Behaviorism reception in Argentina and Brazil: A study of two universities, Polanco, F. Universitas Psychologica, 13 5 , En Argentina, desde el conductismo fue ampliamente criticado. We are describing and analyzing the reception of behaviorism in Argentina and Brazil in the s and s. In Argentina, the first psychological courses took place during the late s and early s when behaviorism was widely criticized.
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Behaviorism or behaviourism is a systematic approach to understanding the behavior of humans and other animals. Although behaviorists generally accept the important role of heredity in determining behavior, they focus primarily on environmental events.
It combines elements of philosophy, methodology, and theory. Behaviorism emerged in the early s as a reaction to depth psychology and other traditional forms of psychology, which often had difficulty making predictions that could be tested experimentally, but derived from earlier research in the late nineteenth century, such as when Edward Thorndike pioneered the law of effect , a procedure that involved the use of consequences to strengthen or weaken behavior.
During the first half of the twentieth century, John B. Watson devised methodological behaviorism, which rejected introspective methods and sought to understand behavior by only measuring observable behaviors and events. It was not until the s that B. Skinner suggested that covert behavior—including cognition and emotions—subjects to the same controlling variables as observable behavior, which became the basis for his philosophy called radical behaviorism.
The application of radical behaviorism—known as applied behavior analysis —is used in a variety of contexts, including, for example, applied animal behavior and organizational behavior management , to the treatment of mental disorders, such as autism and substance abuse.
Skinner proposed radical behaviorism as the conceptual underpinning of the experimental analysis of behavior. This viewpoint differs from other approaches to behavioral research in various ways, but, most notably here, it contrasts with methodological behaviorism in accepting feelings, states of mind and introspection as behaviors also subject to scientific investigation.
Like methodological behaviorism, it rejects the reflex as a model of all behavior, and it defends the science of behavior as complementary to but independent of physiology.
Radical behaviorism overlaps considerably with other western philosophical positions, such as American pragmatism. Although John B. Watson mainly emphasized his position of methodological behaviorism throughout his career, Watson and Rosalie Rayner conducted the renowned Little Albert experiment , a study in which Ivan Pavlov 's theory to respondent conditioning was first applied to eliciting a fearful reflex of crying in a human infant, and this became the launching point for understanding covert behavior or private events in radical behaviorism.
In , Skinner observed the emotions of two pigeons by noting that they appeared angry because their feathers ruffled. The pigeons were placed together in an operant chamber, where they were aggressive as a consequence of previous reinforcement in the environment. Through stimulus control and subsequent discrimination training, whenever Skinner turned off the green light, the pigeons came to notice that the food reinforcer is discontinued following each peck and responded without aggression. Skinner concluded that humans also learn aggression and possess such emotions as well as other private events no differently than do nonhuman animals.
This essentially philosophical position gained strength from the success of Skinner's early experimental work with rats and pigeons, summarized in his books The Behavior of Organisms  and Schedules of Reinforcement. In contrast with the idea of a physiological or reflex response, an operant is a class of structurally distinct but functionally equivalent responses.
For example, while a rat might press a lever with its left paw or its right paw or its tail, all of these responses operate on the world in the same way and have a common consequence. Operants are often thought of as species of responses, where the individuals differ but the class coheres in its function-shared consequences with operants and reproductive success with species. This is a clear distinction between Skinner's theory and S—R theory.
Skinner's empirical work expanded on earlier research on trial-and-error learning by researchers such as Thorndike and Guthrie with both conceptual reformulations—Thorndike's notion of a stimulus—response "association" or "connection" was abandoned; and methodological ones—the use of the "free operant", so called because the animal was now permitted to respond at its own rate rather than in a series of trials determined by the experimenter procedures.
With this method, Skinner carried out substantial experimental work on the effects of different schedules and rates of reinforcement on the rates of operant responses made by rats and pigeons. He achieved remarkable success in training animals to perform unexpected responses, to emit large numbers of responses, and to demonstrate many empirical regularities at the purely behavioral level.
This lent some credibility to his conceptual analysis. It is largely his conceptual analysis that made his work much more rigorous than his peers', a point which can be seen clearly in his seminal work Are Theories of Learning Necessary?
