Behaviorism Essay

3041 Words 13 Pages
Background and Description of Behaviorism in Relation to Learning

The background of behaviorism is associated with many scientists. Behaviorism started back in 400 BC with Aristotle. Aristotle believed in association and that "the objects being associated are similar, or opposite, or near each other". Then, behaviorism came into play with Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist. He studied the behavior of dogs and how they would salivating (conditioned reflex) when shown just the food dish without food (conditioned stimulus or conditioned response). Next, John B. Watson wrote a book called Behavior, where he described psychology as the process where behavior can be predicted and controlled. Watson also studied how learning can be achieved
…show more content…
Gagne used the task analysis idea, which relates to "Skinner’s idea of sequenced learning events". The task analysis idea is an individual can fix problems while getting feedback on some tasks taking place. Bloom also used Skinner’s theory by presenting an idea that learners use the material and instruction time that they need to learn the information at their own pace (White, 1995)

Behaviorism was actually the first psychology that looked at human behavior and how humans actually learned (Ormrod, 1995). When describing behaviorism and its main ideas, it can be characterized as a type of psychology that examines the overt, observable actions and reactions of an individual. Instead of looking at the mind, behaviorists study the unbiased, environmental conditions that influence a person’s behavior. The psychologists who study behaviorism also examine the exact performance of the subject being studied. An example of this precision in performance is the number of times person answers a question on a test correctly (that appears more than once, reworded) or a rat completing the maze several times. Behavioral scientists used to use animals a lot more because they were studying observable behaviors instead of higher order mental processes mainly present in humans (cognitive psychology) (Matlin, 1998). In fact, one of the universal assumptions on behalf of behaviorist is that behaviorism looks at the organism,

Related Documents