Psychological Perspectives Essay

947 Words4 Pages
Psychological Perspectives of Skinner, Watson, and Tolman Lori Miller PSY-310 April 2, 2012 Giselle Bayard Psychological Perspectives of Skinner, Watson, and Tolman Psychological perspectives have varied between theorists over years. Perspectives of B.F. Skinner, John B. Watson, and Edward Tolman, although having different views on behavioral psychology, have made a permanent impact in today’s modern-day psychology. These theorists each believe that behaviorism is an important part of how an individual learns and is influenced. However, these theorists also believe in different types of behaviorism which results in the way human’s behave and respond. Cherry (2009), “Behaviorism is a school of thought in psychology based on the assumption that learning occurs through interactions with the environment” (para 1). B.F. Skinner and Operant Conditioning Burrhus Frederic Skinner, also known as, B.F. Skinner, was a behaviorist and studied operant conditioning. According to Cherry (2009), “Operant conditioning (sometimes referred to as instrumental conditioning) is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. Through operant conditioning, an association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior” (para 1). Skinner elaborated on Edward Thorndike’s observations that behavior was controlled by consequences of the actions. “Skinner called his approach “radical behaviorism” to distinguish it from the behaviorism of John Watson, who emphasized classical conditioning” (Wade & Tavris, 2006, p. 235). Skinner believed that behavior is a result of the types of consequences an individual may encounter. According to Skinner, there were three different types of consequences; neutral, reinforcement, and punishment. The neutral consequence was reported to not have any influence to behavior one way or the other.
Open Document