An important descendant of the experimental analysis of behavior is the Society for Quantitative Analysis of Behavior. As Skinner turned from experimental work to concentrate on the philosophical underpinnings of a science of behavior, his attention turned to human language with his book Verbal Behavior  and other language-related publications;  Verbal Behavior laid out a vocabulary and theory for functional analysis of verbal behavior, and was strongly criticized in a review by Noam Chomsky.
Skinner did not respond in detail but claimed that Chomsky failed to understand his ideas,  and the disagreements between the two and the theories involved have been further discussed. What was important for a behaviorist's analysis of human behavior was not language acquisition so much as the interaction between language and overt behavior. In an essay republished in his book Contingencies of Reinforcement ,  Skinner took the view that humans could construct linguistic stimuli that would then acquire control over their behavior in the same way that external stimuli could.
The possibility of such "instructional control" over behavior meant that contingencies of reinforcement would not always produce the same effects on human behavior as they reliably do in other animals.
The focus of a radical behaviorist analysis of human behavior therefore shifted to an attempt to understand the interaction between instructional control and contingency control, and also to understand the behavioral processes that determine what instructions are constructed and what control they acquire over behavior.
Recently, a new line of behavioral research on language was started under the name of relational frame theory. Behaviourism focuses on one particular view of learning: a change in external behaviour achieved through using reinforcement and repetition Rote learning to shape behavior of learners.
Skinner found that behaviors could be shaped when the use of reinforcement was implemented. Desired behavior is rewarded, while the undesired behavior is not rewarded. In the field of language learning, this type of teaching was called the audio-lingual method , characterised by the whole class using choral chanting of key phrases, dialogues and immediate correction.
Within the behaviourist view of learning, the "teacher" is the dominant person in the classroom and takes complete control, evaluation of learning comes from the teacher who decides what is right or wrong.
The learner does not have any opportunity for evaluation or reflection within the learning process, they are simply told what is right or wrong. The conceptualization of learning using this approach could be considered "superficial," as the focus is on external changes in behaviour, i. Operant conditioning was developed by B. Skinner in and deals with the management of environmental contingencies to change behavior. The core tools of consequences are either positive presenting stimuli following a response , or negative withdrawn stimuli following a response.
The following descriptions explains the concepts of four common types of consequences in operant conditioning: . Classical experiment in operant conditioning, for example the Skinner Box , "puzzle box" or operant conditioning chamber to test the effects of operant conditioning principles on rats, cats and other species.
From the study of Skinner box, he discovered that the rats learned very effectively if they were rewarded frequently with food. Skinner also found that he could shape the rats' behavior through the use of rewards, which could, in turn, be applied to human learning as well. Skinner's model was based on the premise that reinforcement is used for the desired actions or responses while punishment was used to stop the undesired actions responses that are not.
This theory proved that humans or animals will repeat any action that leads to a positive outcome, and avoiding any action that leads to a negative outcome. The experiment with the pigeons showed that a positive outcome leads to learned behavior since the pigeon learned to peck the disc in return for the reward of food. These historical consequential contingencies subsequently leads to antecedent stimulus control , but in contrast to respondent conditioning where antecedent stimuli elicits reflexive behavior, operant behavior is only emitted and therefore does not force its occurrence.
It includes the following controlling stimuli: . Although operant conditioning plays the largest role in discussions of behavioral mechanisms, respondent conditioning also called Pavlovian or classical conditioning is also an important behavior-analytic process that need not refer to mental or other internal processes. Pavlov's experiments with dogs provide the most familiar example of the classical conditioning procedure. At the beginning, the dog was provided a meat unconditioned stimulus, UCS, naturally elicit a response that is not controlled to eat, resulting in increased salivation unconditioned response, UCR, which means that a response is naturally caused by UCS.
Afterwards, a bell ring was presented together with food to the dog. Although bell ring was a neutral stimulus NS, meaning that the stimulus did not had any effect , dog would start salivate when only hearing a bell ring after a number of pairings. Eventually, the neutral stimulus bell ring became conditioned. Therefore, salvation was elicited as a conditioned response the response same as the unconditioned response , pairing up with meat—the conditioned stimulus  Although Pavlov proposed some tentative physiological processes that might be involved in classical conditioning, these have not been confirmed.
