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Behaviourist approach - Essay Example

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Behaviourism is the approach to psychology that is based on the assertion that behaviour can be researched from scientific point of view without any recourse to inner mental state. This is a form of materialism that denies any objective significance for a mind…

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Behaviourist approach

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 ...
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