Behaviorism

Behaviorism

Overview
Behaviorism also called the learning perspective (where any physical action is a behavior), is a philosophy of psychology
Philosophy of psychology
Philosophy of psychology refers to issues at the theoretical foundations of modern psychology. Some of these issues are epistemological concerns about the methodology of psychological investigation...

 based on the proposition that all things that organisms do—including acting, thinking, and feeling—can and should be regarded as behavior
Behavior
Behavior or behaviour refers to the actions and mannerisms made by organisms, systems, or artificial entities in conjunction with its environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the physical environment...

s, 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
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 without recourse either to internal physiological events or to hypothetical constructs such as the mind
Mind
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

.
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Encyclopedia
Behaviorism also called the learning perspective (where any physical action is a behavior), is a philosophy of psychology
Philosophy of psychology
Philosophy of psychology refers to issues at the theoretical foundations of modern psychology. Some of these issues are epistemological concerns about the methodology of psychological investigation...

 based on the proposition that all things that organisms do—including acting, thinking, and feeling—can and should be regarded as behavior
Behavior
Behavior or behaviour refers to the actions and mannerisms made by organisms, systems, or artificial entities in conjunction with its environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the physical environment...

s, 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
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 without recourse either to internal physiological events or to hypothetical constructs such as the mind
Mind
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

. 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).

From early psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 in the 19th century, the behaviorist school of thought ran concurrently and shared commonalities with the psychoanalytic and Gestalt
Gestalt psychology
Gestalt psychology or gestaltism is a theory of mind and brain of the Berlin School; the operational principle of gestalt psychology is that the brain is holistic, parallel, and analog, with self-organizing tendencies...

 movements in psychology into the 20th century; but also differed from the mental philosophy of the Gestalt psychologists in critical ways. Its main influences were Ivan Pavlov
Ivan Pavlov
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a famous Russian physiologist. Although he made significant contributions to psychology, he was not in fact a psychologist himself but was a mathematician and actually had strong distaste for the field....

, who investigated classical conditioning
Classical conditioning
Classical conditioning is a form of conditioning that was first demonstrated by Ivan Pavlov...

 although he did not necessarily agree with behaviorism or behaviorists, Edward Lee Thorndike, John B. Watson
John B. Watson
John Broadus Watson 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...

 who rejected introspective methods
Introspection
Introspection is the self-observation and reporting of conscious inner thoughts, desires and sensations. It is a conscious and purposive process relying on thinking, reasoning, and examining one's own thoughts, feelings, and, in more spiritual cases, one's soul...

 and sought to restrict psychology to experimental methods
Experimental psychology
Experimental psychology is a methodological approach, rather than a subject, and encompasses varied fields within psychology. Experimental psychologists have traditionally conducted research, published articles, and taught classes on neuroscience, developmental psychology, sensation, perception,...

, and B.F. Skinner who conducted research on operant conditioning
Operant conditioning
Operant conditioning is a form of psychological learning during which an individual modifies the occurrence and form of its own behavior due to the association of the behavior with a stimulus...

.

In the second half of the 20th century, behaviorism was largely eclipsed as a result of the cognitive revolution
Cognitive revolution
The cognitive revolution is the name for an intellectual movement in the 1950s that began what are known collectively as the cognitive sciences. It began in the modern context of greater interdisciplinary communication and research...

. While behaviorism and cognitive schools of psychological thought may not agree theoretically, they have complemented each other in practical therapeutic applications, such as in cognitive–behavioral therapy that has demonstrable utility in treating certain pathologies, such as simple phobias, PTSD, and addiction. In addition, behaviorism sought to create a comprehensive model of the stream of behavior from the birth of the human to his death (see Behavior analysis of child development
Behavior analysis of child development
Child development in behavior analytic theory has origins in John B. Watson's behaviorism. Watson wrote extensively on child development and conducted research . Watson was instrumental in the modification of William James' stream of consciousness approach to construct a stream of behavior theory...

).

Versions


There is no generally agreed-upon classification, but some titles given to the various branches of behaviorism include:
  • Methodological: The behaviorism of Watson
    John B. Watson
    John Broadus Watson 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...

