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Behaviorism: Pavlov, Watson, Skinner environmental learning

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Pavlov, Watson, and Skinner are considered the originators of behaviorism. All contributed to learning theory. All three of the researchers studied the effects of the environment on learning.

Select one of the three behaviorists who, in your opinion, offers the most compelling argument for the use of behaviorism when teaching a new subject to an adult and to a child. Identify that behaviorist, then answer the following questions about his approach:
1. Describe how that behaviorist would teach an adult a new skill. Be specific; what is the skill?
2. What steps would the behaviorist use?
3. Would that behaviorist use a different approach with a child?
4. Why do you think this behaviorist's approach is best?
5. What issues or problems do you find in the other two behaviorists' approaches?

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Solution Preview

I choose Skinner because he is the most tailored to the individual.

1. Describe how that behaviorist would teach an adult a new skill. Be specific; what is the skill?

Skinner would teach an adult a new skill by figuring out what would reinforce the learning. That is, what extrinsic or intrinsic reward would make the person most likely to attend, practice and learn the skill? If you are teaching financial budgeting, some will be most reinforced by the possibility of growing wealth for travel, other by the safety of knowing you can own your home and so can avoid rent, and still others will be reinforced by the sheer joy of applied mathematics.

2. What steps would the behaviorist use?

The behaviorist would reinforce each minor learning unit. So, for instance, they might have a digital piggy bank where the savings each week from successful budgeting would show the growing savings. And monthly the savings could be put into an interest earning account that would grow or could be paid against the mortgage to reduce the ...

Solution Summary

Your discussion is 616 words and a reference and claims that Skinner is the best choice and why. Learning budgeting and a math class were given as examples.