Behaviorism is a school of psychology that focuses on the study of observable behavior. It developed in response to the scientific and rational approach of structuralism, which sought to identify basic elements or structures present within consciousness and subjective experience. Behaviorists believed that behavior is shaped by its environment, and they sought to explain how this occurs through experiments and research methods such as systematic observation, operant conditioning, reinforcement theory, and stimulus-response theory. Three crucial researchers who have contributed significantly to the development of behaviorism are Ivan Pavlov, B.F. Skinner, and John Watson.
Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936) was one of the most influential early behaviorists whose work laid the foundation for classical conditioning theories. He studied dogs’ digestive processes but eventually focused on understanding their conditioned responses after noticing that his dogs began salivating at mere sight of food—rather than just when it was actually presented to them in their mouths as he had originally assumed would be necessary for them to salivate (DeGroot & Saldanha 2019). Through his experiments with dogs, Pavlov concluded that associations between stimuli can be learned through a process known as classical conditioning: A neutral stimulus becomes paired with an unconditioned stimulus so that it elicits an unconditioned response in addition to its original effect on the organism being studied (Pavlov 1927). As a result of this work, Pavlov established himself as one of the leading figures behind classical conditioning theory—the first formative step towards understanding how environments shape behaviors—and paved the way for future generations of researchers interested in exploring these ideas further (Kapitan 2002).
B.F Skinner (1904–1990) was another major contributor to behavioral science who continued building upon previous discoveries made by psychologists like Pavlov while also introducing novel concepts into scientific circles such as operant conditioning theory and reinforcement theory (Skinner 1938; Ullman 2004). His contributions largely revolved around shaping animal behaviors through positive or negative reinforcement based on whether particular actions yielded desirable results or not over time; i.e., reinforcing certain behaviors helped strengthen them while punishing others weakened them accordingly (Skinner 1938). This meant that even though organisms may come hardwired with certain innate tendencies or preferences regarding certain activities/behaviors due natural selection processes governing survival rates among species—reinforcement still played a crucial role in determining how often those tendencies were acted upon given their relative success rate compared against alternative options available at any given moment in time under varying contexts/conditions(Skinner 1938; Ullman 2004).
Identify three crucial researchers in the school of behaviorism and analyze the contributions of these researchers to the development of behaviorism.
Finally John Watson’s contributions have been instrumental in helping solidify psychology’s shift from studying introspective thoughts caused by physiological influences like reflexes etc., towards focusing solely on measurable external variables such as responses provoked within particular environments exposed via laboratory settings (Watson 1913; Dewsbury 2000). His works introduced behavioral analysis into mainstream psychological literature for the first time providing basis for Stimulus-Response Theory which emphasized role environment plays mediating behaviors amongst organisms across different species regardless substrates underlying internal components driving it from biological perspective –i..e signals turn into meaningful outputs primarily due environmental pressures acting upon individualunits over generations rather than any predetermined gene related programming typically passed generationally like suggested before debates surrounding nature vs nurture(Watson 1913;Dewsbury 2000 ). Thus overall impact John Watson has had both theoretical foundations extending functional relevance field behavioural studies well practical implications applied various fields ranging marketing educational practices provide valuable insight current day understandings drive human behaviour observed surface level without necessarily knowing causative factors influencing intentions prior resulting action taken place later point timeline(Watson 1913 ;Dewsbury 2000 ).
Overall Ivan Pavlov , B F Skiner ,John Watson 3 key influencers field behaviourism brought focus mental activity affected feelings emotions states mind instead looking actual physical structures enabling same results ultimately lead stronger evidence connecting external events induced reactions inside organism representative collective thought during particular era where philosophers thinkers until then relied more heavily religious teachings customs personal beliefs rather scientific information produce reliable hypothesis tested experimentally verify specific claims claimed previously . Thus innovative ideas provided 3 pioneers area revolutionized approaches identifying analysing sources content behaviours generated empirically outside lab walls validate observations recorded data gathered analyse properly extract possible connections trends noticed systematically replicated replicated verify accuracy consistency parameters used during course series tests conducted ensure plausible outcomes reached justified final conclusions drawn respective cases considered separately entirely .