BEHAVIORISM (or BEHAVIOURISM) is a systematic approach to the understanding of human and animal behavior. It assumes that all behaviors are either reflexes produced by a response to certain stimuli in the environment, or a consequence of that individual's history, including especially reinforcement and punishment, together with the individual's current motivational state and controlling stimuli. Although behaviorists generally accept the important role of inheritance in determining behavior, they focus primarily on environmental factors.
Behaviorism combines elements of philosophy, methodology, and psychological theory. It emerged in the late nineteenth century as a reaction to depth psychology and other traditional forms of psychology, which often had difficulty making predictions that could be tested experimentally. The earliest derivatives of Behaviorism can be traced back to the late 1800s where Edward Thorndike pioneered the law of effect (a process that involved strengthening behavior through the use of reinforcement ).
During the first half of the twentieth century, John B. Watson devised methodological behaviorism, which rejected introspective methods and sought to understand behavior by only measuring observable behaviors and events. It was not until the 1930s that B. F. Skinner suggested that private events—including thoughts and feelings—should be subjected to the same controlling variables as observable behavior which became the basis for his philosophy called radical behaviorism . While Watson and Ivan Pavlov investigated the stimulus-response procedures of classical conditioning , Skinner assessed the controlling nature of consequences and also the antecedents (or discriminative stimuli) that signal the behavior ; the technique became known as operant conditioning .
The application of radical behaviorism —known as applied behavior analysis —is used in a variety of settings, including, for example, organizational behavior management , to the treatment of mental disorders, such as autism and substance abuse . In addition, while behaviorism and cognitive schools of psychological thought may not agree theoretically, they have complemented each other in cognitive behavior therapies , which have demonstrated utility in treating certain pathologies, including simple phobias , PTSD , and mood disorders .
* 1 Versions
* 1.1 Radical behaviorism * 1.2 Experimental and conceptual innovations * 1.3 Relation to language
* 2 Education
* 12 See also
* 12.1 Related therapies
* 13 References * 14 Further reading * 15 External links
There is no universally agreed-upon classification, but some titles given to the various branches of behaviorism include:
* Methodological behaviorism: Watson 's behaviorism states that only public events (behaviors of an individual) can be objectively observed, and that therefore private events (thoughts and feelings) should be ignored. It also became the basis for the early approach behavior modification in the late 1970s and early 1980s. * Radical behaviorism : Skinner 's behaviorism theorizes that processes within the organism should be acknowledged, particularly the presence of private events (such as thoughts and feelings), and suggests that environmental variables also control these internal events just as they control observable behaviors. Radical behaviorism forms the core philosophy behind behavior analysis . Willard Van Orman Quine used many of radical behaviorism's ideas in his study of knowledge and language. * Teleological behaviorism: Post-Skinnerian, purposive, close to microeconomics. Focuses on objective observation as opposed to cognitive processes. * Theoretical behaviorism: Post-Skinnerian, accepts observable internal states ("within the skin" once meant "unobservable", but with modern technology we are not so constrained); dynamic, but eclectic in choice of theoretical structures, emphasizes parsimony . * Biological behaviorism: Post-Skinnerian, centered on perceptual and motor modules of behavior, theory of behavior systems. * Psychological behaviorism : As proposed by Arthur W. Staats, this version of behaviorism centers on the practical control of human behavior. It is noted for its use of time-outs, token-reinforcement and other methods, which importantly influenced modern approaches to child development, education, and abnormal psychology.
Two subtypes are:
* Hullian and post-Hullian: theoretical, group data, not dynamic, physiological; * Purposive: Tolman 's behavioristic anticipation of cognitive psychology
Main article: Radical behaviorism
B. F. Skinner proposed radical behaviorism as the conceptual underpinning of the experimental analysis of behavior . This view differs from other approaches to behavioral research in various ways but, most notably here, it contrasts with methodological behaviorism in accepting feelings, states of mind and introspection as behaviors subject to scientific investigation. Like methodological behaviorism it rejects the reflex as a model of all behavior, and it defends the science of behavior as complementary to but independent of physiology. Radical behaviorism overlaps considerably with other western philosophical positions such as American pragmatism.
EXPERIMENTAL AND CONCEPTUAL INNOVATIONS
This essentially philosophical position gained strength from the success of Skinner's early experimental work with rats and pigeons, summarized in his books _The Behavior of Organisms_ and _Schedules of Reinforcement_. Of particular importance was his concept of the operant response, of which the canonical example was the rat's lever-press. In contrast with the idea of a physiological or reflex response, an operant is a class of structurally distinct but functionally equivalent responses. For example, while a rat might press a lever with its left paw or its right paw or its tail, all of these responses operate on the world in the same way and have a common consequence. Operants are often thought of as species of responses, where the individuals differ but the class coheres in its function-shared consequences with operants and reproductive success with species. This is a clear distinction between Skinner's theory and S–R theory .
