Psychology Through The Eyes Of A Behaviorist Essay

1047 Words Oct 5th, 2015 5 Pages
Psychology Through the Eyes of a Behaviorist

John B. Watson was the first person to study human emotions systematically. In fact, back in his day, it was very common to think of fear as either a result of faulty reasoning or a form of instinctual reaction (Chance, 2014, 2009). In the first paragraph of “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it”, Watson immediately points out the universal beliefs of behaviorists. One of the first ones is that psychology, from a behaviorist’s perspective, is a “purely objective experimental branch of natural science” (Watson, 1913). However, Watson makes it clear that he feels psychology has failed to project itself as such due to the false idea that its array of facts are “conscious phenomena” (Kimble and Thompson, 1994) and that introspection is the only straightforward confirmation of these facts. He notes that its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior. He continues to discuss introspection and how it does not form any essential portion of its methods, “nor is the scientific value of its data dependent upon the readiness with which they lend themselves to interpretation in terms of consciousness” (Watson, 1913). In other words, the value of data goes far beyond their interpretations granted by the psychologists who collected said data. Finally, he recognizes the idea that the behavior of man and behavior of animals could and should be considered on the same grounds since they are equivalent as far as the general…

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