Who influenced Watson? • Reacts against Wundt and James -and their followers such as John Dewey (he had studied at the U of Chicago) • Infuenced by Loeb (tropisms) and Henry Donaldson (white rat neurology) -studied the myelinization of white rat nervous system & consequent changes in the complexity of their behavior. • Pavlov
What is a tropism? • Tropism , involuntary response of an organism, or part of an organism, involving orientation toward (positive tropism) or away from (negative tropism) one or more external stimuli. • Generally applied to plants, but can also be applied to animals (ex: moths attracted to lights, pheronomes and sexual attraction)
Watson's behaviorist manifesto (1913) • Psychology as the behaviorist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior. Introspection forms no essential part of its methods, nor is the scientific value of its data dependent upon the readiness with which they lend themselves to interpretation in terms of consciousness. The behaviorist, in his efforts to get a unitary scheme of animal response, recognizes no dividing line between man and brute. The behavior of man, with all of its refinement and complexity, forms only a part of the behaviorist's total scheme of investigation.
Watson's main contributions • Official founder of behaviorism as an independent and valid approach to psychology. He is a radical behaviorist • Introduces the notion of conditioned emotional response (little Albert) 1920 • Then there was Peter (Mary Cover Jones) --diminishing the fear of rabbits 1924 • Three emotions: fear, rage, love -all emotional life built on those • Applies this to advertising 1935 and to child rearing also
The Watson-McDougall debate 1924 • At the psychology club in Washington DC • McDougall defends the importance of introspection • McDougall emphasizes the importance of purposive action supported by instinctual energy (hormic psychology)
Who won the debate? • Mc Dougall by a narrow margin • However, at this point, Watson tends to mbe better known than McDougall. • So, who REALLY won, and will it stay that way?