
  • Zuriff, G.E. (1985). Behaviorism: A Conceptual Reconstruction, Columbia University Press.
  • LeClaire, J. and Rushin, J.P. (2010) Behavioral Analytics For Dummies. Wiley. (ISBN 978-0-470-58727-0).

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Aversion therapy

Aversion therapy is a form of psychological treatment in which the patient is exposed to a stimulus while simultaneously being subjected to some form of discomfort. This conditioning is intended to cause the patient to associate the stimulus with unpleasant sensations with the intention of quelling the targeted (sometimes compulsive) behavior.

Aversion therapies can take many forms, for example: placing unpleasant-tasting substances on the fingernails to discourage nail-chewing; pairing the use of an emetic with the experience of alcohol; or pairing behavior with electric shocks of mild to higher intensities.

B. F. Skinner

Burrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20, 1904 – August 18, 1990), commonly known as B. F. Skinner, was an American psychologist, behaviorist, author, inventor, and social philosopher. He was the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1974.Skinner considered free will an illusion and human action dependent on consequences of previous actions. If the consequences are bad, there is a high chance the action will not be repeated; if the consequences are good, the probability of the action being repeated becomes stronger. Skinner called this the principle of reinforcement.To strengthen behavior, Skinner used operant conditioning, and he considered the rate of response to be the most effective measure of response strength. To study operant conditioning, he invented the operant conditioning chamber, also known as the Skinner Box, and to measure rate he invented the cumulative recorder. Using these tools, he and C. B. Ferster produced his most influential experimental work, which appeared in their book Schedules of Reinforcement (1957).Skinner developed behavior analysis, the philosophy of that science he called radical behaviorism, and founded a school of experimental research psychology—the experimental analysis of behavior. He imagined the application of his ideas to the design of a human community in his utopian novel, Walden Two, and his analysis of human behavior culminated in his work, Verbal Behavior.

Skinner was a prolific author who published 21 books and 180 articles. Contemporary academia considers Skinner a pioneer of modern behaviorism, along with John B. Watson and Ivan Pavlov. A June 2002 survey listed Skinner as the most influential psychologist of the 20th century.

Behavior modification

Behavior modification refers to behavior-change procedures that were employed during the 1970s and early 1980s. Based on methodological behaviorism, overt behavior was modified with presumed consequences, including artificial positive and negative reinforcement contingencies to increase desirable behavior, or administering positive and negative punishment and/or extinction to reduce problematic behavior. For the treatment of phobias, habituation and punishment were the basic principles used in flooding, a subcategory of desensitization.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA)—the application of behavior analysis—is based on radical behaviorism, which refers to B. F. Skinner's viewpoint that cognition and emotions are covert behavior that are to be subjected to the same conditions as overt behavior.

Behavioral geography

Behavioral geography is an approach to human geography that examines human behavior using a disaggregate approach. Behavioral geographers focus on the cognitive processes underlying spatial reasoning, decision making, and behavior. In addition, behavioral geography is an ideology/approach in human geography that makes use of the methods and assumptions of behaviorism to determine the cognitive processes involved in an individual's perception of or response and reaction to their environment.

Behavioral geography is that branch of human science, which deals with the study of cognitive processes with its response to its environment, through behaviorism.

Behaviour therapy

Behavior therapy is a broad term referring to clinical psychotherapy that uses techniques derived from behaviorism. Those who practice behavior therapy tend to look at specific, learned behaviors and how the environment influences those behaviors. Those who practice behavior therapy are called behaviourists, or behavior analysts. They tend to look for treatment outcomes that are objectively measurable. Behavior therapy does not involve one specific method but it has a wide range of techniques that can be used to treat a person's psychological problems.Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the application of behavior analysis that focuses on assessing how environmental variables influence learning principles, particularly respondent and operant conditioning, to identify potential behavior-change procedures, which are frequently used throughout clinical therapy. Cognitive-behavior therapy views cognition and emotions as preceding overt behavior with treatment plans in psychotherapy to lessen the issue. Hallmark techniques of behaviour therapies are overlapping components of cognitive psychology, in addition to behaviour analytic principles of counterconditioning, punishment, habituation, and functional analysis (FA).

Methodological behaviorism, which does not acknowledge that behavior can also be covert, is not entirely outdated in clinical practice. Exposure and response prevention (ERP), a subcategory of "Flooding" desensitization and derived from methodological behaviorism, for example, is typically used for clients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Although not entirely behavior analytic in theory, the behavior therapist will first use functional behavior assessments (FBAs) and behaviour intervention plans (BIPs) before implementing the intervention, and does rely on functional analysis in that respect.

