Explain any three principles of behaviorism.

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Behaviorism is a psychological approach that is distinguishable through its emphasis on scientific and objective methods of investigation. Behaviorists are concerned only with behaviors that can be observed through stimulus-response. There are a few key principles of behaviorism that you should keep in mind while studying this psychological approach.

First, behaviorists believe that all behavior is learned from the environment. The approach practically excludes any focus on innate or inherited factors in determining behavior. In real terms, this means that behaviorism focuses on learning. Those who adhere to the approach believe that people are born as a blank slate and learn behaviors through their interactions with broader society.

Second, Behaviorists also believe there are few distinctions to be drawn between learning that takes place in humans and that which takes place in other animals. This means that behaviorist experiments can be carried out on animals, since they don't believe the results will be skewed much, if at all, by not testing theories directly on humans.

Third, behaviorists are primarily focused on observable behavior. That means they don't spend much time analyzing internal events such as thinking or emotion. That's not to say that behaviorists deny the existence or importance of internal activities. They just think that the best way to scientifically and objectively measure those activities is through the ways that they express themselves in behavior.

These are three of the most important principles to keep in mind while studying behaviorism.

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In sharp contrast to Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theories that concentrated on an individual's subjective experiences, especially through dreams, John B. Watson (one of Freud's contemporaries) sought to explain the human experience in terms of things that were quantifiable. He called his approach behaviorism because it focused on an individual's behavior, rather than their thoughts or subconscious experiences.

Behaviorism is characterized by several different key principles. Here are three of them:

All behavior is learned

Behaviorists are proponents of the "tabula rasa" view—we are all born as blank slates, and our environment shapes who we will become and how we will think and act. All learning occurs via the processes of either operant or classical conditioning.

Psychology should be scientific

Any theories that are constructed need to be based on empirical data that is obtained through carefully controlled behavior observation and measurement.

Humans learn in much the same way animals do

Behaviorism is largely responsible for the use of animals in psychological experiments because animals' environments can be more accurately controlled than those of humans. Behaviorists believe there are no fundamental differences in how humans and animals learn and behave, so this sort of comparative psychology is thought to present the same quality of information as do studies using only human subjects.

In short, as the name suggests, behaviorism focuses on behavior that is learned, quantifiable, and able to be controlled.

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Behaviourism is an approach to studying animal and human psychology that focuses on observable characteristics or behaviour only. Behaviourism grew in response to 17th and 18th century Mentalism...

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that believed all source of knowledge to be derived from innate and intuitive mechanisms inside the mind. The behavioural approach was propounded by John Watson and later supported by psychologists like Skinner. Behaviourism ruled psychology (and even had a profound impact on fields like linguistics) during the early 20th century, but lost popularity after the mid-20th century paradigm shift towards Cognitivism. Some of the main behavioural assumptions and principles are as follows:

The source of truth and knowledge is only that which is observable and can be proven with empirical evidence. Behaviourism does not engage itself with events that happen inside the mind like intuition, thinking and other mental faculties, as these cannot be objectively studied and measured in any way.

All observable behaviour is an outcome of a person’s environment. In other words, response is conditioned by stimulus. Behaviourists try to study and measure these stimuli and responses under controlled laboratory experiments. The behavioural assumptions were even extended to emotional responses and language (verbal behaviour) by Skinner.

All behaviour is learnt from the environment alone. At birth, the mind is like an empty slate (tabula rasa).

One of the main behavioural principles is that the response from the environment has consequences on the possibility or intensity of behaviour (operant conditioning). Hence, a reward from the environment leads to positive reinforcement (increased or repeated behaviour). Punishment has an opposite effect of that of reinforcement (weakened or suppressed behaviour).

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