Watsonian Psychology

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Watsonian Psychology

– named after American behaviourist, John Watson (1878 – 1958)
– theory was pure behaviourism*
– thinking & feel were incidental phenomena
– genetic factors were also not believed to be responsible for observed differences between individuals

in contemporary terms, the Watsonian approach involves:
A) strictly objective methods in scientific experiments
B) reliance on only considering that which can be observed & verified to therefore theorise, explain & predict behaviour

* the only appropriate scientific psychological investigation is observable & measurable; it developed in reaction to subjective introspective scientific inquiry; Watson developed the work of Pavlov; also known as radical behaviourism – most psychologists today feel uncomfortable about not considering the causal role of internal (covert or overt) mental processes; nonetheless, behaviour – what someone does – is still considered important

Source: Penguin Dictionary of Psychology

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