    ; the objective study of behavior; no mental life, no internal states; thought is covert speech.
  • Radical
    Radical behaviorism
    Radical behaviorism is a philosophy developed by B.F. Skinner that underlies the experimental analysis of behavior approach to psychology. The term radical behaviorism applies to a particular school that emerged during the reign of behaviorism...

    : Skinner's behaviorism; is considered radical since it expands behavioral principles to processes within the organism; in contrast to methodological behaviorism; not mechanistic or reductionistic; hypothetical (mentalistic) internal states are not considered causes of behavior, phenomena must be observable at least to the individual experiencing them. Willard Van Orman Quine
    Willard Van Orman Quine
    Willard Van Orman Quine was an American philosopher and logician in the analytic tradition...

     used many of radical behaviorism's ideas in his study of knowing and language.
  • Teleological: Post-Skinnerian, purposive, close to microeconomics
    Microeconomics
    Microeconomics is a branch of economics that studies the behavior of how the individual modern household and firms make decisions to allocate limited resources. Typically, it applies to markets where goods or services are being bought and sold...

    . Focuses on objective observation as opposed to cognitive processes.
  • Theoretical: Post-Skinnerian, accepts observable internal states ("within the skin" once meant "unobservable," but with modern technology we are not so constrained); dynamic, but eclectic
    Eclecticism
    Eclecticism is a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.It can sometimes seem inelegant or...

     in choice of theoretical structures, emphasizes parsimony.
  • Biological: Post-Skinnerian, centered on perceptual and motor modules of behavior, theory of behavior systems.
  • Psychological behaviorism
    Psychological behaviorism
    Psychological behaviorism is a theory of personality proposed by Arthur W. Staats. It argues that personality consists of a set of learned behavioral patterns, acquired through the interaction between an individual's biology, environment, cognition, and emotion.-Description:According to this...

    PB (Arthur W. Staats: First general behaviorism that centers on human behavior. Created time-out, token-reinforcement and other methods,analyses,findings and theory that helped found behavioral child development, education, abnormal, and clinical areas--also terming this behavioral analysis in 1963. PB laid the basis for cognitive behavior therapy, provides basic theory and research that unifies emotional and behavioral conditioning, and introduces new avenues for basic and applied behavior analysis.


Two subtypes are:
  • Hullian
    Clark L. Hull
    Clark Leonard Hull was an influential American psychologist who sought to explain learning and motivation by scientific laws of behavior. Born in Akron, New York, Hull obtained bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan, and in 1918 a PhD from the University of...

     and post-Hullian: theoretical, group data, not dynamic, physiological;
  • Purposive: Tolman
    Edward C. Tolman
    Edward Chace Tolman was an American psychologist. He was most famous for his studies on behavioral psychology....

    's behavioristic anticipation of cognitive psychology

Definition


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.

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 and Schedules of Reinforcement. 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
Society for Quantitative Analysis of Behavior
The Society for Quantitative Analysis of Behavior was founded in 1978 by Michael Lamport Commons and John Anthony Nevin. The first president was Richard J. Herrnstein. In the beginning it was called the Harvard Symposium on Quantitative Analysis of Behavior...

.

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 Verbal Behavior
Verbal Behavior (book)
Verbal Behavior is a 1957 book by psychologist B.F. Skinner, in which he analyzes human behavior, encompassing what is traditionally called language, linguistics, or speech...

and other language-related publications; Verbal Behavior laid out a vocabulary and theory for functional analysis of verbal behavior, and was strongly criticized in a review by Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

. Skinner did not respond in detail but claimed that Chomsky failed to understand his ideas, and the disagreements between the two and the theories involved have been further discussed. In addition; innate theory is opposed to behaviorist theory which claims that language is a set of habits that can be acquired by means of conditioning. According to some, this process that the behaviorists define is a very slow and gentle process to explain a phenomenon complicated as language learning. What was important for a behaviorist's analysis of human behavior was not language acquisition
Language acquisition
Language acquisition is the process by which humans acquire the capacity to perceive, produce and use words to understand and communicate. This capacity involves the picking up of diverse capacities including syntax, phonetics, and an extensive vocabulary. This language might be vocal as with...

 so much as the interaction between language and overt behavior. In an essay republished in his 1969 book Contingencies of Reinforcement, 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
Relational frame theory
Relational frame theory, or RFT, is a psychological theory of human language and cognition. It was developed largely through the efforts of Steven C...