Skinner's empirical work expanded on earlier research on trial-and-error learning by researchers such as Thorndike and Guthrie with both conceptual reformulations—Thorndike's notion of a stimulus–response "association" or "connection" was abandoned; and methodological ones—the use of the "free operant", so called because the animal was now permitted to respond at its own rate rather than in a series of trials determined by the experimenter procedures. With this method, Skinner carried out substantial experimental work on the effects of different schedules and rates of reinforcement on the rates of operant responses made by rats and pigeons. He achieved remarkable success in training animals to perform unexpected responses, to emit large numbers of responses, and to demonstrate many empirical regularities at the purely behavioral level. This lent some credibility to his conceptual analysis. It is largely his conceptual analysis that made his work much more rigorous than his peers', a point which can be seen clearly in his seminal work _Are Theories of Learning Necessary?_ in which he criticizes what he viewed to be theoretical weaknesses then common in the study of psychology. An important descendant of the experimental analysis of behavior is the Society for Quantitative Analysis of Behavior .
RELATION TO LANGUAGE
As Skinner turned from experimental work to concentrate on the philosophical underpinnings of a science of behavior, his attention turned to human language with his 1957 book _ Verbal Behavior _ and other language-related publications; _Verbal Behavior_ laid out a vocabulary and theory for functional analysis of verbal behavior, and was strongly criticized in a review by Noam Chomsky .
Skinner did not respond in detail but claimed that Chomsky failed to understand his ideas, and the disagreements between the two and the theories involved have been further discussed. Innateness theory is opposed to behaviorist theory which claims that language is a set of habits that can be acquired by means of conditioning. According to some, this process that the behaviorists define is a very slow and gentle process to explain a phenomenon as complicated as language learning. What was important for a behaviorist's analysis of human behavior was not language acquisition so much as the interaction between language and overt behavior. In an essay republished in his 1969 book _Contingencies of Reinforcement_, Skinner took the view that humans could construct linguistic stimuli that would then acquire control over their behavior in the same way that external stimuli could. The possibility of such "instructional control" over behavior meant that contingencies of reinforcement would not always produce the same effects on human behavior as they reliably do in other animals. The focus of a radical behaviorist analysis of human behavior therefore shifted to an attempt to understand the interaction between instructional control and contingency control, and also to understand the behavioral processes that determine what instructions are constructed and what control they acquire over behavior. Recently, a new line of behavioral research on language was started under the name of relational frame theory .
Behaviourism focuses on one particular view of learning: a change in external behaviour achieved through using reinforcement and repetition ( Rote learning ) to shape behavior of learners. Skinner found that behaviors could be shaped when the use of reinforcement was implemented. Desired behavior is rewarded, while the undesired behavior is punished. Incorporating behaviorism into the classroom allowed educators to assist their students in excelling both academically and personally. In the field of language learning, this type of teaching was called the audio-lingual method , characterised by the whole class using choral chanting of key phrases, dialogues and immediate correction.
Within the behaviourist view of learning, the "teacher" is the dominant person in the classroom and takes complete control, evaluation of learning comes from the teacher who decides what is right or wrong. The learner does not have any opportunity for evaluation or reflection within the learning process, they are simply told what is right or wrong. The conceptualization of learning using this approach could be considered "superficial" as the focus is on external changes in behaviour i.e. not interested in the internal processes of learning leading to behaviour change and has no place for the emotions involved the process.
Whether this approach is right or wrong, it cannot be denied that an aspect of memorization is regarded by key scholars as critical in any language learning.
Main article: Operant conditioning
Operant conditioning was developed by
Although operant conditioning plays the largest role in discussions of behavioral mechanisms, classical conditioning (or Pavlovian conditioning or respondent conditioning) is also an important behavior-analytic process that need not refer to mental or other internal processes. Pavlov's experiments with dogs provide the most familiar example of the classical conditioning procedure. In simple conditioning, the dog was presented with a stimulus such as a light or a sound, and then food was placed in the dog's mouth. After a few repetitions of this sequence, the light or sound by itself caused the dog to salivate. Although Pavlov proposed some tentative physiological processes that might be involved in classical conditioning, these have not been confirmed. The idea of classical conditioning helped behaviorist John Watson discover the key mechanism behind how humans acquire the behaviors that they do, which was to find a natural reflex that produces the response being considered.
