Understanding Your Moods


John B. Watson founded behaviorism in 1913. The theory of behaviorism concentrates on the study of overt behaviors that can be observed and measured (Hothersal, 2004). It views the mind as a "black box" in the sense that response to stimulus can be observed quantitatively.. Some key players in the development of the behaviorist theory were Pavlov, Watson, Thorndike and Skinner.
For most people, the name "Pavlov" rings a bell. He is best known for his work in classical conditioning. Pavlov's most famous experiment involved food, a dog and a bell.
Edward Thorndike did research in animal behavior before becoming interested in human psychology. He set out to apply "the methods of exact science" to educational problems by emphasizing "accurate quantitative treatment of information". "Anything that exists, exists in a certain quantity and can be measured" (Johcich, as cited in Rizo, 1991). His theory, Connectionism, stated that learning was the formation of a connection between stimulus and response (wikipedia).
John B. Watson was the first American psychologist to use Pavlov's ideas. Like Thorndike, he was originally involved in animal research, but later became involved in the study of human behavior. Watson believed that humans are born with a few reflexes and the emotional reactions of love and rage. All other behavior is established through stimulus-response associations through conditioning (wekipedia).
Behaviorists believe that learning takes place as the result of a response that follows on a specific stimulus. By repeating the S-R cycle the organism (may it be an animal or human) is conditioned into repeating the response whenever the same stimulus is present. Behavior can be modified and learning is measured by observable change in behavior (Coon, 2001). They also believed that behavior can be described and explained without making reference to mental events or to internal psychological processes. The sources of behavior are external (in...