Operant and Attributional Theories
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Early in this century, American psychology rallied around the study of overt behavior, as had been suggested by Thorndike (1913) and Watson (1913). This perspective, which had its roots in the philosophy of logical positivism, demanded the use of operational definitions that were specified in terms of overt, observable behaviors. The most influential spokesperson for this position was undoubtedly Skinner (e.g., 1938), who proposed and elaborated an operant theory of behavior. Although the perspective is no longer as central to empirical psychology as it once was, there are still a number of psychologists who subscribe to a relatively orthodox operant perspective, and the field of applied behavior modification is firmly rooted in operant theory.
KeywordsIntrinsic Motivation Attribution Theory Environmental Force Extrinsic Reward Autonomy Orientation
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