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Behaviorism and Learning - Term Paper Example

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Behaviorism and Learning

Generally, it has been observed that behaviors are derived from perceptions. Most of the practitioners have supported this statement through one way or other. This paper briefly discusses the experiments of renowned theorist in the field of psychology. It is believed that at the time of birth, human mind is tabula rasa which means a blank slate. As the mind starts to grow up and gathers information from the outside world (unconditioned stimuli), the behavior of the child starts to shape (conditioned response). By considering the consequences of the experiments discussed in this paper, it can be stated that behaviors are derived from perception and therefore, it can be stated that unconditioned stimuli leads to conditioned response. Summarize behaviorism and how it has affected the understanding of learning. Be sure to include the following information: Introduction The fundamental principle upon which behaviorism operates is ‘stimulus-response’. Its basic concept states that all behaviors are caused primarily by external stimuli. Behaviorism assumes that a learner is, in essence, a passive subject which responds to external stimuli. Under the theory of behaviorism, it is believed that at birth, human mind is tabula rasa which means a clean slate and behavior is shaped as soon as the mind starts to conceive external information and stimuli....
Out of all those, some major contributors of behaviorism are: Pavlov (1897) - In order to investigate the behaviorism theory, Pavlov conducted a research studying digestion in dogs. Watson (1913) – Watson published an article naming “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It” and initiated a behavioral school of psychology. Watson and Rayner (1920) – programmed an orphan called Little Albert aka Albert B in order to scare the white rat. Thorndike (1905) – formulated the “Law of Effect” Skinner (1936) – Skinner was the first one who introduced the concepts of shaping and conditioning. Skinner wrote “The Behavior of Organisms”. Clark Hull’s (1943) – published “Principles of Behavior”. B.F. Skinner (1948) – formalized Walden Two in which he explained the foundation of utopian society upon behaviorist principles. Bandura (1963) – combines the concepts of behavioral and cognitive framework in his book called as “Social Learning Theory and Personality Development”. B.F Skinner (1971) – argues upon the concept that ‘free will is an illusion’ in his book named as “Beyond Freedom and Dignity” (McLeod, 2007). Main Components of Behaviorism Theory The two major components of Behaviorism Theory are: i. Classic Conditioning Classical conditioning is the fundamental response to stimuli. It is that conditioning in which a programmed or conditioned stimuli is paired with unconditioned stimulus until the conditioned stimulus becomes sufficient enough to educe the response ii. Operant Conditioning Operant conditioning has the basic notion of responding to the results of our actions. Operant conditioning is that component of the theory in which behavior is strengthened when reinforcement is ...Show more


In psychology, behaviorism is the fundamental concept. Due to this fact, there has been extensive research and experiments done in this area.Generally, it has been observed that behaviors are derived from perceptions. …
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