Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it. John B. Watson (1913).
作者: 心理空间 / 26901次阅读 时间: 2012年7月05日

Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it. 心理学空间"JWF6n)o%N-bz)zbs
John B. Watson (1913).

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First published in Psychological Review, 20,158-177

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Psychology as the behaviorist views it is a purely objective experimentalbranch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is the predictionand control of behavior. Introspectionforms no essential part of its methods, nor is the scientificvalue of its data dependent upon the readiness with which theylend themselves to interpretation in terms of consciousness. Thebehaviorist, in his efforts to get a unitary scheme of animalresponse, recognizes no dividing line between man and brute.The behavior of man, with all of its refinement and complexity,forms only a part of the behaviorist's total scheme of investigation.心理学空间,e^a(Ut|/c

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It has been maintained by its followers generally thatpsychology is a study of the science of the phenomena of consciousness.It has taken as its problem, on the one hand, the analysis ofcomplex mental states (or processes) into simple elementary constituents,and on the other the construction of complex states when the elementaryconstituents are given. The world of physical objects (stimuli,including here anything which may excite activity in a receptor),which forms the total phenomena of the natural scientist, is lookedupon merely as means to an end. That end is the production ofmental states that may be 'inspected' or 'observed'. The psychologicalobject of observation in the case of an emotion, for example,is the mental state itself. The problem in emotion is the determinationof the number and kind of elementary constituents present, theirloci, intensity, order of appearance, etc. It is agreedthat introspection is the method par excellence by meansof which mental states may be manipulated for purposes of psychology.On this assumption, behavior data (including under this term everythingwhich goes under the name of comparative psychology)have no value per se. They possess significance only inso far as they may throw light upon conscious states.1Such data must have at least an analogicalor indirect reference to belong to the realm of psychology.心理学空间s1AMDA6XC:M+\H

g4k)XjF,K%{ ?0Indeed, at times, one finds psychologists who are sceptical ofeven this analogical reference. Such scepticism is often shownby the question which is put to the student of behavior, 'whatis the bearing of animal workupon human psychology?' I used to have to study over this question.Indeed it always embarrassed me somewhat. I was interested inmy own work and felt that it was important, and yet I could nottrace any close connection between it and psychology as my questionerunderstood psychology. I hope that such a confession will clearthe atmosphere to such an extent that we will no longer have towork under false pretences. We must frankly admit that the factsso important to us which we have been able to glean from extendedwork upon the senses of animals by the behavior method have contributedonly in a fragmentary way to the general theory of human senseorgan processes, nor have they suggested new points of experimentalattack. The enormous number of experiments which we have carriedout upon learning have likewise contributed little to human psychology.It seems reasonably clear that some kind of compromise must beaffected: either psychology must change its viewpoint so as totake in facts of behavior, whetheror not they have bearings upon the problems of 'consciousness';or else behavior must stand alone as a wholly separate and independentscience. Should human psychologists fail to look with favor uponour overtures and refuse to modify their position, the behavioristswill be driven to using human beings as subjects and to employmethods of investigation which are exactly comparable to thosenow employed in the animal work.心理学空间lB[ v5l.G!V

HE L!b+B:T"W0Any other hypothesis than that which admits the independent valueof behavior material, regardless of any bearing such materialmay have upon consciousness, will inevitably force us to the absurd positionof attempting to construct the conscious content of theanimal whose behavior we have been studying. On this view, afterhaving determined our animal's ability to learn, the simplicityor complexity of its methods of learning, the effect of past habitupon present response, the range of stimuli to which it ordinarilyresponds, the widened range to which it can respond under experimentalconditions -- in more general terms, its various problems andits various ways of solving them -- we should still feel thatthe task is unfinished and that the results are worthless, untilwe can interpret them by analogy in the light of consciousness.Although we have solved our problem we feel uneasy and unrestfulbecause of our definition of psychology: we feel forced to saysomething about the possible mental processes of our animal. Wesay that, having no eyes, its stream of consciousness cannot containbrightness and color sensations as we know them -- having no tastebuds this stream can contain no sensations of sweet, sour, saltand bitter. But on the other hand, since it does respond to thermal,tactual and organic stimuli, its conscious content must be madeup largely of these sensations; and we usually add, to protectourselves against the reproach of being anthropomorphic,'if it has any consciousness'. Surely this doctrine which callsfor an anological interpretation of all behavior data may be shownto be false: the position that the standing of an observationupon behavior is determined by its fruitfulness in yielding resultswhich are interpretable only in the narrow realm of (really human)consciousness.

