Psychology is an aspect of science which basically study behavior and the human mind. The definition is a triad of component in that it contains a scientific scope or aspect, the human behavior and the human mind. The scientific study approach each aspect of it study in a systematic approach and in an objective manner of observing the changes and the experiment as a whole. Behavior see the changes in what human do such as measuring or observing things like blinking of an eye or tachycardia which simply means increase in heart rate.
The mind is the unconscious and conscious mental aspect of humans. There has been a lot of psychological influence both in the past and present on the perception of human behavior, all of which can be attributed to the great research and experiment conducted by different psychologist and scientist to understand human nature. In the aspect of learning, there are different experiments conducted to understand what learning entails. Some of the works range from the experiments of the Edwards Lee Thorndike in the year 1898. He was one the people that lay the foundation of the new behaviorism.
He conducted an experiment on the animal learning modalities where he used cats. The cats were placed in a cage and food was then placed outside the cage. He timed the duration the cats took to learn the method of opening the cage to get to the food. He then repeated the experiments and later found that the cats would repeat such behavior that already worked for the cats so it can escape to get the food. With the result of the experiment he then proposed the “the law of effect”. Among the great works on the behaviorism is the work of the Russian Ivan Pavlov.
He is a physiologist and he had won a Nobel Prize before the experiment on the behaviorism. He conducted this experiment in 1906. The experiment which was later termed or called the pavlovian or classical condition has since remained one of the most important principle of the learning and human behavior. He found out that a dog that has food repeatedly placed in it’s mouth will tend to salivate even if the food is placed in the dogs mouth. He then conditioned the placement of food in the dog’s mouth with the ringing of the bell.
He later discovers that if the bell is rang alone even without placing the food in the dog’s mouth, the dog will eventually salivate. In this experiment, Pavlov proved that there is a type of learning where organisms tend to associate one stimulus with another. He called this the classical conditioning. Later researches had already confirmed that this learning modalities to be common in most people (Microsoft Encarta, 2008). Thorndike and Pavlov works serves as template for other developers of the theory of behaviorism.
In the year 1913, a renowned psychologist at the Johns Hopkins University known as John Watson publish his research work on the animal behavior. This set a clear vision for the psychology of behavior. Publication entitled “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It. ” With his goals to completely redefine the concept of behaviorist psychology wrote a purely objective experimental branch of natural science (Microsoft Encarta, 2008). He encourages his other contemporaries to abandon all the speculative theories about unconsciousness.
He emphasized on the importance of observing and the need also to quantify behavior. The works of John Watson encourage more American psychologists to adopt the concept of behaviorism and the use of animals for such experiments. Later there were different setting up of laboratories that with the sole purpose of studying, predicting and controlling human behavior. what the behaviorist focused on is to vary a stimulus in a specified period in time and then observe the animals’ response to such varied response.
The psychologist of that time sees no reason why speculation should be made in regards to the site of the mental abilities. One of the Watson point of view is of belief that recording of certain musculature in the oropharynx should be the order of the day and not just talking to oneself silently. In the late 1930s behaviorism was taking to another pedestal with the works of the B. F Skinner. He was regarded as the most forceful leader of behaviorism and he coined the word reinforcement, he made an apparatus named the Skinner box and this he used to test the animals.
He conducted the animal experiment on rats and pigeon and then identified some specific response and mode of learning. He argued that there is always a place of reinforcement in human learning process. The reinforcement can be from within the person’s vicinity. He called this process of learning the operant conditioning. B. F. Skinner experiments and point of view made him one of the most famous behaviorists of the 20th century. Operant conditioning explains the way a mouse can learn to maneuver via a maze.
What Skinner did was to reward the mouse with a food when the mouse gets to the side of the first turn of the maze. So once this first part of learning is ingrained, the reward giving to the mouse is then stopped until the mouse is able to make the second turn and after several times of moving through the maze the mouse will get to the end of it and gets its rewards. The works of Skinner was later applied in behavior modification in places like the classrooms and hospitals. “With his knowledge in human behavior and learning, he later invented the first teaching machine” (Microsoft Encarta, 2008).