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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web 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 Babbel is an interesting language learning platform that combines communicative didactics, cognitivism, behaviorism and constructivism in its lessons for faster learning that will stick with you. Dave Johnson, Forbes, 3 Mar. 2021 This technique is a lasting legacy of behaviorism—a school of thought dominant in psychology and biology in the first half of the last century. Christof Koch, Scientific American, 19 Mar. 2016 Spencerian pump, the scientific method permeated American popular culture and influenced the major American intellectual movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, notably pragmatism and behaviorism. Jessica Riskin, The New York Review of Books, 17 June 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'behaviorism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 2 Dec. 2022.

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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