The behaviourist school of thought competed with the movement of psychoanalysis in psychology during the 20th century. Its main representatives were Ivan Pavlov, who researched classical conditioning, John B. Watson who declined introspective methods and looked for to limit psychology to experimental methods. Skinner B.F., tried to provide ethical basis to behaviourism by relating it to pragmatism.
There are different emphases within that broad approach. Some behaviourists dispute that the observance of behaviour is the most suitable way to investigate mental and psychological processes. Other scholars consider that it is the only way of examining such processes, while others still disagree that behaviour itself is the sole appropriate psychological subject, and that general psychological terms, such as belief, objectives, etc. have no referents and simply refer to behaviour. Those who take this point of view refer sometimes to their realm of study as behavioural science or behaviour analysis rather than psychology.
In 1913 Watson was the founder the behaviourist movement. He grounded his suppositions on preceding work of Pavlov and later Skinner and Thorndike "Learning theories" were worked out. Learning theories are considered to be more scientific than psychoanalytic theory of Freud as learning theories could be tested in a laboratory.
At the beginning of the 20t...
Teleological or post-Skinnerian version, purposive and close to microeconomics.
Theoretical version that accepts observable internal states.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Watson defended in his work Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviourist (1913) the value of a psychology that regarded itself with behaviour in and of itself, but not as a way of exploring consciousness. It was an essential break from the structuralist psychology, which utilised the introspection method and regarded the behaviour research valueless. Watson studied the organisms' adaptation to environments, to be more specific, the definite stimuli that lead organisms to make responses. Most of work of Watson was comparative while he studied the behaviour of animals. His approach influenced by the work of Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, stressed the stimuli role and physiology in producing conditioned responses, i.e. assimilating most function to reflex. That is why Watson is considered to be a stimulus-response (SR) psychologist.
Watson's approach persuaded many psychologists of the importance of behaviour studying. He wrote that "psychology as a behaviourist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science" (1913, p. 158). In the sphere of comparative psychology in particular, it was compatible with the idea of Lloyd Morgan against anthropomorphic works where mental states had been freely ascribed to animals. It was taken up by such researchers such as Edward L. Thorndike, he studied cats' ability to escape from puzzle boxes. But most psychologists took the position of methodological behaviourism: they accepted that behaviour was the easiest observation method in psychology, and regarded that with its help it