behaviorism

[ bih-heyv-yuh-riz-uhm ]
/ bɪˈheɪv yəˌrɪz əm /

noun Psychology.

the theory or doctrine that human or animal psychology can be accurately studied only through the examination and analysis of objectively observable and quantifiable behavioral events, in contrast with subjective mental states.

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Origin of behaviorism

First recorded in 1910–15; behavior + -ism

OTHER WORDS FROM behaviorism

be·hav·ior·ist, noun, adjectivebe·hav·ior·is·tic, adjectivebe·hav·ior·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for behaviorism

  • No behaviorist can possibly show that the air waves set in motion by my vocalization were an indispensable stimulus.

    Creative Intelligence|John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen
  • The behaviorist would not seriously undertake to record everything that happens between stimulus and response.

    Creative Intelligence|John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen
  • Still, though a behaviorist, he upheld certain instinctual motivation theories.

    Strange Alliance|Bryce Walton

Medical definitions for behaviorism

behaviorism
[ bĭ-hāvyə-rĭz′əm ]

n.

A school of psychology that confines itself to the study of observable and quantifiable aspects of behavior and excludes subjective phenomena, such as emotions or motives.behavioral psychology
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cultural definitions for behaviorism

behaviorism

A theory that psychology is essentially a study of external human behavior rather than internal consciousness and desires. (See B. F. Skinner)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.