Watson 's "Behaviourist Manifesto" has three aspects that deserve special recognition: one is that psychology should be purely objective, with any interpretation of conscious experience being removed, thus leading to psychology as the "science of behaviour"; the second one is that the goals of psychology should be to predict and control behaviour (as opposed to describe and explain conscious mental states; the third one is that there is no notable distinction between human and non-human behaviour. Following Darwin's theory of evolution, this would simply mean that human behaviour is just a more complex version in respect to behaviour displayed by other species.
MOLECULAR VERSUS MOLAR BEHAVIORISM
Skinner's view of behavior is most often characterized as a "molecular" view of behavior; that is, behavior can be decomposed into atomistic parts or molecules. This view is inconsistent with Skinner's complete description of behavior as delineated in other works, including his 1981 article "Selection by Consequences". Skinner proposed that a complete account of behavior requires understanding of selection history at three levels: biology (the natural selection or phylogeny of the animal); behavior (the reinforcement history or ontogeny of the behavioral repertoire of the animal); and for some species, culture (the cultural practices of the social group to which the animal belongs). This whole organism then interacts with its environment. Molecular behaviorists use notions from melioration theory , negative power function discounting or additive versions of negative power function discounting.
Molar behaviorists, such as Howard Rachlin , Richard Herrnstein , and William Baum, argue that behavior cannot be understood by focusing on events in the moment. That is, they argue that behavior is best understood as the ultimate product of an organism's history and that molecular behaviorists are committing a fallacy by inventing fictitious proximal causes for behavior. Molar behaviorists argue that standard molecular constructs, such as "associative strength", are better replaced by molar variables such as rate of reinforcement . Thus, a molar behaviorist would describe "loving someone" as a pattern of loving behavior over time; there is no isolated, proximal cause of loving behavior, only a history of behaviors (of which the current behavior might be an example) that can be summarized as "love".
Behaviorism is a psychological movement that can be contrasted with philosophy of mind . The basic premise of _radical behaviorism_ is that the study of behavior should be a natural science , such as chemistry or physics , without any reference to hypothetical inner states of organisms as causes for their behavior. Less radical varieties are unconcerned with philosophical positions on internal, mental and subjective experience. Behaviorism takes a functional view of behavior. According to Edmund Fantino and colleagues: "Behavior analysis has much to offer the study of phenomena normally dominated by cognitive and social psychologists. We hope that successful application of behavioral theory and methodology will not only shed light on central problems in judgment and choice but will also generate greater appreciation of the behavioral approach."
Behaviorist sentiments are not uncommon within philosophy of language
and analytic philosophy . It is sometimes argued that Ludwig
Wittgenstein defended a behaviorist position (e.g., the _beetle in a
box _ argument)—but while there are important relations between his
thought and behaviorism, the claim that he was a behaviorist is quite
Alan Turing is also sometimes considered
a behaviorist, but he himself did not make this identification. In
_logical and empirical positivism_ (as held, e.g., by Rudolf Carnap
Carl Hempel ), the meaning of psychological statements are their
verification conditions, which consist of performed overt behavior.
W.V. Quine made use of a type of behaviorism, influenced by some of
Skinner's ideas, in his own work on language.
Gilbert Ryle defended a
distinct strain of philosophical behaviorism, sketched in his book
This is Dennett's main point in "Skinner Skinned." Dennett argues that there is a crucial difference between explaining and explaining away… If our explanation of apparently rational behavior turns out to be extremely simple, we may want to say that the behavior was not really rational after all. But if the explanation is very complex and intricate, we may want to say not that the behavior is not rational, but that we now have a better understanding of what rationality consists in. (Compare: if we find out how a computer program solves problems in linear algebra, we don't say it's not really solving them, we just say we know how it does it. On the other hand, in cases like Weizenbaum\'s ELIZA program, the explanation of how the computer carries on a conversation is so simple that the right thing to say seems to be that the machine isn't really carrying on a conversation, it's just a trick.) — Curtis Brown, Philosophy of Mind, "Behaviorism: Skinner and Dennett"
21ST-CENTURY BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS
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The early term behavior modification has been obsolete since the 1990s as it currently refers to the brief revival of methodological behaviorism in the late 1950s and again from the late 1970s to early 1980s. Applied behavior analysis —the term that replaced behavior modification—has emerged into a thriving field.
