Behaviorism as Psychological Theory

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Behaviorism is a psychological theory that explains the actions of living creatures. The application of the model in practice covers the behavior that a person or animal expresses concerning a specific object or situation. This theory took momentum in the 20th century when American and European researchers experimented between dependent and independent subjects. It is also a part of developmental psychology, as behaviorism describes patterns of action and the biological reasons for them.

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Behavior patterns are the body’s biological responses to environmental factors or reflexes. Numerous researchers have studied behaviorism in experimental models and theoretical articles. Ivan Pavlov described unconditional response and stimulus as a model of the relationship between an object and the desired outcome (Eelen 200). In other words, the biopsychological reflex is based on an association that has already been experienced before. On the other hand, B.F. Skinner studied behaviorism in terms of operant conditioning, namely, subsequent action as a predictor of a particular activity pattern (Krapfl 126). The researcher proved the various behavior patterns of rats that received rewards or punishments for the same environmental factors. As a result, they increased or decreased the desire to make specific moves in various outcomes.

Behaviorism forms the methodology for developmental psychology as it explains the variable and conditioned response of the brain to its environment. In particular, a person or animal exhibits a specific pattern, either due to experienced memories or as an unconditioned reflex (Barrett 17). For example, the child’s psychological development included the development of a dog phobia. It did not happen by itself, but as an adverse reaction to the bite at an earlier age. It is a positive aspect of the model, as the potential deviations are described from a scientific perspective. However, the negative part of behaviorism is the neglect of cognitive learning, namely the variability of reflexes depending on studying throughout life. Hence, behaviorism is the theoretical and practical basis for developmental psychology.

Action patterns are the individual’s biological and psychological responses to the environment. Specific models of operating were formed due to experience or unconditioned reactions that are inherent in human physiology. Pavlov and Skinner are the key scientists in behaviorism, as they conducted a series of fundamental experiments to study people’s and animals’ behavior in specific settings. The model also explains the aspects of developmental psychology in which an individual manifests specific patterns in response to previous events.

Works Cited

Barrett, Louise. “Why Brains Are Not Computers, Why Behaviorism is Not Satanism, and Why Dolphins Are Not Aquatic Apes”. The Behavior Analyst, vol. 39, no. 1, 2016, pp. 9-23. Springer Science and Business Media LLC, Web.

Eelen, Paul. “Classical Conditioning: Classical Yet Modern”. Psychologica Belgica, vol. 58, no. 1, 2018, pp. 196-211. Ubiquity Press, Ltd., Web.

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Krapfl, Jon E. “Behaviorism and Society”. The Behavior Analyst, vol. 39, no. 1, 2016, pp. 123-129. Springer Science and Business Media LLC, Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, February 8). Behaviorism as Psychological Theory.

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"Behaviorism as Psychological Theory." PsychologyWriting, 8 Feb. 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Behaviorism as Psychological Theory'. 8 February.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Behaviorism as Psychological Theory." February 8, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Behaviorism as Psychological Theory." February 8, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "Behaviorism as Psychological Theory." February 8, 2022.