What Was John B. Watson’s Behavior Theory?

The theory of behaviour developed by John B. Watson describes all human activities as reactions to various stimuli. His application of the scientific field of behaviourism, which looks at what people do and draws conclusions based on those observations, led him to the realisation that human conditioning is the product of an individual’s internal responses to the stimuli they are exposed to.

There are many different factors that contribute to the conditioning of the environment, but the contributions made by parents and other caregivers often come first. The word “no” is one of the most frequent words that toddlers hear. As they begin to experiment with actions and words, they learn from the response which behaviours and phrases are suitable and which are not appropriate. When a child walks up to a stove with the intention of pulling on the metal handle that extends from the front of the appliance, the adult in the room will often react angrily and forcefully to the behaviour. In the event that this does not occur, the handle of the pot, which is attached to the boiling water within the pot, serves as an additional intense environmental stimulation that is much more painful than the possible spanking that the adult may have delivered.

According to Watson, throughout the course of time, individuals learn to behave as a consequence of the behavioural conditioning that they get. As one gets older, they are able to make more complicated judgments, which in turn result in reactions. Those who have effectively absorbed the lessons presented through conditioning achieve ever greater degrees of success as the repercussions they face become more long-lasting.