Behaviorism and Classical Conditioning

3381 words 14 pages

The year 1913 marks the birth of the most radical of all psychological concepts, that of "Behaviorism" (Moore, 1921). Since the original behavioral theories were studied by scientists such as Edward Thorndike and John B. Watson, there have been many variations of the behaviorist view that have surfaced over the years. In this paper I will attempt to give a detailed description of the history of behaviorism including information about some of the most influential men associated with this movement. I will also explain the methodologies associated with behaviorism such as classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and other controversial theories and views.

Behaviorism The atmosphere surrounding the psychological
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In contrast, the initiation of salivation due to the ringing of the bell is called a conditioned association. A conditioned association happens when a learned response is elicited from a stimulus that was previously a neutral stimulus. In a conditioned association, the stimulus that, though previously neutral, now causes the response is called a conditioned stimulus (CS) and the learned response is called a conditioned response (CR). Some other observations made and studied by Pavlov were acquisition, stimulus generalization, extinction, spontaneous recovery, stimulus discrimination, and higher-order conditioning. Acquisition occurs when a subject acquires a conditioned response during the initial stages of learning. Extinction occurs when the occurrence of a previously learned response is weakened. This weakening is a result of the removal of the unconditioned stimulus. After the response has been extinguished, occasionally the response will reappear after a period of time has past since the exposure of the conditioned stimulus. This reappearance is called spontaneous recovery. Stimulus generalization is a term that refers to a situation where a person displays a learned response to a stimulus that is similar to the original conditioned stimulus. In contrast to stimulus


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