.

Molar versus molecular 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." Skinner proposed that a complete account of behavior requires understanding of selection history at three levels: biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

 (the natural selection
Natural selection
Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

 or phylogeny of the animal); behavior (the reinforcement history or ontogeny of the behavioral repertoire of the animal); and for some species, culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 (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
Melioration theory
Melioration theory posits that organisms are sensitive to differences in the local rates of reinforcement: number of reinforcements obtained at an alternative event divided by time at that alternative bifurcation. Also, "local" might or might not mean the negative power function of inverse delay...

, negative power function discounting
Hyperbolic discounting
In behavioral economics, hyperbolic discounting is a time-inconsistent model of discounting.Given two similar rewards, humans show a preference for one that arrives sooner rather than later. Humans are said to discount the value of the later reward, by a factor that increases with the length of the...

 or additive versions of negative power function discounting.

Molar behaviorists, such as Howard Rachlin
Howard Rachlin
Howard Rachlin is Emeritus Research Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, State University of New York, Stony Brook Howard Rachlin (born 1935) is Emeritus Research Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, State University of New York, Stony Brook Howard Rachlin (born 1935)...

, Richard Herrnstein
Richard Herrnstein
Richard J. Herrnstein was an American researcher in animal learning in the Skinnerian tradition. He was one of the founders of quantitative analysis of behavior....

, 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
Rate of reinforcement
In behaviorism, rate of reinforcement is number of reinforcements per time, usually per minute. Symbol of this rate is usually Rf. Its first major exponent was B.F. Skinner . It is used in the Matching Law....

. Thus, a molar behaviorist would describe "loving someone" as a pattern of loving behavior
Love
Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels...

 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."

Behaviorism in philosophy


Behaviorism is a psychological movement that can be contrasted with philosophy of mind
Philosophy of mind
Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain. The mind-body problem, i.e...

. The basic premise of radical behaviorism is that the study of behavior should be a natural science
Natural science
The natural sciences are branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by using empirical and scientific methods...

, such as chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 or physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

, without any reference to hypothetical inner states of organisms as causes for their behavior. A modern example of such analysis would be Fantino and colleagues' work on behavioral approaches to reasoning. Other varieties, such as theoretical behaviorism, permit internal states, but do not require them to be mental or have any relation to subjective experience. Behaviorism takes a functional view of behavior.

There are points of view within philosophy of language
Philosophy of language
Philosophy of language is the reasoned inquiry into the nature, origins, and usage of language. As a topic, the philosophy of language for analytic philosophers is concerned with four central problems: the nature of meaning, language use, language cognition, and the relationship between language...

 and analytic philosophy
Analytic philosophy
Analytic philosophy is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century...

 that have called themselves, or have been called by others, behaviorist. When language is investigated, life forms will be involved. Linguistical behavior is the "intelligent design
Intelligent design
Intelligent design is the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." It is a form of creationism and a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for...

" of nature. It is sometimes argued that Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was an Austrian philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He was professor in philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1939 until 1947...

, defended a behaviorist position (e.g., the beetle in a box argument), but while there are important relations between his thought and behaviorism, the claim that he was a behaviorist is quite controversial. Mathematician Alan Turing
Alan Turing
Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS , was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which played a...

 is also sometimes considered a behaviorist, but he himself did not make this identification. In logical behaviorism (as held, e.g., by Rudolf Carnap
Rudolf Carnap
Rudolf Carnap was an influential German-born philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle and an advocate of logical positivism....

 and Carl Hempel), the meaning of psychological statements are their verification conditions, which consist of performed overt behavior. W.V. Quine made use of a type of behaviorism, influenced by some of Skinner's ideas, in his own work on language. Gilbert Ryle
Gilbert Ryle
Gilbert Ryle , was a British philosopher, a representative of the generation of British ordinary language philosophers that shared Wittgenstein's approach to philosophical problems, and is principally known for his critique of Cartesian dualism, for which he coined the phrase "the ghost in the...

 defended a distinct strain of philosophical behaviorism, sketched in his book The Concept of Mind. Ryle's central claim was that instances of dualism frequently represented "category mistake
Category mistake
A category mistake, or category error, is a semantic or ontological error in which "things of one kind are presented as if they belonged to another", or, alternatively, a property is ascribed to a thing that could not possibly have that property...

s," and hence that they were really misunderstandings of the use of ordinary language. Daniel Dennett
Daniel Dennett
Daniel Clement Dennett is an American philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. He is currently the Co-director of...

 likewise acknowledges himself to be a type of behaviorist, 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 (see "Skinner Skinned" in Brainstorms).