Watson 's "Behaviourist Manifesto" has three aspects that deserve special recognition: one is that psychology should be purely objective, with any interpretation of conscious experience being removed, thus leading to psychology as the "science of behaviour"; the second one is that the goals of psychology should be to predict and control behaviour as opposed to describe and explain conscious mental states ; the third one is that there is no notable distinction between human and non-human behaviour.
Following Darwin's theory of evolution, this would simply mean that human behaviour is just a more complex version in respect to behaviour displayed by other species. Behaviorism is a psychological movement that can be contrasted with philosophy of mind.
According to Edmund Fantino and colleagues: "Behavior analysis has much to offer the study of phenomena normally dominated by cognitive and social psychologists. We hope that successful application of behavioral theory and methodology will not only shed light on central problems in judgment and choice but will also generate greater appreciation of the behavioral approach.
Behaviorist sentiments are not uncommon within philosophy of language and analytic philosophy. It is sometimes argued that Ludwig Wittgenstein defended a logical behaviorist position  e. In logical positivism as held, e. Quine made use of a type of behaviorism,  influenced by some of Skinner's ideas, in his own work on language. Quine's work in semantics differed substantially from the empiricist semantics of Carnap which he attempted to create an alternative to, couching his semantic theory in references to physical objects rather than sensations.
Gilbert Ryle defended a distinct strain of philosophical behaviorism, sketched in his book The Concept of Mind.
Daniel Dennett likewise acknowledges himself to be a type of behaviorist,  though he offers extensive criticism of radical behaviorism and refutes Skinner's rejection of the value of intentional idioms and the possibility of free will. This is Dennett's main point in "Skinner Skinned.
But if the explanation is very complex and intricate, we may want to say not that the behavior is not rational, but that we now have a better understanding of what rationality consists in. Compare: if we find out how a computer program solves problems in linear algebra, we don't say it's not really solving them, we just say we know how it does it.
On the other hand, in cases like Weizenbaum's ELIZA program, the explanation of how the computer carries on a conversation is so simple that the right thing to say seems to be that the machine isn't really carrying on a conversation, it's just a trick. Skinner's view of behavior is most often characterized as a "molecular" view of behavior; that is, behavior can be decomposed into atomistic parts or molecules. This view is inconsistent with Skinner's complete description of behavior as delineated in other works, including his article "Selection by Consequences".
This whole organism then interacts with its environment. Molecular behaviorists use notions from melioration theory , negative power function discounting or additive versions of negative power function discounting. Molar behaviorists, such as Howard Rachlin , Richard Herrnstein , and William Baum, argue that behavior cannot be understood by focusing on events in the moment.
That is, they argue that behavior is best understood as the ultimate product of an organism's history and that molecular behaviorists are committing a fallacy by inventing fictitious proximal causes for behavior. Molar behaviorists argue that standard molecular constructs, such as "associative strength", are better replaced by molar variables such as rate of reinforcement. Skinner's radical behaviorism has been highly successful experimentally, revealing new phenomena with new methods, but Skinner's dismissal of theory limited its development.
Theoretical behaviorism  recognized that a historical system, an organism, has a state as well as sensitivity to stimuli and the ability to emit responses. Indeed, Skinner himself acknowledged the possibility of what he called "latent" responses in humans, even though he neglected to extend this idea to rats and pigeons. Theoretical behaviorism links between the brain and the behavior that provides a real understanding of the behavior.
Rather than a mental presumption of how brain-behavior relates. During the s, behavior analysts, most notably Sigrid Glenn, had a productive interchange with cultural anthropologist Marvin Harris the most notable proponent of "cultural materialism" regarding interdisciplinary work.
Very recently, behavior analysts have produced a set of basic exploratory experiments in an effort toward this end. With the fast growth of big behavioral data and applications, behavior analysis is ubiquitous.
Understanding behavior from the informatics and computing perspective becomes increasingly critical for in-depth understanding of what, why and how behaviors are formed, interact, evolve, change and affect business and decision. Behavior informatics   and behavior computing   deeply explore behavior intelligence and behavior insights from the informatics and computing perspectives.
In the second half of the 20th century, behaviorism was largely eclipsed as a result of the cognitive revolution. In the midth century, three main influences arose that would inspire and shape cognitive psychology as a formal school of thought:. In the early years of cognitive psychology, behaviorist critics held that the empiricism it pursued was incompatible with the concept of internal mental states.