Behavioral Psychology - Essay Example

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Behavioral Psychology

John B. Watson founded the school of behavioral psychology in hopes that it would make psychology as academically respected as other sciences such as chemistry and physiology were. He moved away from the introspective methods of psychology which were popular at the time, and moved towards a more scientific, observable approach. He believed that the behavior of humans and animals were comparable, and therefore, most behavioral experiments used animals such as rats as subjects and then generalized the findings to humans. Watson believed that all behavior could be explained by what was called "classical conditioning" (Watson, 1999). The idea behind classical conditioning is that one could pair a stimulus that causes a response or reflex with an unrelated stimulus. Over time, the unrelated stimulus alone should cause the response or reflex. An example of this would the famous experiment conducted by Ivan Pavlov. Pavlov noticed that when he set food out for his dogs, they would salivate. He then paired the setting out of food with ringing a bell. Over time, the dogs salivated to the ringing bell alone, without the setting out of food. ...Show more

Summary

Behavioral psychology concerns itself with observing changes in behavior. Like any branch of psychology, its followers come up with different theories. Some theories are very similar to those of others, changing only minor details. At the same time, other theories are so different from those of others that the only similarities are the most basic and broad concepts…
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