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The Role of Research and Statistics in the Field of Psychology

John B. Watson work on classical behaviorism that paved the way for B. F.

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Skinner’s radical or operant behaviorism which has had a large impact on educational systems. Watson was one of the influential psychologists of the twentieth century. His material is still used in most psychology and educational psychology texts. Watson helped with defining the study of behavior anticipated Skinner’s emphasis on operant conditioning and the importance of learning and environmental influences in human development.

Watson’s criticized of Sigmund Freud has been given credit for helping to disseminate principles of Freudian psychoanalysis. Watson is known for the Little Albert study and his dozen healthy infants quote. Watson is given credit for popularizing the term behaviorism with the publication of his seminal 1913 article “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It. ” In the article, Watson argued that psychology had failed in its quest to become a natural science, largely due to a focus on consciousness and other unseen phenomena.

Rather than study these unverifiable ideas, Watson urged the careful scientific study of observable behavior. His view of behaviorism was a reaction to introspection, where each researcher served as their own research subject. The study of consciousness by Freud and Watson believed to be subjective and unscientific. Watson believed that controlled laboratory studies were the most effective way to study learning. In approach manipulation of the learner’s environment was the key to fostering development.

The approach stands in contrast to techniques that placed the emphasis for learning in the mind of the learner. The 1913 article gives credit for the founding of behaviorism but it had a minor impact after its publication. Watson prepared psychologists and educators for the highly influential work of Skinner and other radical behaviorists in subsequent decades. B. F. Skinner was one of the most influential theorists in modern psychology. His work was very important and has been studied by many for years. His theories have helped mankind in many ways.

He studied the behavior patterns of many living organisms. His most important work was the study of behaviorism. John B. Watson, behaviorism is one of the most widely studied theories today; Influence in Psychology. B. F. Skinner was one of the most famous of the American psychologists. Skinner was responsible for experiments such as the “Skinner box”. He wrote some very famous books. One of them was “The Behavior of Organisms”. This book describes the basic points of his system. Another was Walden Two. This book describes a utopian society that functions on positive reinforcement.

Behaviorism is a school of thought in psychology that is interested in observable behavior. Skinner said, “Behaviorism is not the science of human behavior; it is the philosophy of that science. ” There are various types of behavior, such as innate behavior. Innate behaviors are certain behaviors. B. F. Skinner, in his novel Walden Two, presents many arguments about how he foresees a positive change in the world through manipulation of behavior on the personal level. B. F. Skinner’s entire system is based on operant conditioning. This organism is the process of operating on the environment.

This operating the organism encounters a special kind of stimulus called a reinforcing stimulus or reinforcer. The special stimulus have the effect of increasing the operant which is the behavior occurring. Operant conditioning the behavior is followed by a consequence or the nature of the consequence modifies the organisms’ tendency to repeat the behavior in the future. Example; you have a cat and the cat just playing around with a ball and when you throw the ball at the cat and the cat catches it and you give him a treat. The cat is starts to catch the ball as you throw it in the air .

The operant is the behavior prior to. The cat will stop the trick which you’re were enjoying. This is called extinction of the operant behavior. If you were to start showing the dog treats then likely the cat with start doing the tricks again and more quickly than the cat learned at first. This is because the return of the reinforcer takes place in a reinforcement history that goes all the way back to the first time the cat was reinforced for doing the tricks. Freud and Skinner agree that human behavior is the result of outside barriers that hinder the ideal of free ill. Skinner believes that humans in good environment can live happy while Freud understands that humans are design to live in some degree of anguish or discontent. Skinner uses the example of Walden Two to illustrate his ideas of how human behavior should be formed. Skinner’s argues on how to eliminate what he knows as problematic rests on his prescription of dismissing the notion of individual freedom. Skinner does not only say that the ideal of individual freedom is farce. He takes further and states that the search for it is where society has gone wrong.

He wants no part in the quest for individual freedom. If we give up this illusion, says Skinner, we can condition everyone to act in acceptable ways. Skinner has a specific prescription for creating this utopian society. He believe that all that is necessary is to change the conditions which surround man. He believe that by controlling what a person’s environment is it is possible to craft a man to behave in any way. Skinner wants to use this notion to create a world without pain and suffering. In Walden Two, he describes what conditions are necessary to create a world of happiness.

Skinner proposes that to create his perfect society one need only to come up with the characteristics of what man should be. Edward Chace Tolman was a modern cognitive psychology. He showed that animals in learning mazes acquire organized spatial and temporal information about the maze and about the consequences of various alternative behaviors. He was combating the dominant views of his time which emphasized the acquisition of conditioned reflexes rather than knowledge about environmental events. Although several short biographies or reviews of Tolman’s contributions are (Crutchfield, 1961; Crutchfield et al. 1960; Hilgard, 1980; Innes, 1999, 2000; McFarland, 1993; Ritchie, 1964; Tolman, 1952), it is appropriate that one be included in an encyclopedia of learning and memory because workers in this field today are using ideas that were initiated and developed by Tolman. Tolman’s findings and ideal have helped to shape modern understanding of learning, memory and cognition. Tolman was similar to the behaviorists in his ideals on objectivity and measurement. He did not believe reinforcement was necessary for learning to occur. Tolman (1932) proposed five types of learning: pproach learning, escape learning, avoidance learning, choice-point learning, and latent learning. All forms of learning depend upon means-end readiness, goal-oriented behavior, mediated by expectations, perceptions, representations, and other internal or environmental variables But the problems with his work were that he poorly defined many terms that he used in his fundamental theories, and that is difficult to make predictions from a point of view because of lack of determining the nature and strength of expectations before hand and when or how expectations may change.

There are different ways to think about humans and their behaviors. In modern psychology provide researchers a way to approach problems and find ways to explain and predict human behavior. Develop new treatment for problem with behaviors. All three men contributes to psychology even to psychologist are still using their methods in studies. Several area of the human’s behavior is accomplished by Skinner, Watson and Tolman that stand today in modern psychology.

These men did not agree on every thing but made a caramel ground in studying the human behavior. Also they was studied of animal compare with the human’s behavior which many theory still exist today. These three men remain widely accepted, but all have contributed tremendously to our understanding of human thought and behaviors. The field of psychology has come a long way and these are three men that help paved the way for modern psychology for researchers and student who studied field pertaining to psychology.