Psychology as a Behaviorist Knows It essay

A. Summary

The article "Psychology as a Behaviorist views it" is a conceptual article where the author presents his arguments on the basis of facts and hypothesis prevalent in the field of human psychology. The particular article deals with how psychology, as a natural science, is interpreted from a behaviorist's point of view. The main purpose of this article is to present psychology as an objective and experimental natural science which primarily aims at predicting and controlling behavior. The author, John B. Watson criticizes the introspective method adopted by psychologists and attributes this to the failure of psychology to establish itself as a branch of natural science. 

The findings suggest that the principles of experimental observation in psychology can be applied to man and animal alike. These imply that psychological observation of facts should focus more on the behavioral aspect of man and animals and ignore the realm of human consciousness. The article concludes with the observation that by eliminating human consciousness as the center of observation, psychology would be able to overcome the differences that exist between it and other sciences. 

B. Critical Analysis

The title has been able to effectively convey the main topic of the relevant article as well as draw the attention of the target audience. However, it could have been a little more descriptive so as to give the readers an idea regarding the approach of the author towards the subject. 

The study made by Mr. Watson cannot be called a ground-breaking work in the sense that the association between psychology and behaviorism started much before 1913 when the paper was written. The article lacks in heuristic value as it does not propose effective rules to overcome the limitations of psychology as a natural science. Further research could have made the arguments stronger. However, Watson's ideas came to have a greater impact on the famous psychologist B.F. Skinner who has been influential in defining radical behaviorism.

The message that the article conveys is comprehensible. However, it lacks coherence in certain places which affect the clarity and spontaneity of the article.

Apart from the primary objective of presenting psychology as a behavioral science, Watson also touches upon some general problems and concepts existing in this field like the existence of analogy in the observational methods adopted by psychologists. Moreover, he also refers to the lack of unanimity among the psychologists regarding certain psychological terms which create a state of utter confusion.

I would like to change those portions of the paper which have references to certain laws and revolutionary works by experts as these have not been elucidated properly.

I don't fully agree with the ideas presented in the paper. This is because the author takes into consideration only the external behavior of the individuals and their reactions in a given situation. I personally feel that the idea of radical behaviorism would have been a better option as it incorporates ideas of determinism, evolutionary continuism and empiricism.

I have liked certain aspects of the paper. The advantages of this paper are its formulation of a relation between environmental factors and human behavior and the application of scientific principles to the study of animal psychology. The limitation of the paper lies in its inability to refer to previous specific principles of behavior.

Psychology as a Behaviorist Knows It essay

Related essays

  1. Role of Female Character in Science Fiction Film
  2. The Singer Solution to World Poverty
  3. Wellbeing Challenges
  4. Decision Tools