Watson's theory of behaviorism key concepts. First, it is important to remember that Edward Thorndike. And Ivan Pavlov provided significant contributions to behavioral psychology. However, it must be noted that it was john b, Watson who championed the popular behaviorist movement on the one hand. Pavlov's contribution was made from the discipline of physiology and was somewhat indirect his connection with American behavioral psychology was initially made by Watson who felt that Pavlov's.
Experiments, provided a good example of a sound, experimental method used to observe the conditioning process of the secretory reflex by monitoring the flow of saliva as for Thorndike. It is unlikely that he would have labeled himself a behaviorist since it wasn't until 1913 that the term began to come into vogue. This new term that is behaviorism. And the perspective on the study of psychology to which it referred quickly became the dominating school of psychology in American universities. It was in. His article entitled psychology as the behaviorist views it that Watson positioned behavioral psychology as a purely objective, experimental branch of natural science, with a theoretical goal of prediction and control of behavior watts and more plainly defined behaviorism by saying that behaviorism is the scientific study of human behavior.
Its real goal is to provide the basis for prediction and control of human beings, given the situation to tell what the human being will do give the man in. Action to be able to say why he is reacting in that way later in reflecting on the behaviorist movement, he wrote behaviorism as I tried to develop it in my lectures at Columbia in 1912. And in my earliest writings was an attempt to do one thing to apply to the experimental study of man, the same kind of procedure and the same language of description that many research men had found useful for so many years in the study of animals, lower than man Watson's initial research focused on animal subjects. Such as rats, rabbits, birds and monkeys. But by the year 1919, he had been able to apply the same experimental procedures to the study of man. The goal he had established for himself in his 1913 article. This article has come to be referred to as the behaviorist manifesto through his own efforts.
And through the reports of other researchers working in the same field, Watson collected data through daily observation of several hundred infants from birth through the first 30 days of infancy and of a. Smaller number through the first years of childhood from this data, he concluded that young children taken at random from homes of both the poor and of the world to do not make good subjects because their behavior was too complex. His solution to this problem was to study hospital-reared children belonging to wet. Nurses. Perhaps his most famous experiments were those conducted to establish conditioned emotional responses in little Albert by exposing him to various small animals and. Simultaneously sounding a loud noise that had been found to elicit crying through repeated pairing of the animals with the noise.
The animals themselves came to elicit responses of fear crying and avoidance behavior where previously they had not several other experiments conducted with children are accounted in Watson's 1930, publication entitled behaviorism Watson's perspective on learning that is his theory of habit. Formation is illustrated in the following example, generalized from his. Observations of many children in similar situations to make the whole process, a little more concrete. Let us put in front of the three-year-old child, whose habits of manipulation are well established a problem box, a box that can be opened only after a certain thing has been done. For example, he has to press inward a small wooden button.
Before we hand it to him. We show him the open box containing many small pieces of candy. And then we close it and tell him that if he opens it, he may have a.
Piece of candy this situation is new to him. None of his previously learned formed manipulation habits will completely and instantly work in this situation. None of his unlearned reactions will help him very much. What does he do that depends upon his previous organization if well organized by previous handling of toys? He goes at the issue at once one. He picks the box up two.
Furthermore, he pounds it on the floor. Three. Furthermore, he drags it round and round, four. Furthermore, he pushes it up against the baseboard five. Furthermore, he turns it.
Over and six, he strikes it with his fist. In other words, he does everything he has learned to do in the past in similar situations. He displays his whole repertoire of acts brings all of his previously acquired organization to bear upon the new issue. Let us suppose that he has 50 learned and unlearned separate responses at his command at one time or another during his first attempt to open the box.
Let us assume that he displays as he will nearly all of them before he pushes the button hard. Enough to release the catch the time. The entire process takes we will say is about 20 minutes when he opens it. We give him his bit of candy close up the box and hand it to him again. The next time he makes fewer movements. The third time, fewer still in 10 trials or fewer. He can open the box without making a useless movement, and he can open it in two seconds.
Watson explained, this instance of learning, the ability to open the box with increasing speed and with fewer and fewer useless movements as a. Function of frequency and recency the act that is performed most frequently persists while the rest die away. The act that has been performed.
Most recently is more likely to appear sooner in the next succeeding. Trial Watson's explanation of recency and frequency as the basis for habit. Formation was criticized by some writers and specific experiments were performed to demonstrate the inadequacy of these two factors alone to account for learning. However, these factors do not form Watson's complete. Picture of learning in his introduction to a republication of Watson's, behaviorism, Kimball lists, nine hypothetical laws of learning identified by Watson, the first two are frequency and recency.
The remaining seven are third conditioning is a process of stimulus substitution here, the conditioned stimulus now becomes a substitute stimulus. It will then call out the response whenever it stimulates the subject. Fourth, the process of conditioning is ubiquitous. So far, as we know, we can substitute another. Stimulus for any stimulus calling out a standard reaction, thus for Watson learning never produces truly new responses. The organism starts out life with more unit responses than it needs.
In fact, the process that appears to establish new responses concerns itself, really with stimulus substitutions. And not reaction substitutions fifth, conditioned responses may be temporary and unstable. This means after periods of no practice, they cease to work, but they can be quickly re-established sixth the. Substituted stimulus can be made so specific that no other stimulus of its class will then call out the reflex. But in apparent contradiction to this idea, Watson also noted that conditioned responses, generalized transfer to similar condition stimuli, seventh the magnitude of the response is dependent upon the strength of the conditioned stimulus eight.
There is a marked summation effect. For example, if a dog is conditioned separately to two stimuli, there is a marked increase in the strength of the. Response if the stimuli are given simultaneously and ninth conditioned, responses can be extinguished on a last note. It is important to remember that though Watson's role as the recognized founder of behaviorism as a school of psychology is clear. His impact on educational learning theory is limited as evidenced by the tangential coverage. He is given in comprehensive books on learning theory.
Perhaps this is because his explanation of frequency and recency was never fully accepted as sufficient to. Account for learning, and because his other laws as summarized by Kimball weren't, unique with most of them having been adopted without change from Pavlov.