Contributions of Behavioral Psychology to the Study of Attention

  • Ronald A. Cohen
  • Yvonne A. Sparling-Cohen
Part of the Critical Issues in Neuropsychology book series (CINP)


Behaviorism emerged in response to the early schools of psychology that had put a premium on the analysis of consciousness and subjective experience. With roots in the principles of associationism, objectivism, and logical positivism, behaviorism maintained that psychology should be an empirical science, its focus restricted to measurable behavior. This could be best accomplished by studying the characteristics of association formation between external events (stimuli) and the resulting responses. The term conditioning became synonymous with the process by which an associative linkage was established and learning occurred. By characterizing the relationship between the responses of the animal and the stimuli in its environment, learning theorists specified building blocks for more complex behaviors.


Conditioned Stimulus Conditioned Response Classical Conditioning Behavioral Inhibition Discrimination Learning 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald A. Cohen
  • Yvonne A. Sparling-Cohen

There are no affiliations available

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