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Essay example - Behaviorism vs. Cognitivism

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Undergraduate
Essay
Philosophy
Pages 4 (1004 words)
The primary aim of this paper is to outline the differences between two schools of academic psychology-behaviorism and cognitivism. I will first outline and explain two experiments purporting to explain human cognition by Jean Piaget. …

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The primary aim of this paper is to outline the differences between two schools of academic psychology--behaviorism and cognitivism. I will first outline and explain two experiments purporting to explain human cognition by Jean Piaget. I will then explain how behaviorist B.F. Skinner might object to this methodology. Finally, I will address some possible responses to Skinner that Piaget could use to defend the scientific integrity of his experiments. Jean Piaget is often referred to in academic psychology as a “developmental cognitivist”. A developmental psychologist is one who scientifically studies changes in human personality, thinking and perceptions over the cross of a lifetime. Piaget’s research tends to focus on the development of human children--specifically the intelligence and cognitive capacities of children. Thus he can be said to be a cognitivist, in that he seeks to discover underlying thought processes by observing behavior. In two of his main works, The Construction of Reality in the Child, and The Child’s Conception of Number, Jean Piaget sets up a series of experiments, which purport to demonstrate the differences in cognitive and intellectual processes between adults and children. In the first experiment I am going to examine, Piaget attempts to explain the ability of children to discriminate between quantities of objects. ...
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