Day 5: Behaviorism
October 28, 2009 by kltangen
Behaviorism starts with the idea that personality is simply what you do. You are the sum of your behaviors. If you want to change your personality, change your behavior.
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936) was a student of Ivan Schenov (who was a student of Muller and Helmholtz). Pavlov was a Nobel prize winning physiologist (digestion) and the founder of classical conditioning. His work in Russia with salivating dogs served as the basis for American behaviorism.
John Broadus Watson (1878-1958) proposed that there are no internal processes; thinking is subvocalized speech, personality is a collection of habits. Applying the principles of S-R learning, Watson popularized behaviorism and proposed “experimental ethics,” a classical conditioning rehabilitation program for inmates. Watson showed that fear can be classically conditioned.
Burrhus Frederic Skinner (1904-1990) was the founder of operant conditioning. Best known for the “Skinner box”, his schedules of reinforcement, token economies, programmed learning and teaching pigeons to play table tennis, B.F. Skinner founded operation conditioning. Instead of emphasizing the stimuli which elicit responses (as in classical conditioning), he focused on behavior that is emitted and on what occurs immediately after a behavior occurs.