From Big Medical Encyclopedia

BEHAVIOURISM (English behavior behavior) — the direction of psychology, a cut puts the main objective the most objective studying available to observation, mainly external manifestations of behavior, at the same time rejecting value of introspective approach and the interpretations following from it. B. denies not only value introspections (see), but denies as well the thin neurophysiological analysis of separate mechanisms. Sometimes B. call «objective psychology», or «psychology of behavior». B.'s emergence as independent scientific direction is conditionally dated 1913 when Watson (J. Century of Watson) published the article «Psychology from the point of view of the Behaviourist». Conceptually B. is connected with philosophy of positivism. Its founder O. Comte believed that the science recognizes only such truth which is established on the basis of direct observations.

The attempt to overcome narrowness of a subjective method found reflection in B. B.'s emergence was prepared by development of the experimental direction in psychology and progress of a zoopsychology, and especially Pavlov's doctrine about conditioned reflexes. Watson considered that the conditioned reflex furnished to it «the clue to a design» of own theory.

Original positions of B. are stated by Watson in his fundamental work «Psychology as Science about Behaviour» (1919). Considering B. as «objective psychology», Watson insisted on that the psychology completely refused introspection and was limited to studying of external manifestations of behavior, i.e. motor reactions available to direct observation.

Pulling together the concepts «psychology» and «behaviour», Watson denied need of use of such traditional terms as «consciousness», «will», «pleasure», etc. The main task of a research, in his opinion, consists in studying of character of the relations between incentives (S) and reactions (R) of an organism. Activity of an animal organism, according to this point of view, is based according to the scheme an incentive — reaction (S — R). From here, at this incentive the researcher shall predict type of the answer or, on the contrary, determine the nature of an incentive by this answer.

A task of the researcher-behaviourist — to describe behavior, but not to explain it. Thus, Watson anticipated the appeared late cybernetic method of «a black box» (see. Cybernetics ). However denial of need of studying of internal mechanisms and an explanation of behavior could not satisfy psychologists.

B. exerted noticeable impact on development of modern psychology, especially in the USA where it became the dominating its direction. However not all psychologists apprehended theoretical extremes of provisions of Watson. Having kept some provisions of a «early» behaviorism of Watson, they developed it diversely which received the name of a neobehaviourism. In the 20th years there were vigorous objections against the known theory of Watson treating behavior according to the scheme an incentive — reaction without internal state of an organism. In this regard Hull (S. of L. Hull, 1943), and then Tolmen (E. Ch. Tolman, 1951) made attempt to modify the specified scheme, having placed intermediate variables between an incentive and reaction thanks to what the behavior is developed according to the scheme S — About — R where About — intermediate variables. The task of the experimenter consists in finding out dependence of reaction (R) on character of an incentive (S) and different intermediate variables, to the Crimea force of skill, level of activity, size of requirement, exhaustion, etc. belong. These variables, according to Hull, represent hypothetical factors and do not give in to direct studying. Identification and studying of a specific role of each of these factors is reached by creation of the generalized mathematical behavior model, edges is checked in numerous experiments. The hypothetico-deductive method of Hull anticipated modern methods of creation of the formalized mathematical behavior models and receptions of their experimental analysis. The hypothetico-deductive method of Hull gained further development in the principles of an operatsionalizm. The last aims to study and describe concepts of behavior of terms of specific operations which can be repeated and checked by independent observations. Operatsionalizm supplied modern B. with the concepts and methods of mathematical logic convenient for the analysis of behavior.

The increasing value gets psikhofiziol, the direction. His first representatives Weiss, Leshli and Hebb (Weiss, To. S. Lashley and D. Lakes of Hebb) concentrated attention on studying physical. - chemical and neyrofiziol. the processes accompanying behavior. This referral was got by the name reduktsionistichesky B. Itak, at the first stage of development of B. studied the behavior determined by external signals at the second stage which began approximately in 1938, B. is engaged in hl. obr. the analysis of those internal mechanisms which participate in processing of signals create reasonable behavior.

Behaviourists developed a number of original methods of studying of behavior. Among them the greatest fame was gained a method of labyrinths [W. S. Small], by problem cells [E. L. Thorndike], devices for the multiple choice [G. W.Hamilton, Yerkis (R. M of Yerkes)], Skinner's camera. The specified techniques with success are used during the studying of training, memory, distinguishing, motivations.

Fig. 1. Leshli's device for studying of recognition by rats of visual signals. A rat you jump platforms 1 behind the reinforcement which is behind a guard in the direction of doors 2 or 3, one of which (a positive signal) opens, and another (a negative signal) it is not mobile.

In particular, for studying of ability to recognition of visual objects Leshli's (fig. 1) device is used. The block with a reinforcement (water, food etc.) is located behind a guard so that access to it was possible only through two doors having various visual object (color, a form etc.). One of them is not mobile, another opens. The experimental animal finds the opening door and, having received a reinforcement, further distinguishes it on a visual object.

Fig. 2. A cell with obstacles for studying of force of motivation. The experimental animal is located in a compartment 1 and through open doors of a compartment 2 which floor is energized, runs through a compartment z behind a reinforcement which is in a compartment 4.

