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WILLIAM M. BAUM (pdf)

John Staddon

The New Behaviorism

Behaviourism - the idea that psychology should be based on correlating stimuli with behaviour, rather than postulating unobservable mental states - is generally thought to have died out in the 1960's. John Staddon thinks that it's demise was premature, and in The New Behaviourism: Mind, Mechanism and Society he puts forward his ideas for a revival. He feels that it was an accident of history that the behaviourists rejected the connectionist models of thought, which were then taken up by the cognitive psychologists. Such models were made possible by the increase in computer power, and Staddon explains how they fit naturally into the behaviourist ideas.

Much of the book though is a criticism of the 'old' behaviourism, and in particular the work of B.F. Skinner (of 'Skinner Box' fame). Staddon explains that whilst Skinner was a brilliant experimentalist, he was suspicious of excessive theorising. Yet he wrote much along the lines of 'putting the world to rights', and this made him an easy target for critics of his work. Staddon seeks to disarm such critics, by making it clear which parts of behaviourism he thinks were successful and which were failures.

At the start of the book Staddon says he is aiming for the same readership as Dennett and Pinker. I wasn't convinced that the book would suit such a wide readership - I felt that readers would need a bit of previous knowledge of psychology. But it would suit well anyone wanting to understand the rise and fall of behaviourism and where it might go from here.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 230 pages  
ISBN: 1841690147
Salesrank: 3195201
Weight:0.83 lbs
Published: 2000 Psychology Press
Marketplace:New from $70.47:Used from $2.54
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 230 pages  
ISBN: 1841690147
Salesrank: 2223325
Weight:0.83 lbs
Published: 2000 Psychology Press
Marketplace:New from £85.89:Used from £3.21
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Paperback 230 pages  
ISBN: 1841690147
Salesrank: 2493012
Weight:0.83 lbs
Published: 2000 Psychology Press
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 111.44:Used from CDN$ 19.03
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description
First published in 2001. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.