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Behaviorism

Behaviorism is a movement in psychology that focuses on the study of behaviors that can be objectively measured by a third party. Some behaviorists give little or no consideration to internal or mental events that cannot be measured, although others acknowledge the importance of internal events. This entry discusses the emergence of behaviorism, then describes methodological behaviorism and radical behaviorism, and then describes how these two strands have evolved.

Emergence of Behaviorism

Behaviorism was presented to the modern world by Johns Hopkins psychology professor John Broadus Watson (1878–1958) in an influential 1913 article Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It. Watson’s behaviorism is based on two claims: First, that individuals’ observations about their actions, motives, and mental processes are scientifically irrelevant. Second—and it almost follows from the first ...

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