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Open AccessArticle

Problems of Teaching the Behaviorist Perspective in the Cognitive Revolution

Laboratory of Comparative Psychology and Behavioral Biology, Departments of Psychology and Zoology, Oklahoma State University, 116 North Murray, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(1), 55-71;
Received: 13 November 2012 / Revised: 25 December 2012 / Accepted: 28 December 2012 / Published: 8 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What is Cognition?)
PDF [78 KB, uploaded 8 January 2013]


This article offers some personal reflections on the difficulty of teaching the behaviorist perspective in the psychology classroom. The problems focus on the inadequacy of introductory textbooks—which mischaracterize behaviorism, only present the most extreme behaviorist positions, make no mention of the neobehaviorist perspective, fail to discuss that there is no accepted criteria for determining what type of behavior is cognitive, and provide a definition of cognition that is, not only inconsistent across texts, but so broad as to overshadow the behaviorist contributions. Suggestions are provided for instructors on how to present to their students an accurate portrayal of behaviorism. View Full-Text
Keywords: behaviorism; cognitivism; teaching; textbooks; neobehaviorism behaviorism; cognitivism; teaching; textbooks; neobehaviorism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Abramson, C.I. Problems of Teaching the Behaviorist Perspective in the Cognitive Revolution. Behav. Sci. 2013, 3, 55-71.

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