behaviorism

noun

be·​hav·​ior·​ism bi-ˈhā-vyə-ˌri-zəm How to pronounce behaviorism (audio)
bē-
: a school of psychology that takes the objective evidence of behavior (such as measured responses to stimuli) as the only concern of its research and the only basis of its theory without reference to conscious experience compare introspectionism
behavioristic adjective

Examples of behaviorism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web By contrast, strict behaviorism (say) questions the foundations of the whole of psychology. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 19 Apr. 2015 Psychology has had, and continues to have, plenty of them: behaviorism, cognitivism, Freudianism, social constructionism, to name a few. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 19 Apr. 2015 Employee of the month programs are typically attributed to psychologist B.F. Skinner and his concept of behaviorism. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 13 Feb. 2022 Going beyond behaviorism, Sherwin-Williams’s decision to opt for this blushing hue is especially on point with our current moment. Rachel Silva, ELLE Decor, 20 Sep. 2022 It is based on theories of behaviorism and operant conditioning, and is known as the gold standard by many in the caregiver and professional community. Ariana Cernius, Fortune, 13 May 2022 Mental imagery, as a research topic, was considered taboo in the second half of the 20th century because of behaviorism, which rejected introspection as a way to understand behavior. Nayantara Dutta, Time, 8 Mar. 2022 The concept of behaviorism persists in traditional grading; everything students do is rewarded or punished with points. Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2021 In contrast to behaviorism, which asserts that animal behavior can be explained in terms of incentives, rewards, and punishments, ethology posits that animals are innately intelligent, rather than simply programmable. Lauren Markham, Harper's Magazine, 16 Mar. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'behaviorism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1913, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of behaviorism was in 1913

Dictionary Entries Near behaviorism

Cite this Entry

“Behaviorism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/behaviorism. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

behaviorism

noun
be·​hav·​ior·​ism
variants or chiefly British behaviourism
: a school of psychology that takes the objective evidence of behavior (as measured responses to stimuli) as the only concern of its research and the only basis of its theory without reference to conscious experience compare cognitive psychology
behavioristic adjective
or chiefly British behaviouristic

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