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This emphasis upon analogy in psychology has led the behavioristsomewhat afield. Not being willing to throw off the yoke of consciousnesshe feels impelled to make a place in the scheme of behavior wherethe rise of consciousness can be determined. This point has beena shifting one. A few years ago certain animals were supposedto possess 'associative memory',while certain others were supposed to lack it. One meets thissearch for the origin of consciousness under a good many disguises.Some of our texts state that consciousness arises at the momentwhen reflex and instinctive activities fail properly to conservethe organism. A perfectly adjusted organism would be lacking inconsciousness. On the other hand whenever we find the presenceof diffuse activity which results in habit formation, we are justifiedin assuming consciousness. I must confess that these argumentshad weight with me when I began the study of behavior. I fearthat a good many of us are still viewing behavior problems withsomething like this in mind. More than one student in behaviorhas attempted to frame criteria of the psychic-- to devise a set of objective, structural and functional criteriawhich, when applied in the particular instance, will enable usto decide whether such and such responses are positively conscious,merely indicative of consciousness, or whether they are purely'physiological'. Such problems as these can no longer satisfybehavior men. It would be better to give up the province altogetherand admit frankly that the study of the behavior of animals hasno justification, than to admit that our search is of such a 'willo' the wisp' character. One can assume either the presence orthe absence of consciousness anywhere in the phylogenetic scalewithout affecting the problems of behavior by one jot or one tittle;and without influencing in any way the mode of experimental attackupon them. On the other hand, I cannot for one moment assume thatthe paramecium respondsto light; that the rat learns a problem more quickly by workingat the task five times a day than once a day, or that the humanchild exhibits plateaux in his learning curves. These are questionswhich vitally concern behavior and which must be decided by directobservation under experimental conditions.

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This attempt to reason by analogy from human conscious processesto the conscious processes in animals, and vice versa:to make consciousness, as the human being knows it, the centerof reference of all behavior, forces us into a situation similarto that which existed in biology in Darwin'stime. The whole Darwinian movement was judged by the bearing ithad upon the origin and development of the human race. Expeditionswere undertaken to collect material which would establish theposition that the rise of the human race was a perfectly naturalphenomenon and not an act of special creation. Variations werecarefully sought along with the evidence for the heaping up effectand the weeding out effect of selection; for in these and theother Darwinian mechanisms were to be found factors sufficientlycomplex to account for the origin and race differentiation ofman. The wealth of material collected at this time was consideredvaluable largely in so far as it tended to develop the conceptof evolution in man. It is strange that this situation shouldhave remained the dominant one in biology for so many years. Themoment zoology undertook the experimental study of evolution anddescent, the situation immediately changed. Man ceased to be thecenter of reference. I doubt if any experimental biologist today,unless actually engaged in the problem of race differentiationin man, tries to interpret his findings in terms of human evolution,or ever refers to it in his thinking. He gathers his data fromthe study of many species of plants and animals and tries to workout the laws of inheritance in the particular type upon whichhe is conducting experiments. Naturally, he follows the progressof the work upon race differentiation in man and in the descentof man, but he looks upon these as special topics, equal in importancewith his own yet ones in which his interests will never be vitallyengaged. It is not fair to say that all of his work is directedtoward human evolution or that it must be interpreted in termsof human evolution. He does not have to dismiss certain of hisfacts on the inheritance of coat color in mice because, forsooth,they have little bearing upon the differentiation of the genus homointo separate races, or upon the descent of the genus homofrom some more primitive stock.心理学空间 u#nT3\%{Rt([

