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To begin with, it should be noted that in 1930, famous scientist of behavioral approach in psychology J.B. Watson said following words: “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well formed and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and yes, even a beggar man and thief, regardless of his talent, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations and race of his ancestors”. In my opinion, this quote fully meets Watson’s beliefs in behavioral psychology. Without any doubts, with this words Watson tried to say that human, in the concept of behaviorism, is understood primarily as a reactive, learning being, who is programmed to certain reactions, actions and behavior. Consequently, human is totally dependent on his environment, and any freedom of action, which, as it seems, he can use – is pure illusion. In particular, through experimentation it can be established universal norms of influence on human behavior. That is why Watson always considered that the subject of psychology is behavior, but not consciousness. Further, I would like to support this thesis by several arguments.
First of all, it is essential to note that behaviorism – is the direction in human and animal psychology, literally – the science of behavior. This trend has shaped American psychology of the XX century and radically transformed the whole system of ideas about the psyche. Credo of behavioral approach can be expressed in formula, according to which, the subject of psychology is behavior, but not consciousness. It is important to mention that before, it was decided to equate the psyche and the consciousness (scientists considered that mental processes begin and end in the consciousness) and appeared version, though eliminating consciousness, behaviorism, eliminating psyche. The founder of behavioral approach in psychology is an American psychologist John Watson. In the second half of the XX century behaviorism largely given way to cognitive psychology, but many ideas of behaviorism currently are used in certain areas of psychology, in particular in therapy, which is proved by Wayne Dennis, 1948.
It should be mentioned that behaviorists used two main methodological approaches to study behavior: observation in a laboratory, in artificially created and controlled conditions and observation in their natural habitat. Most experiments were carried out on animal, and then establish patterns of reactions in response to environmental exposure were suffered to human. As a fact, behaviorism shifted the emphasis of the experimental practice of psychology with the study of human behavior to the study of animal behavior. It should be noted that experiments with animals allowed exercising better control over the research environment relations from a behavioral reaction to it. The easier is psychological and emotional constitution of observed being – the greater is assurance that the studied communication will not be distorted by the accompanying psychological and emotional components. It is important to note that it is almost impossible to provide such degree of purity in an experiment with people. However, with time, this technique has been criticized, mainly for ethical reasons, but behaviorists believed that through manipulation of external stimuli human behavior can be shaped in different, which is proved by John B. Watson, 1919.