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FEATURE ARTICLE

Behaviorism at 100

Over its second 50 years, the study of behavior evolved to become a discipline, behaviorology, independent of psychology

Stephen Ledoux

2012-01LedouxFA.jpgClick to Enlarge ImageTo describe the impact of 100 years of behaviorism initially requires a review of B. F. Skinner’s 1963 article (registration required) covering the first 50 years (1913–1963). Then, a summary of the second 50 years presents interrelated developments in the philosophical, scientific and interdisciplinary domains: (a) Skinner’s “radical behaviorism” extends naturalism to inform the natural science of behavior and leads to its emergence organizationally as an independent discipline that today is called behaviorology, after its separation from the non-natural, fundamentally mystical discipline of “behavior and the mind.” This is followed by a sample of the experimental and applied advances of behaviorological science. Finally the interdisciplinary benefits are explored to seed that all the natural sciences of energy, matter, life forms and life functions that accrue with the emergence of the natural science of behavior. These continuing developments improve the possibilities for reducing global superstition, extending global science and solving global problems.


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