Major Movements in Psychology


What is behaviorism?

Behaviorism is the school of psychology that considers observable behavior to be the only worthwhile object of study. Behaviorists believe mental phenomena are impossible to measure objectively and thus impossible to prove. They therefore focus on the processes underlying behavioral change, specifically classical (or associative or Pavlovian) conditioning and operant conditioning. These basic learning principles operate in humans and animals alike, or at least in mammals and birds.

Major figures of behaviorism included John B. Watson (1878–1958), Edward Thorndike (1874–1947), and B.F. Skinner (1904–1990). Although Freudian psychoanalysis, educational psychology, and other mental schools of psychology continued in tandem, behaviorism was the dominant force in American psychology until well into the middle of the twentieth century.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Psychology Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App