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"Behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective".
Whilst behaviourists like Skinner and Watson worked in the fields of psychology and psychiatry, they wanted behaviourism to be the basis for managing and shaping the behaviour of patients, employees, students, trainees and whole societies.
The popularity of behaviourism as a force in psychology and psychiatry has waned (owing largely to later work demonstrating its gross over-simplification of the origins of human behaviour), but many of its principles remain firmly embedded in the educational system and can be seen in action in training rooms across the country.
Much has been written about behaviourism's roots in Western Philosophical tradition of empiricism, utilitarianism, and nineteenth-century positivism.
Mills astutely uncovers the influence of this unnamed behaviourism on realist turn in American philosophy.
Whereas psychology typically subscribes to the notion that persons comprise behaviour and something else, and dissects the person along the lines of intention, beliefs, motivation, attribution, perception, memory and so on, radical behaviourism dispensed with dualism at an early stage in its development.
Because radical behaviourism does not assume that behaviour counts as evidence of something else, the person is a unity rather than a duality, an interactive part of its environment rather than a contained and separate entity.
The prevailing perspectives lie on a philosophical continuum ranging from behaviourism to mediationism.
The basic premiss underlying behaviourism is that behaviour is a function of its consequences and is learned[23].
It should be evident that behaviourism has played a key role in human resource development (HRD), given that the focus on behaviour is significant because changes in performance do not occur, without relevant behavioural changes.
However, the cognitive learning account has proved to be a much needed and useful step beyond 'pure' behaviourism. This is because cognitive learning approach acknowledges the fact that that learning is more complex than simply responding the external stimuli, given that it involves relevant skills such as mental mapping, imagination, creativity and problem solving (Yeo, 2002).
Looking again at Schnaitter's (1987) criteria, we soon find that the distinctions between the stipulated tasks of behaviourism and cognitivism are blurred.