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The Behaviourist View (Definition)
  • It is a school of psychology that is only concerned with studying what can be observed of human nature and tends to disregard the mental processes.

  • Says that all our feelings and thoughts are translated into external behaviours that others can observe
  • Uses objective methods of studying
  • Restricts itself to outer behaviours and leaves out the conscious states that cause behaviour

  • Behaviourists believe that all internal events are explainable using behavioural terms
  • They believe internal processes should be eliminated when possible
  • All behaviour is the result from stimuli in one’s environment
  • All sources of behaviour are believed to be external, not internal
  • The mind is bodily behaviour

Well-known Behaviourists
  • John B. Watson:
-Important contributor to classical behaviourism
-Paved the way for Skinner's operant behaviourism
-Made the importance of learning known
-Emphasized environmental influences on human development
-Publication of his 1913 article introduced the term behaviourism
-His view related to introspection
  • B. F. Skinner:
- Developed the theory of operant conditioning (behaviour is a result of consequences)
- Researched how behaviour responds to positive and negative reinforcements
- Well known author for psychology
  • Ivan Pavlov:
- Theory of classical conditioning
- Paved the way for Watson's behaviourism theory
- Used dogs to conduct an experiment on conditioned and unconditioned responses
- Classical condition is also known as Pavlovian conditioning
- Influential behaviour psychologist

Classical and Operant Conditioning
  • Classical: A natural reflex response to stimulus
  • Operant: A reinforced response to stimulus

Gilbert Ryle
  • Said mental activities and states can be explained using the externally observable behaviours with which they are associated
-He might argue that to say that a person knows what a chair is, is to say that the person acts a certain way around that chair
-Might also argue that to say a person loves someone is to say that they are disposed to certain behaviours toward the person they love

  • No major difference between the behaviours of animals and humans
  • Rats and pigeons are often used have environments that can be easily controlled so they became primary study subjects
  • The goal is to predict and control behaviour

  • Are all interior thoughts explainable using external behaviours?
  • How does behaviourism explain thinking, feeling, knowing, loving, hating, desiring, and imagining if they cannot always be seen?