Behaviorism (or behaviourism), also called the learning perspective (where any physical action is a behavior), is a philosophy of psychology based on the proposition that all things which organisms do — including acting, thinking and feeling — can and should be regarded as behaviors.
Strengths of behaviorism
- Testable: Since the theory is based exclusively upon observable behaviors, this makes it is relatively easy to measure when conducting research.
- Effectiveness: Many useful therapeutic techniques are rooted in behaviourism (such as intensive behavioral intervention, token economies, and discrete trial training) and can be effective in changing maladaptive or harmful behaviors in children and adults.
Criticisms of behaviorism
- One-dimensional: Behaviorism is uni-dimensional and does not account for internal influences such as moods, thoughts, and feelings.
- Other types of learning: Does not explain how other types of learning occur, e.g., people and animals can adapt their behavior when new information is introduced, even if a previous behavior pattern has been established through reinforcement.