For as long as history can date back, humans have always had a certain interest in what makes up an individual; who they are, and what aspects of there being, have set them apart from others within there species. As behaviorist see it, these questions are answered by nothing more than the world in which you were brought up in.
"Behaviorism, focuses on variables we can observe, measure, manipulate; and avoid whatever is subjective, internal, and unavailable -- i.e. mental (1998, C. George Boeree)." Behaviorism is a very old theory of personality. One of the oldest theories dates back to Rene Descartes. He introduced the idea of substance dualism, and called "the person a machine dependent on external events whose soul was the ghost in the machine (substance dualism)." Meaning that what is mental, and things that are physical are completely separate. Modern behaviorism however changes this theory in refusing to acknowledge any internal workings of the mind.
Behaviorist believe that, persons are nothing more than "mediators between behavior and environment (Skinner, 1993)."
Because the inner workings or the human mind are ignored, opponents to the theory make a strong case against it. Behaviorism is unable to explain human language, and memory. Although these criticisms indicate a failure in this theory. It isn't denied that behaviorism can teach the world a lot about human behaviors.
Behaviorism as it is known today was founded on the ideas of John B. Watson. Watson claimed that behavior should be examined, rather than describe how the mind was working. He contended that it was possible to condition humans and animals. In his famous study, Watson conditioned a young child named Albert to fear a white rat. He did so by creating a loud noise whenever Albert touched the rat. Frightened by the...