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Watson’s What is Behaviorism?

  1. Question : Describe what Watson identified as the limitations of a psychology focused on studying the mind and consciousness

Sample answer : Watson published behaviorism in order to oppose structuralism. Watson was also influenced by functionalism. He felt that psychology had the limitations of studying the consciousness, since it was extremely problematic and also objective.

2. Question : According to Watson and other radical behaviorists, what is the scientific focus of psychology?

SAMPLE ANSWER:According to Watson and other radical behaviorists, the scientific focus of psychology must be behavior and not unseen

What is the methodological approach to psychology that is advocated for by Watson?

3.Question :Read Tolman’s “Cognitive maps in rats and men”. In this article, he described a maze experiment using rats as subjects. Below is a schematic diagram of the mazes used.

4. Question : Describe the method of the study. What was measured by Tolman? (or, what is the dependent variable?)

5. Question : What would Watson, or radical behaviorists in general, predict the rat to learn when being trained in the first maze (the one on the left above). Justify your response?

6. Question : What are the similarities and differences between Watson and Tolman’s approach to psychology?

SAMPLE ANSWER : Watson believed that behavior can be reduced to just muscular and glandular stimuli and response.Tolman had a different approach from this towards psychology .Tolman argued by stating the cognitive purpose is the main element of behavior. Watson on the other hand broke down cognition single elements of stimuli and response of the muscles.

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