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From_What_Happened_to_Behaviorism - psycholinguists may be...

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From What Happened to Behaviorism? By: Roddy Roediger Why the enthusiasm? Because behavioristic analyses work! We know how to alleviate or eliminate phobias through extinction-based therapies; we know the power of a token economy in regulating behavior in a mental ward; we can reduce problematic behaviors and increase the probability of desired behaviors by judiciously providing and withholding reinforcements. Even for problems that cognitively oriented psychologists study, behavioristic therapies are the treatments of choice. For an autistic child, Lovaas's behavioristic techniques provide the greatest (indeed, so far the only) hope. (Theory of mind debates about autism are fine, but not if you want therapies and treatment- go to behaviorism). Similarly, for stuttering and aphasia, as interesting as their analysis by
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Unformatted text preview: psycholinguists may be, the treatments come largely from the behaviorists' labs. In the field of neurobiology of learning, the central paradigm is classical conditioning and the main theoretical model is the Rescorla-Wagner model. And behavioristic analyses exist in self-management programs, in industry (Organizational Behavior Management), in sports, in parenting guides, and of course in animal training programs for pets and zoos. Anywhere that prediction and control of overt behavior is critical, one finds behavioristic analyses at work. In sum, this answer maintains that, although most psychologists don't know it, behaviorism still is alive and thriving, albeit perhaps not much in the mainstream of the field as it once was....
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