Chaining

Chaining is an instructional procedure used in behavioral psychology, experimental analysis of behavior and applied behavior analysis. It involves reinforcing individual responses occurring in a sequence to form a complex behavior. It is frequently used for training behavioral sequences (or "chains") that are beyond the current repertoire of the learner. The term is often credited to the work of B.F. Skinner, an American psychologist working at Harvard University in the 1930s.

Clinical behavior analysis

Clinical behavior analysis (CBA; also called clinical behaviour analysis or third-generation behavior therapy) is the clinical application of behavior analysis (ABA). CBA represents a movement in behavior therapy away from methodological behaviorism and back toward radical behaviorism and the use of functional analytic models of verbal behavior—particularly, relational frame theory (RFT).

Cognitive revolution

The cognitive revolution was an intellectual movement that began in the 1950s as an interdisciplinary study of the mind and its processes, which became known collectively as cognitive science. The relevant areas of interchange were between the fields of psychology, anthropology, and linguistics using approaches developed within the then-nascent fields of artificial intelligence, computer science, and neuroscience. A key goal of early cognitive psychology was to apply the scientific method to the study of human cognition by designing experiments that used computational models of artificial intelligence to systematically test theories about human mental processes in a controlled laboratory setting.Important publications that triggered the cognitive revolution include psychologist George Miller's 1956 article "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two" (one of the most frequently cited papers in psychology), linguist Noam Chomsky's rejection of the behaviorist approach in his 1959 review of B.F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior (1957), and foundational works in the field of artificial intelligence by John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, Allen Newell, and Herbert Simon, such as the 1958 article "Elements of a Theory of Human Problem Solving". Ulric Neisser's 1967 book Cognitive Psychology was also a landmark contribution.In the 1960s, the Harvard Center for Cognitive Studies and the Center for Human Information Processing at the University of California San Diego were influential in developing the academic study of cognitive science. By the early 1970s, the cognitive movement had surpassed behaviorism as a psychological paradigm, and by the early 1980s, the cognitive approach had become the dominant line of research inquiry across most branches in the field of psychology.

Desensitization (psychology)

In psychology, desensitization is a treatment or process that diminishes emotional responsiveness to a negative, aversive or positive stimulus after repeated exposure to it. Desensitization also occurs when an emotional response is repeatedly evoked in situations in which the action tendency that is associated with the emotion proves irrelevant or unnecessary. The process of desensitization was developed by psychologist Mary Cover Jones, and is primarily used to assist individuals in unlearning phobias and anxieties. Joseph Wolpe (1958) developed a method of a hierarchal list of anxiety evoking stimuli in order of intensity, which allows individuals to undergo adaption. Although medication is available for individuals suffering from anxiety, fear or phobias, empirical evidence supports desensitization with high rates of cure, particularly in clients suffering from depression or schizophrenia.

Experimental analysis of behavior

The experimental analysis of behavior (EAB) is school of thought in psychology founded on B. F. Skinner's philosophy of radical behaviorism and defines the basic principles used in applied behavior analysis (ABA). A central principle was the inductive, data-driven examination of functional relations, as opposed to the kinds of hypothetico-deductive learning theory that had grown up in the comparative psychology of the 1920–1950 period. Skinner's approach was characterized by empirical observation of measurable behavior which could be predicted and controlled. It owed its early success to the effectiveness of Skinner's procedures of operant conditioning, both in the laboratory and in behavior therapy.

Functional contextualism

Functional contextualism is a modern philosophy of science rooted in philosophical pragmatism and contextualism. It is most actively developed in behavioral science in general and the field of behavior analysis and contextual behavioral science in particular (see the entry for the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science). Functional contextualism serves as the basis of a theory of language known as relational frame theory and its most prominent application, acceptance and commitment therapy. It is an extension and contextualistic interpretation of B.F. Skinner's radical behaviorism first delineated by Steven C. Hayes which emphasizes the importance of predicting and influencing psychological events (including thoughts, feelings, and behaviors) with precision, scope, and depth, by focusing on manipulable variables in their context.

