The three discoveries outlined in Part 1 underpin current applications of behaviorism: classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and social learning. These techniques are used in many areas of psychology, including cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, clinical psychology, and psychotherapy.
Classical conditioning is the process by which an organism comes to associate a stimulus with a response. This phenomenon underpins much of what we know about learning and memory; researchers have applied it extensively to study such topics as fear conditioning, pain perception, drug addiction, and other psychological disorders.
Operant conditioning is the technique by which an organism learns about its environment by observing the effects of its actions. Operant conditioning is central to the understanding of human behavior; scientists use this principle to explain everything from how children learn language to why some people become addicted to drugs.
Social learning refers to the transfer of information between individuals within a society. Social learning accounts for much of what we know about culture and human behavior; psychologists have applied this principle to understand such topics as religion, politics, and even crime dynamics.
These are just a few of the many applications of behaviorism that exist today.
B.F. Skinner's work and the notion of operant conditioning are the foundations of behaviorism. Theorists of behaviorism argue that knowledge exists independently of humans. They see the learner as a blank slate that has to be filled with experience. Behaviorism focuses on the relationship between behavior and consequences.
Theodor L. Van Leeuwen was one of the first psychologists to apply Skinner's theories to education. He developed an educational program called "Modular Instruction." This method divides education into discrete modules such as reading, mathematics, and writing. Students learn within these modules through practice and feedback from teachers and peers.
John B. Watson identified five principles that guide behaviorism in education: (1) students must understand what is being learned (2) students must perceive this understanding (3) students must feel motivated to continue learning (4) students should receive immediate feedback when they behave correctly and delayed feedback when they do not and (5) students' behaviors should determine how they are treated. These principles form the basis of cognitive psychology and control theory.
David A. Kolb invented the concept of experiential learning. It states that people learn by doing and practicing activities that they find interesting. These experiences can either be formal or informal. Formal learning occurs when individuals follow a structured curriculum that includes lectures, seminars, and tests.
In the twentieth century, most individuals believed in behaviorism, a learning theory. Behaviorism held that it was more necessary to monitor persons' behaviors than their cognitive processes. According to the social learning hypothesis, we learn from our surroundings and society. This hypothesis states that we learn about what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior by observing others.
Behaviorists believe that behaviors are conditioned by consequences while social learners think thoughts lead to actions which then determine the consequences they experience. However, both behaviorists and social learners understand that it is not just our behaviors that are shaped by experiences, but also our beliefs and attitudes. These elements are called "psychological factors" because they influence mental processes like thoughts and feelings.
Social learning works by observation. If someone acts as if something is okay then it will be considered acceptable by others. If someone avoids an action or object then it will be considered unacceptable. Through observation, people learn what behaviors are helpful or harmful for themselves and their communities.
Additionally, people learn from each other's actions. When you join in with the majority your chances of being successful increase because others will assume you agree with their actions. However, when you decide against the majority you risk being isolated from society.