Behaviorism is generally characterized as the viewpoint holding that the appropriate subject matter for psychology is behavior and the appropriate methods for psychology are those of the natural sciences. It developed primarily in the United States, although it was certainly influenced by other traditions, such as European forms of empiricism. It is generally contrasted with other viewpoints in psychology, for example, those holding that the appropriate subject matter has something or other to do with mental/subjective/conscious experience, and the appropriate method is introspection. Worth noting, however, is that there are several different forms of behaviorism, and that these forms differ in many important ways. The objective of the present tutorial is to promote an understanding of the differences between two of these forms of behaviorism--methodological behaviorism and radical behaviorism.
The tutorial has 3 parts. The first part is an extensive narrative part, divided into five subsections. Readers will go through each subsection and then answer 10-15 multiple choice questions on that subsection. If the answer to a question is correct, the reader will advance to the next question. If the answer is incorrect, the reader will be referred to the relevant subsection of the narrative, and then asked to answer the question again.
The second part is much briefer. Readers will work through an exercise in which they will be presented with a pair of statements relating to the defintion of behaviorism, and how that definition is to be interpreted. One of the interpretive statements illustrates methodological behaviorism, and the other radical behaviorism. Using the knowledge gained from the first part, readers will then indicate which interpretive statement illustrates methodological behaviorism and which illustrates radical behaviorism. If the interpretive statements are correctly identified, the reader will advance to the next pair of statements. If they are not correctly identified, the reader will be given feedback, and then asked to identify them again.
The third part of the tutorial consists of an exercise in which readers will be presented with passages or quotes from the literature of behaviorism. The quotes will be presented one at a time. Using the knowledge gained from the first two parts, readers will then indicate whether the quote illustrates methodological behaviorism or radical behaviorism. As before, if the answer to a quote is correct, the reader will advance to the next quote. If the answer is incorrect, the reader will be given feedback, and then asked to answer the question again.
If there are any questions or concerns about this tutorial, please contact Dr. Jay Moore.
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