0Kwm&cv/r0In psychology we are still in that stage of development wherewe feel that we must select our material. We have a general placeof discard for processes, which we anathematize so far as theirvalue for psychology is concerned by saying, 'this is a reflex';'that is a purely physiological fact which has nothing to do withpsychology'. We are not interested (as psychologists) in gettingall of the processes of adjustment which the animal as a wholeemploys, and in finding how these various responses are associated,and how they fall apart, thus working out a systematic schemefor the prediction and control of response in general. Unlessour observed facts are indicative of consciousness, we have nouse for them, and unless our apparatus and method are designedto throw such facts into relief, they are thought of in just asdisparaging a way. I shall always remember the remark one distinguishedpsychologist made as he looked over the color apparatus designedfor testing the responses of animals to monochromatic light inthe attic at Johns Hopkins. Itwas this: 'And they call this psychology!'心理学空间k ]2A\"k;b,e1foM

sv9S2QMr4X:j0I do not wish unduly to criticize psychology. It has failedsignally, I believe, during the fifty-odd years of its existenceas an experimental discipline to make its place in the world asan undisputed natural science. Psychology, as it is generallythought of, has something esoteric in its methods. If you failto reproduce my findings, it is not due to some fault in yourapparatus or in the control of your stimulus, but it is due tothe fact that your introspection is untrained.2The attack is made upon the observer andnot upon the experimental setting. In physics and in chemistrythe attack is made upon the experimental conditions. The apparatuswas not sensitive enough, impure chemicals were used, etc. Inthese sciences a better technique will give reproducible results.Psychology is otherwise. if you can't observe 3-9 states of clearnessin attention, your introspection is poor. if, on the other hand,a feeling seems reasonably clear to you, your introspection isagain faulty. You are seeing too much. Feelings are never clear.心理学空间A"bg G+IFG3G ]


The time seems to have come when psychology must discard all referenceto consciousness; when it need no longer delude itself into thinkingthat it is making mental states the object of observation. Wehave become so enmeshed in speculative questions concerning theelements of mind, the nature of conscious content (for example,imageless thought, attitudes,and Bewusstseinslage, etc.) thatI, as an experimental student, feel that something is wrongwith our premises and the types of problems which develop fromthem. There is no longer any guarantee that we all mean the samething when we use the terms now current in psychology. Take thecase of sensation. A sensation is defined in terms of its attributes.One psychologist will state with readiness that the attributesof a visual sensation are quality, extension, duration,and intensity. Another will add clearness. Still anotherthat of order. I doubt if any one psychologist can drawup a set of statements describing what he means by sensation whichwill be agreed to by three other psychologists of different training.Turn for a moment to the question of the number of isolable sensations.Is there an extremely large number of color sensations -- or onlyfour, red, green, yellow and blue? Again, yellow, while psychologicallysimple, can be obtained by superimposing red and green spectralrays upon the same diffusing surface! If, on the other hand, wesay that every just noticeable difference in the spectrum is asimple sensation, and that every just noticeable increase in thewhite value of a given colour gives simple sensations, we areforced to admit that the number is so large and the conditionsfor obtaining them so complex that the concept of sensation isunusable, either for the purpose of analysis or that of synthesis.Titchener, who has foughtthe most valiant fight in this country for a psychology basedupon introspection, feels that these differences of opinion asto the number of sensations and their attributes; as to whetherthere are relations (in the sense of elements) and on the manyothers which seem to be fundamental in every attempt at analysis,are perfectly natural in the present undeveloped state of psychology.While it is admitted that every growing science is full of unansweredquestions, surely only those who are wedded to the system as wenow have it, who have fought and suffered for it, can confidentlybelieve that there will ever be any greater uniformity than thereis now in the answers we have to such questions. I firmly believethat two hundred years from now, unless the introspective methodis discarded, psychology will still be divided on the questionas to whether auditory sensations have the quality of 'extension',whether intensity is an attribute which can be applied to color,whether there is a difference in 'texture' between image and sensationand upon many hundreds of others of like character.心理学空间L4}oV2Q$H7]9l

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The condition in regard to other mental processes is just as chaotic.Can image type be experimentally tested and verified? Are reconditethought processes dependent mechanically upon imagery at all?Are psychologists agreed upon what feeling is? One states thatfeelings are attitudes. Another finds them to be groups of organicsensations possessing a certain solidarity. Still another andlarger group finds them to be new elements correlative with andranking equally with sensations.心理学空间#ue)TyIzQ"WA8]0] O

