Behaviorism Essay

1497 Words 6 Pages
Although there are many intriguing branches of psychology, behaviorism captured many aspiring psychologists and fresh minds in the 1920s and 1930, and has been the dominant orientation of psychology since the mid 30s. Behaviorism was the radical revision of the method of psychological research. Studying conscious specimens was not accepted at the time and behaviorism called for the ban of introspection, the study of an unconscious mind. Behaviorism is a branch of psychology that started with John B. Watson’s speech “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it.” Even though considered innate, researching this topic will show behavior is learned more by environmental factors through modeling and observing. The founder, Watson, created classical conditioning, …show more content…
In classical conditioning, behaviorists place a neutral signal before a naturally occurring reflex. Eventually, the neutral signal will trigger the reflex. In 1902, a Russian behaviorist named Ivan Pavlov did classical conditioning experiments with many of his dogs. It started when he noticed (in the 1890s) that when he came into the room his dogs would salivate at his presence even though he did not bring any food. In his experiments, he had a device to collect and count the drops of saliva from the dogs and would ring a bell before presenting them with food, but since they would salivate at the sight of him, he had a screen in front of them. After repeating these actions a few times, ringing the bell alone would cause the dogs to salivate as if he had presented food. He later discovered his lab assistant entering the room or any other object they learned to associate with food would also cause the dogs to salivate. Pavlov’s experiments were one of John Watson’s inspirations when he created behaviorism, and many even say Pavlov was the one who discovered behaviorism, and Watson just established it (Behaviorism, Cherry, and …show more content…
This experiment is most likely the most popular experiment done involving conditioning, called the “Little Albert Experiment,” which displayed classical conditioning. A child at about nine months old, nicknamed Little Albert, was exposed to many objects including the following: a white rat, rabbit, monkey, masks, and burning newspapers. He showed no fear initially to any of these objects, but when Watson and Rayner paired the white rat with loud, scary sounds, the child would cry. Eventually, Little Albert would cry when presented with the white rat, or any other fuzzy white object, without the loud sounds of banging on pots and pans. In this experiment, the neutral stimulus was the white rat, the unconditioned stimuli were the loud noises, and the unconditioned response was fear. The conditioned stimulus was the white rat and the conditioned response was also fear

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