The central thought of the behavioral/social learning perspective is the fact that childhood disorders are learned just like that other behaviors are learned. As indicated in Chapter 1, the publication of John B. Watson’s essay Psychology being a Behaviorist Views It (1913) set into motion a perspective that will serve as the main rival for the psychoanalytic position. While this perspective has also been deterministic, it differed on the psychoanalytic paradigm in several key ways. Unlike Freud, Watson emphasized observable events in lieu of unconscious intrapsychic conflicts. Developed in the psychological laboratory in lieu of in a clinical setting, the behavioral perspective heavily emphasized objective empirical verification. Learning and also the influence from the environment were known as the appropriate focus of study. Furthermore, development was viewed being a continuous process instead of a fixed sequence of stages. The assumption appeared that learning continues over the life span, and so that “personality” will not be set with a certain age. Finally, unlike classical psychoanalytic theory, the behavioral perspective failed to develop like a single comprehensive theory targeted at explaining all behavior. Rather, several theories, often employing similar language but each describing a -different aspect with the learning process, were suggested.
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