Behaviorism Law and Legal Definition

Behaviorism is a theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. Behaviorism focuses on objectively observable behaviors and discounts any independent activities of the mind. Behaviorism aims to promote the scientific study of behavior. According to behavior theorists learning is nothing more than the acquisition of new behavior based on environmental conditions.

Behaviorism recognizes conditioning as a universal learning process. Two types of conditioning yielding different behavioral pattern are classic conditioning and behavioral conditioning or operant conditioning. Classic conditioning occurs when a natural reflex responds to a stimulus. For example, students exhibiting irrational fears and anxieties like fear of failure and fear of public speaking. Behavioral conditioning or operant conditioning occurs when a response to a stimulus is reinforced.

There are three types of behaviorism:

(1)Methodological behaviorism is a normative theory about the scientific conduct of psychology.

(2)Psychological behaviorism is a research program within psychology.

(3)Analytical or logical behaviorism is a theory within philosophy about the meaning or semantics of mental terms or concepts.