what is a behaviourist


what is a behaviourist

Behaviorism is widely used to refer to the philosophy of a science of behavior. There are various forms of behaviorism: structuralism, behaviorism that uses cognition as causal factors (e.g., cognitive behavior modification), social learning theory, in addition to methodological behaviorism and radical behaviorism. In his text, About Behaviorism (Skinner, 1974 ), B. F. Skinner wrote: “Behaviorism is not the science of human behavior, it is the philosophy of that science” (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007 ).
Prior to the introduction of behavioral science, the field of psychology consisted of the study of states of mind and mental processes. There are four historical building blocks of behaviorism: classical conditioning as presented by Pavlov, Thorndike’s law of effect, Watson’s experiments with human conditioning, and Skinner’s conceptualization of operant conditioning.

Learning outcomes as a concept has encountered a revival since the beginning of the Bologna process in 1999. The concept itself has a longer history with its roots in the behaviourist tradition of the 1960s. The goal of this review is to study how the historical roots of learning outcomes are noted in current research articles since the launch of the Bologna process and whether the concept of learning outcomes is used critically or uncritically. The review of 90 articles shows that the behaviourist tradition is still evident in the 21st century research with 29% of the articles directly and 11% indirectly referring uncritically to the respective publications or to the behaviourist epistemology. Only a minority of the articles, i.e. 8%, was found to be critical towards the behaviourist meaning of learning outcomes.
40% of the articles referred uncritically to the behaviouristic epistemology.