John B. Watson

John Broadus Watson (January 9, 1878 – September 25, 1958) was an American psychologist who established the psychological school of behaviorism. Watson promoted a change in psychology through his address Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it, which was given at Columbia University in 1913. Through his behaviorist approach, Watson conducted research on animal behavior, child rearing, and advertising. In addition, he conducted the controversial "Little Albert" experiment and the Kerplunk experiment. Watson popularized the use of the scientific theory with behaviorism. He was also editor of Psychological Review from 1910 to 1915. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Watson as the 17th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

List of psychological schools

The psychological schools are the great classical theories of psychology. Each has been highly influential; however, most psychologists hold eclectic viewpoints that combine aspects of each school.

Mentalism (psychology)

In psychology, mentalism refers to those branches of study that concentrate on perception and thought processes: for example, mental imagery, consciousness and cognition, as in cognitive psychology. The term mentalism has been used primarily by behaviorists who believe that scientific psychology should focus on the structure of causal relationships to conditioned responses, or on the functions of behavior.Neither mentalism nor behaviorism are mutually exclusive fields; elements of one can be seen in the other, perhaps more so in modern times compared to the advent of psychology over a century ago.

Radical behaviorism

Radical behaviorism was pioneered by B. F. Skinner and is his "philosophy of the science of behavior." It refers to the philosophy behind behavior analysis, and is to be distinguished from methodological behaviorism—which has an intense emphasis on observable behaviors—by its inclusion of thinking, feeling, and other private events in the analysis of human and animal psychology. The research in behavior analysis is called the experimental analysis of behavior and the application of this field is called applied behavior analysis (ABA), which was originally termed "behavior modification."

Social skills

A social skill is any competence facilitating interaction and communication with others where social rules and relations are created, communicated, and changed in verbal and nonverbal ways. The process of learning these skills is called socialization. For socialization, interpersonal skills are essential to relate to one another. Interpersonal skills are the interpersonal acts a person uses to interact with others, which are related to dominance vs. submission, love vs. hate, affiliation vs. aggression, and control vs. autonomy categories (Leary, 1957). Positive interpersonal skills include persuasion, active listening, delegation, and stewardship, among others. A healthy social interest that involves more than being in a group is required for well-adjusted social skills. Social psychology is the academic discipline that does research related to social skills and studies how skills are learned by an individual through changes in attitude, thinking, and behavior.

Socialization

In sociology, socialization is the process of internalizing the norms and ideologies of society. Socialization encompasses both learning and teaching and is thus "the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained".Socialization is strongly connected to developmental psychology. Humans need social experiences to learn their culture and to survive.Socialization essentially represents the whole process of learning throughout the life course and is a central influence on the behavior, beliefs, and actions of adults as well as of children.Socialization may lead to desirable outcomes—sometimes labeled "moral"—as regards the society where it occurs. Individual views are influenced by the society's consensus and usually tend toward what that society finds acceptable or "normal". Socialization provides only a partial explanation for human beliefs and behaviors, maintaining that agents are not blank slates predetermined by their environment; scientific research provides evidence that people are shaped by both social influences and genes.Genetic studies have shown that a person's environment interacts with his or her genotype to influence behavioral outcomes.

Stimulus

A stimulus is something that causes a physiological response:

Stimulation

Stimulus (physiology), something external that influences an activity

Stimulus (psychology), a concept in behaviorism and perceptionIt may also refer to:

Input to a system in other fields

Economic stimulus

For government spending as stimulus, see Fiscal policy

For an increase in money designed to speed growth, see Monetary policy

For general information about economic stimulus, see Stimulus

Systematic desensitization

Systematic desensitization, also known as graduated exposure therapy, is a type of behavior therapy developed by South African psychiatrist, Joseph Wolpe. It is used in the field of clinical psychology to help many people effectively overcome phobias and other anxiety disorders that are based on classical conditioning, and shares the same elements of both cognitive-behavioral therapy and applied behavior analysis. When used by the behavior analysts, it is based on radical behaviorism and functional analysis, as it incorporates counterconditioning principles, such as meditation (a private behavior/covert conditioning) and breathing (which is a public behavior/overt conditioning). From the cognitive psychology perspective, however, cognitions and feelings trigger motor actions.

The process of systematic desensitization occurs in three steps. The first step of systematic desensitization is the identification of an anxiety inducing stimulus hierarchy. The second step is the learning of relaxation or coping techniques. When the individual has been taught these skills, he or she must use them in the third step to react towards and overcome situations in the established hierarchy of fears. The goal of this process is for the individual to learn how to cope with, and overcome the fear in each step of the hierarchy.

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