The ecosystem that surrounds us isconstantly evolvingand this is how man also feels theobligation to evolve, so as not to be dominated by the environment and be the dominated species.

As his reasoning has developed and matured, he no longer pretends to justmaster the things aroundhim and begins at some point to try to understandwhy things happenaround him.

In this context, he also realizes that his own behavior can modify the actions of the rest of his species and is wherea diversity of theories and psychological currents come to develop, whichtry to explain why this phenomenon happens and with the passage they also evolve, asin the case of neobehaviorism.

In the following article, we will explain what this theory consists of, its most relevant characteristics and who are its main representatives.

What is neobehaviorism?

Neobehaviorism is apsychological currentfrombehaviorism (school founded by John B. Watson). This new current of study of human behavior follows Watson’s proposalsbut broadens his vision with respect to thevariables that interact in the stimulus-response relationship in theconditioning of human response.

You should know: Proponents of neobehaviorism state that external factors, such as environmental factors, play an important role in behavioral variabilityin both animals and people. The main difference with behaviorism is that the object of study of this is observable behavior, while neobehaviorists propose thatlearning is the main object of research. (1)

In this sense, their common purpose is to build anewcognitive approach to the study of learning, based on experiments with a scientific approach and procedures of classical and instrumental conditioning, which can be extended, with due regulations, to learned behavior in generaland specifically, to the complex behavior that is characteristic of the human being. (2)

What is the approach of neobehaviorism?

The neobehaviorist school is a step forward to the proposals of the behaviorist current, which makes the human learning process the reason for the investigation.

In this sense, this psychological current follows the line of work of the behaviorist school , but broadens its object of study in the following aspects:

1. Part of behaviorism but with certain differences

As mentioned, the work of this current begins with the basic precepts of behaviorism but introduces a new approach , where not only the relationship between stimulus and response is appreciated as a reactor of human behavior.

, that is, in the stimulus-response process

2. Analyze behavior and cognitive processes

From this point of view, this approach does not take the individual’s behavior as a mere physiological response to a stimulus, but analyzes it in search of why there are different responses to the same stimuli, inferring that mental processes with the ability to to give nuances to the behavior.

processes that are present, but incorporates other factors that make this study more complex and describe the behavior of the individual as a purpose.

3. Use experimental observation as a method

The scientific bases applied in psychology have supported the statements made in each of its postulates. Neobehaviorismuses experimental observation as a source, basis and method in drawing its conclusions.

Important: Observation based on experimentation is recognized as A Scientific Method that allows measuring and quantifying the impact of certain factors on human behavior, being able to explain in some way what happens in the mind.

4. Highlights the influence of the environment on learning

The object of investigation of neobehaviorism is the learning of the human beingand its different manifestations, through human behavior.

Therefore, it stands out that the influence of the environment is a decisive factor in the generation of behaviors , considering it as a provider of reinforcements that can be manipulated, predicted and controlled in the behavior of the individual.

Who are the main representatives of neobehaviourism?

The main representatives of this school are American psychologists from the current of John B. Watsontag. Here we mention them:

1. Burrhus Frederic Skinner

Burrhus Frederic Skinner (3) , was an important American psychologist who followed the postulates of John B. Watson in the behavioral school, a pioneer in experimental psychology and defended behaviorism, which considers behavior as a function of reinforcement environmental stories.

Note: Skinner is considered the pioneer of this current .

2. Edward Chace Tolman

Edward Chace Tolman (4) , was an American psychologist who worked around the theory of learning and behaviorism, providing a new approach from the perspective of cognitive psychology of which he is considered one of its pioneers.

3. Clark Leonard Hull

Clark Leonard Hull (5) , was an American psychologist who stood out for his influence on American behaviorism and for establishing a new method in Experimental Psychology, based on the application of a hypothetical-deductive model in research.

Key Findings

  • Neobehaviorism is a psychological current from behaviorism.
  • Its object of study is learning .
  • He uses the method of experimental observation in his investigations.
  • He proposes the Intervention of environmental factors in the stimulus-response process, which can modify human behavior.
  • It studies the mental processes of the individual when carrying out a certain task.

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