Behaviourist Psychology


The main assumption of behaviourism is that we are born a blank slate and all behaviour is learnt from the environment. This concept looks at the notion of motivation and reviews the impact of system-wide factors on the individual.

Technique Overview

Behaviourist Psychology

Behaviourist Psychology Definition

Behaviourist Psychology, or Behaviourism, is a branch of psychology based on the principles of John B. Watson. It espouses the belief that the study of human behaviour can be more scientific as "behaviours can be measured, trained and changed" (Watson, 1913). This school of thought puts forth the idea that learning leads to permanent behavioural change and that this change is largely determined by the environment. The term 'conditioning', therefore, is extensively used when applying these principles to real-life situations (Ormrod, 1999).

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Further Reading

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Behaviourist Psychology References (4 of up to 20) *

  • Amabile, T.M. (1985) Motivation and Creativity: Effects of Motivational Orientation on Creative Writers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 48, pp. 393-399.
  • Argyris, C. (2008) Teaching Smart People How to Learn. Boston: Harvard Business Press.
  • Brown, P. (2009) Group Versus Individual Compensation Schemes for Senior Executives and Firm Performance. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Chiang, F.F.T. and Birtch, T.A. (2006) An Empirical Examination of Reward Preferences within and across National Settings. Management International Review. Vol. 46(5), pp. 573-596.

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