John B Watson's View Of Psychology Essay

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Psychology Through the Eyes of a Behaviorist

John B. Watson was the first person to study human emotions systematically. In fact, back in his day, it was very common to think of fear as either a result of faulty reasoning or a form of instinctual reaction (Chance, 2014, 2009). In the first paragraph of “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it”, Watson immediately points out the universal beliefs of behaviorists. One of the first ones is that psychology, from a behaviorist’s perspective, is a “purely objective experimental branch of natural science” (Watson, 1913). However, Watson makes it clear that he feels psychology has failed to project itself as such due to the false idea that its array of facts are “conscious phenomena” (Kimble and Thompson, 1994) and that introspection is the only straightforward confirmation of these facts. He notes that its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior. He continues to discuss introspection and how it does not form any essential portion of its methods, “nor is the scientific value of its
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I do agree that psychology should be seen as a science, and, therefore, include more empirical data and observations. Psychology plays such an important role in the understanding of the human mind, but if we do not have the proper data to back up its ideas, who’s to say that it is all a figment of our imagination? I also feel that behavior is the result of stimulus and that our responses to stimuli are learned over time through some form of conditioning. The only thing I am still not sure where I stand on is consciousness. I have always grown up with the idea that there is something in our head telling us right from wrong but I also feel that psychology should be viewed as a science, which contradicts consciousness altogether. Hopefully at some point during this course, I am able to decide my position on the

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