Essay by redbyte11University, Bachelor'sB, March 2012

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The Study of Behavior

Behaviourism is a theory in psychology; a theory based on the idea that all our actions, reactions, in short our behaviours, are learned through conditioning. It is best described as a theory that measures behaviours that are observable which occur in response to a certain stimuli in their surrounding environment. It is a developmental theory that is not concerned with how or why it is knowledge is obtained by us. Instead, it is more interested with whether or not the right response is provided. "Learning is defined by acquiring new behaviour."

Various branches of behaviourism have been divided among well known theorists that belong to this school of thought. Another main branch in this school is radical behaviourism which extends behavioural processes to within an "organism", a process that is observable and experienced. Radical behaviourism is different from other branches of behaviourism because according to this division, everything one does is labelled as "behaviour", and this extends to personal thoughts and emotions.

Personal events according to radical behaviourists also play a role in both shaping and modifying behaviour. A third branch is labelled as psychological behaviourism which consists of behavioural principles incorporated with education, child development theories, reinforcement methods, and many other behaviours. The methodological branch includes John, B. Watson which revolves around "the objective study of behaviour."There are two different schools of conditioning, the classical conditioning and the operant conditioning. We will get to those schools later on in detail, but first, let us examine and try to understand the pioneers of behaviourism and what they thought.

Redefining Psychology: The study of behaviour

John B. Watson, the father of behaviourism, believed that our psychic ideas cannot be observed or measured, nor can be our consciousness; and if you cannot locate or measure something then...