21st century behavior analysis


As of 2007, modern-day behaviorism, known as "behavior analysis," is a thriving field. The Association for Behavior Analysis: International (ABAI) currently has 32 state and regional chapters within the United States. Approximately 30 additional chapters have also developed throughout Europe, Asia, South America, and the South Pacific. In addition to 34 annual conferences held by ABAI in the United States and Canada, ABAI held the 5th annual International conference in Norway in 2009.

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
Organizational Behavior Management
Organizational behavior management is an important aspect of management studies the subject which is studied in first year of management studies is known as organizational behaviour . OBM is the result of applying the psychological principles of applied behavior analysis and the experimental...

 (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).

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
Relational frame theory
Relational frame theory, or RFT, is a psychological theory of human language and cognition. It was developed largely through the efforts of Steven C...

 (RFT; described as a "Post-Skinnerian account of language and cognition"). RFT also forms the empirical basis for the highly successful and data-driven Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy or ACT is a cognitive–behavioral model of psychotherapy. It is an empirically-based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies mixed in different ways with commitment and behavior-change strategies, to increase psychological...

 (ACT). In fact, researchers and practitioners in RFT/ACT have become sufficiently prominent that they have formed their own specialized organization, known as the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS).

Some of the current prominent behavior analytic journals include the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied behavior analysis is a science that involves using modern behavioral learning theory to modify behaviors. Behavior analysts reject the use of hypothetical constructs and focus on the observable relationship of behavior to the environment...

(JABA), the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (JEAB) JEAB website, the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management (JOBM), Behavior and Social Issues (BSI), as well as the Psychological Record. Currently, the U.S. 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
Walden Two
Walden Two is a utopian novel written by behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner, first published in 1948. In its time, it could have been considered to be science fiction, as the methods employed to alter people's behaviour did not yet exist....

, 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
Marvin Harris
Marvin Harris was an American anthropologist. He was born in Brooklyn, New York. A prolific writer, he was highly influential in the development of cultural materialism...

 (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. Behaviorism is also frequently used within game development
Game development
Game development is the software development process by which a video game is developed. Development is undertaken by a game developer, which may range from a single person to a large business. Mainstream games are normally funded by a publisher and take several years to develop. Indie games can...

, although some consider this application controversial.

List of notable behaviorists

  • Alan E. Kazdin
    Alan E. Kazdin
    Alan Edward Kazdin is the John M. Musser Professor of Psychology, Child Psychiatry, and Institute of Social Policies at Yale University, and the director of the Yale Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic. He was the 2008 President of the American Psychological Association.-Biography:Dr...

  • Albert Bandura
    Albert Bandura
    Albert Bandura is a psychologist and the David Starr Jordan Professor Emeritus of Social Science in Psychology at Stanford University...

  • Edwin Ray Guthrie
    Edwin Ray Guthrie
    Edwin Ray Guthrie was a philosopher, mathematician, and later became a behavior psychologist. Guthrie is best known for his one trial theory, nonreinforcement, and contiguity learning. One word that could describe Guthrie is “simple." His approach to learning and theories was simple...

  • Richard J. Herrnstein
  • Clark L. Hull
    Clark L. Hull
    Clark Leonard Hull was an influential American psychologist who sought to explain learning and motivation by scientific laws of behavior. Born in Akron, New York, Hull obtained bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan, and in 1918 a PhD from the University of...

  • Ivan Pavlov
    Ivan Pavlov
    Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a famous Russian physiologist. Although he made significant contributions to psychology, he was not in fact a psychologist himself but was a mathematician and actually had strong distaste for the field....

  • B.F. Skinner
  • Edward Lee Thorndike
  • Edward C. Tolman
    Edward C. Tolman
    Edward Chace Tolman was an American psychologist. He was most famous for his studies on behavioral psychology....