For assessment of force of motivation the method of hindrances, or a cell with obstacles (fig. 2) is offered. As an incentive for clearing of obstruction (the way through a compartment, a floor to-rogo is energized, and tension can be changed at the request of the experimenter) food, water, an animal of other floor, etc. can be used.

If the offered incentive is rather strong, an experimental animal, overcoming an obstacle, passes from an initial compartment into a compartment where there is a reinforcement. If the incentive is insufficient, then the experimental animal remains in an initial compartment, as a rule, without having made attempts for movement. If the obstacle exceeds force of an incentive, then the experimental animal after attempts of his overcoming also remains in an initial compartment.

In recent years behaviourists offered a technique of the open field — for the analysis of approximate and research behavior and a method of intracerebral self-stimulation [J. Olds]. The techniques offered by behaviourists are operantny, or tool, unlike a classical technique of conditioned reflexes when the answer of an animal is caused by a certain stimulation (reactive, or respondentny, behavior). In the specified techniques the first reactions of an animal are not connected with any incentive and seem spontaneous. The correct reactions are selected, taking place a stage of tests and mistakes as a result of a reinforcement, a cut is reached by impact of an animal on the tool (the lever, a wheel, a bolt, etc.). The specified techniques and their modernized options found application in psychophysiology, pedagogical researches, human engineering. Recently studying of behavior is carried out to correlations with electrophysiologic indicators of activity of a brain. Tool techniques of B. prompted to Skinner (V. F. Skinner) the idea of the programmed training. Exact quantitative methods of the analysis of behavior gave an impetus to development of human engineering, for a cut studying of behavior in system of people — the car is represented extremely important.

The largest theoretical and practical these B. are connected with a problem of training. These researches revealed conditions in which training proceeds most successfully; in particular, the role of «award» and «punishment» in training is revealed, and it is established that the maximum speed of training is provided by use of both factors; optimum intervals of breaks in training, dependence of training on external and internal factors are studied. In the field of a research of motivations behaviourists made quantitative assessment of different motivations (see. Motivations ), investigated the specific weight of various motivations in behavior and found out that optimum level of motivations, at Krom training proceeds most strenuously.

In the field of comparative and ontogenetic psychology they tried to solve a problem of I.Q. Among theoretical generalizations the theories of training offered by Tolmen and Hull are of the greatest interest. The principle of «a gradient of the purpose» of Hull, according to Krom force of conditional reaction, or skill became widely known, is negative exponential function from time between reaction and the subsequent reinforcement. In particular, it means that at the equal level of two motivations in a situation of the choice the animal will prefer that reinforcement, it is possible to carry out a cut quicker. Very the principle of a reduction of an inclination (drive reduction) offered by Miller was widely adopted (N. E. Miller). Any behavior, according to Miller, including also training, it is directed to reduction or a reduction of inclinations, requirements. From this point of view the reinforcement represents a reduction of the corresponding inclination (food, drinking, etc.).

In the field of B.'s medicine promoted implementation of exact methods of behavioural assessment of action of psychopharmacological means. The methods of psychotherapy of neurosises offered B. place emphasis on need of a reduction of the inclination causing the conflict, training in new skills of achievement of the goal. In the field of visceral pathology methods of any management of activity of internals for the purpose of correction of various disturbances are developed («visceral training» — according to Miller).

Despite preservation of old methodological installations (exact quantitative methods), aspiration to avoid an explanation of observed factors, modern B. refused some extremes. Terms of introspective psychology forbidden earlier — «of motivation», «emotions», «remuneration», etc. became working terms of modern behaviourists. It should be noted that repeatedly made attempts to oppose B. to I. P. Pavlov's doctrine about conditioned reflexes in a crust, time do not make success. The tool reflex and conditioned reflexes received in the conditions of a classical uslovnoreflektorny technique along with nek-ry differences represent convenient models of behavioural reactions which in total with elektrofiziol for researchers. are widely used by indicators in researches of training, memory and motivation.

Bibliography: Miller H. E. The acquired motives and reinforcements, in book: Eksperim, psikhol., under the editorship of S. S. Stephens, the lane with English, t. 1, page 577, M., 1960; Pavlov I. P. Complete works, t. 3, book 2, page 153, M. — L., 1951; Watson D. B. Psychology as science about behavior, the lane with English, M. — D., 1926; Experimental psychology, under the editorship of P. Fress and Ge. Piaget, lane with fr., century 1 — 4, M., 1966 — 1973; H e b b D. O. Drives and the C. N.S. (conceptual nervous system), Psychol. Rev., v. 62, p. 243, 1955, bibliogr.; Hilgard E. R. a. Marquis D. G. Conditioning and learning, N. Y., 1961, bibliogr.; Skinner B. F. The behavior of organisms, N. Y., 1938, bibliogr.; T about 1 m a n E. With h. Motivation, learning and adjustment, Proc. Amer. Philosoph. Soc., v. 84, p. 543,1941.

Yu. A. Makarenko.