The Association for Behavior Analysis: International (ABAI) currently has 32 state and regional chapters within the United States. Approximately 30 additional chapters have also developed throughout Europe, Asia, South America, and the South Pacific. In addition to 34 annual conferences held by ABAI in the United States and Canada, ABAI held the 5th annual International conference in Norway in 2009. The independent development of behaviour analysis outside the US also continues to develop. For example, the UK Society for Behaviour Analysis was founded in 2013 to further the advancement of the science and practice of behaviour analysis across the UK. And in terms of motivation, there remains strong interest in the variety of human motivational behaviour factors, e.g., indeed one could argue that the entire career counselling and advisory industry has at least partly been predicated on analysing individual behaviours. Some, may go as far as suggesting that the current rapid change in organisational behaviour could partly be attributed to some of these theories and the theories that are related to it.
The interests among behavior analysts today are wide-ranging, as a
review of the 30
Applications of behavioral technology, also known as applied behavior analysis or ABA, have been particularly well established in the area of developmental disabilities since the 1960s. Treatment of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders has grown especially rapidly since the mid-1990s. This demand for services encouraged the formation of a professional credentialing program administered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. (BACB) and accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. As of early 2012, there are over 300 BACB approved course sequences offered by about 200 colleges and universities worldwide preparing students for this credential and approximately 11,000 BACB certificants, most working in the United States. The Association of Professional Behavior Analysts was formed in 2008 to meet the needs of these ABA professionals.
Modern behavior analysis has also witnessed a massive resurgence in research and applications related to language and cognition, with the development of relational frame theory (RFT; described as a "Post-Skinnerian account of language and cognition"). RFT also forms the empirical basis for the highly successful and data-driven acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). In fact, researchers and practitioners in RFT/ACT have become sufficiently prominent that they have formed their own specialized organization that is highly behaviorally oriented, known as the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). It has rapidly grown in its few years of existence to reach about 5,000 members worldwide.
Some of the current prominent behavior analytic journals include the _Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis_ (JABA), the _Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior_ (JEAB) JEAB website, the _Journal of Organizational Behavior Management_ (JOBM), _Behavior and Social Issues_ (BSI), as well as the _Psychological Record_. Currently, the US has 14 ABAI accredited MA and PhD programs for comprehensive study in behavior analysis.
BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
Cultural analysis has always been at the philosophical core of radical behaviorism from the early days (as seen in Skinner's _Walden Two _, _Science & Human Behavior_, _Beyond Freedom -webkit-column-width: 22em; column-width: 22em;">
* Donald Baer * Albert Bandura * Dermot Barnes-Holmes * Vladimir Bekhterev * Sidney W. Bijou * Jacque Fresco * Edwin Ray Guthrie * Steven C. Hayes * Richard J. Herrnstein * Clark L. Hull * Brian Iwata * Alan E. Kazdin * Fred S. Keller * Jon Levy * Marsha M. Linehan * Ole Ivar Lovaas * Neal E. Miller * O. Hobart Mowrer * Charles E. Osgood * Ivan Pavlov * Murray Sidman * B. F. Skinner * Kenneth W. Spence * J. E. R. Staddon * Edward Thorndike * Edward C. Tolman * John B. Watson * Montrose Wolf
* Antecedent stimuli
Behavior analysis of child development
Behavioral change theories
Functional analysis (psychology)
* List of publications in psychology §
* _The Logic of Modern
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* ^ Dillenburger, Karola & Keenan, Mickey (2009). "None of the As
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"Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis" . _Journal of
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16795165 . doi :10.1901/jaba.1968.1-91 .
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* ^ Cheney, Carl D.; Ferster, Charles B. (1997). _Schedules of
* Baum, W.M. (2005) _
Understanding behaviorism: Behavior, Culture
and Evolution_. Blackwell.
* Cao, L.B. (2013) IJCAI2013 tutorial on behavior informatics and
* Cao, L.B. (2014) Non-IIDness Learning in Behavioral and Social
Data, The Computer Journal, 57(9): 1358–1370.
* Chiesa, Mecca (1994). "Radical Behaviorism: The Philosophy and the
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* Cooper, John O., Heron, Timothy E., & Heward, William L. (2007).
"Applied Behavior Analysis: Second Edition". Pearson.
* Ferster, C.B. & Skinner, B.F. (1957). _Schedules of
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* Malott, Richard W. Principles of Behavior. Upper Saddle River, NJ:
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* Mills, John A., _Control: A History of Behavioral Psychology_,
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* Lattal, K.A. & Chase, P.N. (2003) "Behavior Theory and
* Pierce, W. David & Cheney, Carl D. (2013). "Behavior Analysis and
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