Behaviorism (Education)

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  • The name for an early-20th-century movement in psychology claiming that scientific psychology must study objective observable behavior rather than subjective mental events. Behavior ism dominated learning theory in psychology for much of the 20th century and is still used today in areas such as applied behavior analysis, token economies, and behavior therapy.

    Behavioral scientists study voluntary and involuntary behavior. The first to systematically record studies of behavior were Pavlov and his followers, who studied reflexive (autonomic, automatic, and involuntary) behavior. B. F. Skinner called this classical conditioning because it first proposed a relationship between a behavior and an external event. With classical conditioning, a neutral stimulus (which produces no response) is repeatedly paired with an unconditioned stimulus (which produces a natural response), and over repeated trials, ...

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