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It is extremely important to note that Watson came to the conclusion that the observation of states of consciousness has little sense to psychologists, only by abandoning these internal observations he insisted that psychology will be accurate and objective science. In Watson’s understanding thinking is no more than a mental questioning. It should be noted that under the influence of positivism, Watson argued that the real is only that, what can be directly observed. Therefore, according to his plan, all behavior must be explained from the relations between directly observable effects of physical stimuli on the body and directly observed responses. Hence, Watson developed a principal formula of behaviorism: “stimulus – reaction” (S-R). Consequently, Watson believed that it was clear that the processes that occur between members of that formula – whether it be physiological (nervous), whether it be mental, psychology should eliminate from their hypotheses and explanations. Since the only real behavior of the various recognized forms of corporal reactions, Watson replaced all traditional notions of psychic phenomena of propulsion alternatives. It should be mentioned that the dependence of various mental functions of motor activity in those years was well established by experimental psychology. This included, for example, depending on the visual perception of movements of eye muscles, and emotions – from the bodily changes of thinking – from the vocal apparatus and so on. These facts Watson used as evidence that the objective muscular processes may be a worthy replacement of subjective mental acts. Proceeding from this premise, he explained the development of mental activity. It was alleged that a person thinks by muscles. In other words, child speech comes from disordered sounds. When adults connect some sound with a certain object, that object becomes the value of words. Gradually, the child’s external speech turns into a whisper, and then he begins to utter the word himself. This inner speech (inaudible vocalizations) is nothing but a way of thinking. In my opinion, this proves that by directing a child to the development of certain skills – you can predetermine his further occupation, which is proved by Joseph M. Wepman, 1963.
Moreover, Watson believed that all reactions, both intellectual and emotional, can be controlled. Mental development is reduced to the doctrine, that is, any acquisition of knowledge and skills – not only specially formed, but also occur spontaneously. From this perspective, learning – is a broader concept than training, because it includes specifically formed teaching knowledge. Thus, the study of mental development can be reduced to the study of the behavior formation, relationships between stimuli and emerging on the basis of their reactions (S-R). Moreover, Watson experimentally proved that human can create a fear response to a neutral stimulus. In his experiments, a rabbit was shown to children, whom they took up and wanted to stroke, but at this point was given discharge. The child threw a startled rabbit and started to cry. Experiment was repeated, and on the third or fourth time, after the appearance of the rabbit even at a distance, the majority of children began to fear. Once the negative emotion was fixed, Watson tried again to change the emotional attitude of children and form their interest and love for the rabbit. In this case, a rabbit was shown to the child during a delicious meal. For the first time, children have stopped to eat and started to cry, but as the rabbit did not approach them, staying in the room, and there was delicious food (chocolate or ice cream), children calmed down. After children stopped crying and react to the appearance of a rabbit in the room, the experimenter pulls him closer and closer to the children, while adding delicious things to their plates. Gradually children stopped to look at a rabbit and finally reacted calmly when he was already located near their plates, and even took him in their arms and tried to feed him. Thus, argued Watson, emotional behavior can be controlled, which is proved by Robert W. Rieber, 1998.
To sum it up I would like to say J.B. Watson made significant contribution to the emergence and development of behavioral approach in psychology. According to Watson, the subject of psychology appears not as the subjective world of human, but as objectively recorded by the characteristics of behavior caused by any external influences. At the same time, as the unit of analysis of the behavior were postulated relationship of the stimulus (S) and response (R). As a fact, 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. One of the main causes, which have made us what we are, is related to our tendency to imitate the behavior of others based on how favorable, can be the results of such role models for us. Thus, a person affected not only by external conditions: it must also constantly anticipate the consequences of his behavior by his self-assessment. Without any doubts, in general, behaviorism has had a great influence on the development of psychology and psychotherapy techniques of programmed instruction in particular. Moreover, thanks to behaviorism, experiment was raised to a higher level of research.