What is neo-behaviorism?

What Does neo-behaviorism Mean

In the 1930s , a group of American psychologists made up of professionals such as Edward Chace Tolman ( 1886 - 1959 ) and Clark Leonard Hull ( 1884 - 1952 ) developed the trend of neo - behaviorism . This movement starts from the basic principles of behaviorism (such as environmentalism , mechanism and conditioning ) and uses intermediate variables for the analysis, prediction and control of behavior .

However, for other experts in the field, the father of this psychological trend was the North American philosopher Burrhus Frederic Skinner, who made a significant number of contributions to this trend through his published works and also through a series of inventions and tests such as the pigeon project or the Skinner box. An invention the latter that according to legend he used with his own daughter causing her to become mentally ill. However, with the passage of time this last statement has been shown to be totally false.

Neo- behaviorism studies are developed in the field of animal learning and behavior . In this last aspect, Tolman highlighted the purposeful behavior (animals seem to tend towards goals), the need of animals to interact with objects and the animal tendency to discover and opt for easy solutions rather than difficult ones.
Tolman was also in charge of explaining behavior based on what the animal knows as a consequence of a deeper understanding of external contingencies.
Specifically, what neobehaviorists do to carry out their theories and the basis of this trend is to study the mental processes that a person has when carrying out a certain task as well as the way they proceed to save everything they learn and how he uses his knowledge in this way.
Some characteristics that completely differentiate it from behaviorism. Specifically, to understand the main divergence between the two, it can be said that neo-behaviorism takes into account how the environment, the environment, influences the person and that means that this changes their behavior due to it. In behaviorism this factor is not taken into account at all, in its case it is simply based on what is the well-known sum of stimulus + response + conditioning.
Among the main representatives of the aforementioned behaviorism we would find the American psychologist John Watson and his colleague Jacob Robert Kantor.
The object of study of neo- behaviorism is observable behavior . In this group, intentional neobehaviorism considers behavior in a purposeful way (maintenance of behavior in a certain direction).
Nebehaviorists use the experimental method , with maze tests. In this type of test, the animal's solution to the problem is explained by intervening (unobservable) variables such as expectations or cognitive maps. This assumes that learning is a modification of the knowledge that the animal has of the relationships between environmental events. On the other hand, neo-behaviorists conceive the organism as something active .

As for the criticisms of neo-behaviorism, it is pointed out as a not very specific and poorly predictive system , with empirical failures of its formal system.

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