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Psychology is the science of behavior Psychology is not the science of the mind Behavior can be described and explained without making reference to mental events or to internal psychological processes The sources of behavior are external in the environment not internal in the mind Behaviorism is a doctrine or a set of doctrines about human and nonhuman animal behavior An important component of many psychological theories in the late nineteenth century were introspection the study of the mind by analysis of ones own thought processes It was in reaction to this trend that behaviorism arose claiming that the causes of behavior need not be sought in the depths of the mind but could be observed in the immediate environment in stimuli that elicited reinforced and punished certain responses The explanation in other words lay in learning the process whereby behavior changes in response to the environment It wasnt until the twentieth century that the scientist began to uncover the actual mechanism of learning thereby laying the theoretical foundation for behaviorism The contributions of four particular scientists are Ivan Pavlov John B Watson Edward Lee Thorndike and BF Skinner A Russian neurophysiologist named Ivan Pavlov 1849-1936 found that if he consistently sounded a tone at the same time that he gave a dog food the dog would eventually salivate to the sound of the tone alert Through this research he discovered a basic mechanism of learning called the Conditioned Reflex A Conditioned Reflex is if a neutral stimulus ie the tone is paired with a nonneutral stimulus ie the food the organism will eventually respond to the neutral stimulus as it does to the nonneutral stimulus Perhaps the strongest application of classical conditioning involves emotion Common experience and careful research both confirm that human emotion conditions very rapidly and easily Particularly when the emotion is intensely felt or negative in direction it will condition quickly His findings raised the possibility that many of our
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