chapter
23 Pages

People as environmentally controlled organisms

Behaviourism

Behaviourism is itself diverse, both historically and in terms of the ideas, research methods, and applications which fall under the 'banner' of 'Behaviourism'. More specifically, 'a functionalist is characteristically concerned with the function of the organism's behaviour and consciousness in its adaptation to its environment'. Some reflexes are natural, biologically determined, reflex responses to particular environmental 'events', such as a drop of acid on the tongue triggering salivation. Watson also proposed that as children grow up, their behaviour becomes increasingly complex, but is basically the same kind of behaviour as it was earlier on i.e. a series of conditioned emotional responses (CERs) that become added and recombined. Radical Behaviourists argue that their view of behaviour is the most scientific, because it provides an account in terms of material causes; these can all be objectively defined and measured.