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Behaviorism and Behaviorist Learning Theories

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Synonyms

Behaviorism; Science of behavior

Definition

Behaviorism is the name given to several approaches to psychology, especially to the study of both animal and human learning, which arose in – and flourished during – the twentieth century. These approaches rejected the use of introspective methods (wherein individuals reported on their subjective experiences), and instead were based upon the study of behavior, its modification, and its observable antecedents and consequences – which were taken to be the only scientifically objective, publicly observable, sources of data. Consequently, behaviorists rejected characterizations of psychology that were given in terms of the study of mental events or of consciousness or “mind,” and instead defined psychology as the study of behavior and its modification. This focus, the behaviorists felt, brought unity to the psychological study of animals and humans.

Theoretical Background

The emergence of behaviorism as a broad movement can be traced...

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_750
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References

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  • Tolman, E. C. (1932). Purposive behavior in animals and men. New York: Century.

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Correspondence to Denis C. Phillips .

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© 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

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Phillips, D.C. (2012). Behaviorism and Behaviorist Learning Theories. In: Seel, N.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_750

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