The term behaviorism was born from the translation of behaviorism, an English word derived from behavior (which translates as “conduct”). The concept is used in the field of psychology to allude to the theory that is based on analyze people’s behavior without considering their insides or their thoughts.
Behaviorism, therefore, is the study of conduct. It is not oriented to questions of consciousness or mind, but it points to the interaction of individuals with their environment.
For behaviorism, cognitive processes are properties of behavior that include sensory and linguistic responses. These reactions should be investigated according to the specific type of interaction.
One of the pioneers of behaviorism was John B. Watson, an American psychologist born in 1878 and died in 1958. Faced with the psychological current focused on the analysis of psychic phenomena through introspection, Watson He argued that these experiences, being unobservable, could not be scientifically examined.
According to the behaviorism of Watson, thought, emotions and language can be analyzed as chains of glandular or muscular responses susceptible to be observed and, therefore, measured. Based on a relationship of stimulus-response, this psychologist stated that emotional reactions are learned by human beings.
Behaviorism, in short, left aside the preponderance of introspective analysis of feelings, emotions and processes of the mind. Instead, he privileged the use of experimental methods to study, objectively, the behavior of the subjects. Thus he strengthened the link between psychology and biology, chemistry and other sciences.