  • Murray Sidman
    Murray Sidman
    Murray Sidman is a pioneering behavioral scientist, best known for Sidman Avoidance, also called 'free-operant avoidance', in which an individual learns to avoid an aversive stimulus by remembering to produce the response without any other stimulus...

  • John B. Watson
    John B. Watson
    John Broadus Watson 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...

  • Ole Ivar Lovaas
    Ole Ivar Lovaas
    Ole Ivar Løvaas, Ph.D. was a clinical psychologist at UCLA. He is considered to be one of the fathers of applied behavior analysis therapy for autism through his development of the Lovaas technique and the first to provide evidence that the behavior of autistic children can be modified through...

  • Steven C. Hayes
    Steven C. Hayes
    Steven C. Hayes is Nevada Foundation Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is known for an analysis of human language and cognition , and its application to various psychological difficulties .Hayes' work is somewhat controversial, and in 2006 was the...

  • Donald Baer
    Donald Baer
    Donald M. Baer was a psychologist who contributed to the applied behavior analysis movement and pioneered the development of behavior analysis at two separate institutions. Dr. Baer is best known for his contributions at the University of Kansas. Throughout his career, he published over two...


See also

  • Animal training
    Animal training
    Animal training refers to teaching animals specific responses to specific conditions or stimuli. Training may be for the purpose of companionship, detection, protection, entertainment or all of the above....

  • Applied behavior analysis
    Applied Behavior Analysis
    Applied behavior analysis is a science that involves using modern behavioral learning theory to modify behaviors. Behavior analysts reject the use of hypothetical constructs and focus on the observable relationship of behavior to the environment...

  • Behavior modification
    Behavior modification
    Behavior modification is the use of empirically demonstrated behavior change techniques to increase or decrease the frequency of behaviors, such as altering an individual's behaviors and reactions to stimuli through positive and negative reinforcement of adaptive behavior and/or the reduction of...

  • Behavior therapy
  • Behavioral change theories
  • Professional practice of behavior analysis
    Professional practice of behavior analysis
    The professional practice of behavior analysis is one domain of behavior analysis: others being behaviorism, experimental analysis of behavior and applied behavior analysis...

  • Behavior analysis of child development
    Behavior analysis of child development
    Child development in behavior analytic theory has origins in John B. Watson's behaviorism. Watson wrote extensively on child development and conducted research . Watson was instrumental in the modification of William James' stream of consciousness approach to construct a stream of behavior theory...

  • Classical conditioning
    Classical conditioning
    Classical conditioning is a form of conditioning that was first demonstrated by Ivan Pavlov...

  • Cognition
    Cognition
    In science, cognition refers to mental processes. These processes include attention, remembering, producing and understanding language, solving problems, and making decisions. Cognition is studied in various disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science...

  • Cognitive revolution
    Cognitive revolution
    The cognitive revolution is the name for an intellectual movement in the 1950s that began what are known collectively as the cognitive sciences. It began in the modern context of greater interdisciplinary communication and research...

  • Dog behaviorist
  • Experimental analysis of behavior
    Experimental analysis of behavior
    The experimental analysis of behavior is the name given to the school of psychology founded by B.F. Skinner, and based on his philosophy of radical behaviorism. A central principle was the inductive, data-driven examination of functional relations, as opposed to the kinds of hypothetico-deductive...

  • Important publications in behaviorism
  • Models of abnormality
    Models of abnormality
    Models of Abnormality are general hypotheses as to the nature of psychological abnormalities. The four main models to explain psychological abnormality are the Biological, Behavioural, Cognitive, and Psychodynamic models...

  • Psychological behaviorism
    Psychological behaviorism
    Psychological behaviorism is a theory of personality proposed by Arthur W. Staats. It argues that personality consists of a set of learned behavioral patterns, acquired through the interaction between an individual's biology, environment, cognition, and emotion.-Description:According to this...


Further reading

  • Baum, W.M. (2005) Understanding behaviorism: Behavior, Culture and Evolution. Blackwell.
  • Ferster, C.B. & Skinner, B.F. (1957). Schedules of reinforcement. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
  • 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.
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