FROM THE STANDPOINT OF A BEHAVIORIST
CHAPTER I Psychology a Science of Behavior. --Psychology is that
division of natural science which takes human activity and conduct as its subject matter. It attempts to formulate through
systematic observation and experimentation the laws and principles which underlie man's reactions. Every one agrees that
man's acts are determined by something, and that, whether he
acts orderly or not, there are sufficient grounds for his acting as
he does act, if only these grounds can be discovered. In order
to formulate such laws we must study man in action--his adjustments to the daily situations of life, and to the unusual situations
which may confront him. When sufficiently worked out, the
principles we obtain from such a study permit of two
PROBLEMS AND SCOPE OF PSYCHOLOGY
|1. ||To predict human activity with reasonable certainty. It
is sometimes asserted that we can never reach a point where such
predictions can be made--that human activity is too variable;
and determined by too many momentary conditions to permit us
ever to reach such a goal. A little consideration shows that
common-sense psychology is already, and has been since the social
life of man began, making serviceable predictions. Every institution and custom we have depends upon it: for example, our
savings banks, churches, and business. When it comes to the
individual the facts are not different. We accept a man's note
because we predict (not always or ordinarily in words) from our
study of his character that he will pay it at the proper time. The
wife cheerfully begins the rearing of a family because she predicts that her husband will remain attached to her, and provide
herself and her children with bread. We can bring the matter|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Psychology:From the Standpoint of a Behaviorist.
Contributors: John B. Watson - Author.
Publisher: J. B. Lippincott.
Place of publication: Philadelphia.
Publication year: 1919.
Page number: 1.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may
not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.