The science of psychology has steadily been moving more toward a biological basis during the early 20th century but researchers found that it really didn’t explain all the nuances of human behavior. One of the more famous experiments is the Pavlov dog experiment, which described unconditioned and conditioned responses. James Watson went one step further describing behavior from what then emerged as Behaviorism. It was B.F. Skinner that shaped Behaviorism into its current state, through research on operant conditioning. Behaviorism still didn’t provide all the answers; psychology continues to evolve into different areas such as cognitive psychology.
- Explain why Pavlov’s experiments in reflexology were an important part in the development of psychology.
- Describe behaviorism from Watson’s perspective; then, compare and contrast his viewpoints with operational positivism and the prevailing functionalism.
- What are the major similarities and differences between Watson and Skinner’s behaviorism? From your understanding of psychological principles, which of them had a greater influence in the areas of both research and applied psychology?
- Psychology seems to have emerged as a science, but with an eclectic view of how to understand behavior. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Is there a difference between the research aspect of psychology and the applied side of psychology in terms of theoretical perspectives?
Justify your answers with appropriate research and reasoning.