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My psychological quarrel is not with the systematic and structuralpsychologist alone. The last fifteen years have seen the growthof what is called functional psychology.This type of psychology decries the use of elements in the staticsense of the structuralists. It throws emphasis upon the biologicalsignificance of conscious processes instead of upon the analysisof conscious states into introspectively isolable elements. Ihave done my best to understand the difference between functionalpsychology and structural psychology. Instead of clarity, confusiongrows upon me. The terms sensation, perception, affection, emotion,volition are used as much by the functionalist as by the structuralist.The addition of the word 'process' ('mental act as a whole', andlike terms are frequently met) after each serves in some way toremove the corpse of content' and to leave 'function' in itsstead. Surely if these concepts are elusive when looked at froma content standpoint, they are still more deceptive when viewedfrom the angle of function, and especially so when function isobtained by the introspection method. It is rather interestingthat no functional psychologist has carefully distinguished between'perception' (and this is true of the other psychological termsas well) as employed by the systematist, and cperceptual process'as used in functional psychology. It seems illogical and hardlyfair to criticize the psychology which the systematist gives us,and then to utilize his terms without carefully showing the changesin meaning which are to be attached to them. I was greatly surprisedsome time ago when I opened Pillsbury'sbook and saw psychology defined as the 'science of behavior'.A still more recent text states that psychology is the 'scienceof mental behavior'. When I saw these promising statements I thought,now surely we will have texts based upon different lines. Aftera few pages the science of behavior is dropped and one finds theconventional treatment of sensation, perception, imagery, etc.,along with certain shifts in emphasis and additional facts whichserve to give the author's personal imprint.

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n#?Mdc Zp0One of the difficulties in the way of a consistent functionalpsychology is the parallelistic hypothesis.If the functionalist attempts to express his formulations in termswhich make mental states really appear to function, to play someactive role in the world of adjustment, he almost inevitably lapsesinto terms which are connotative of interaction.When taxed with this he replies that it is more convenient todo so and that he does it to avoid the circumlocution and clumsinesswhich are inherent in any thoroughgoing parallelism.3As a matter of fact I believe the functionalistactually thinks in terms of interaction and resorts to parallelismonly when forced to give expression to his views. I feel thatbehaviorism is the only consistent and logical functionalism.In it one avoids both the Scylla of parallelism and the Charybdisof interaction. Those time-honored relics of philosophical speculationneed trouble the student of behavior as little as they troublethe student of physics. The consideration of the mind-body problemaffects neither the type of problem selected nor the formulationof the solution of that problem. I can state my position hereno better than by saying that I should like to bring my studentsup in the same ignorance of such hypotheses as one finds amongthe students of other branches of science.心理学空间NY jMSj

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This leads me to the point where I should like to make the argumentconstructive. I believe we can write a psychology, define it asPillsbury, and never go backupon our definition: never use the terms consciousness, mentalstates, mind, content, introspectively verifiable, imagery, andthe like. I believe that we can do it in a few years without runninginto the absurd terminology of Beer, Bethe, Von Uexküll, Nuel,and that of the so-called objective schools generally. It canbe done in terms of stimulus and response, in terms ofhabit formation, habit integrations and the like. Furthermore,I believe that it is really worth while to make this attempt now.


T#_aVWW0The psychology which I should attempt to build up would take asa starting point, first, the observable fact that organisms, manand animal alike, do adjust themselves to their environment bymeans of hereditary and habit equipments. These adjustments maybe very adequate or they may be so inadequate that the organismbarely maintains its existence; secondly, that certain stimulilead the organisms to make the responses. In a system of psychologycompletely worked out, given the response the stimuli can be predicted;given the stimuli the response can be predicted. Such a set ofstatements is crass and raw in the extreme, as all such generalizationsmust be. Yet they are hardly more raw and less realizable thanthe ones which appear in the psychology texts of the day. I possiblymight illustrate my point better by choosing an everyday problemwhich anyone is likely to meet in the course of his work. Sometime ago I was called upon to make a study of certain speciesof birds. Until I went to TortugasI had never seen these birds alive. When I reached there I foundthe animals doing certain things: some of the acts seemed to workpeculiarly well in such an environment, while others seemed tobe unsuited to their type of life. I first studied the responsesof the group as a whole and later those of individuals. In orderto understand more thoroughly the relation between what was habitand what was hereditary in these responses, I took the young birdsand reared them. In this way I was able to study the order ofappearance of hereditary adjustments and their complexity, andlater the beginnings of habit formation. My efforts in determiningthe stimuli which called forth such adjustments were crude indeed.Consequently my attempts to control behavior and to produce responsesat will did not meet with much success. Their food and water,sex and other social relations, light and temperature conditionswere all beyond control in a field study. I did find it possibleto control their reactions in a measure by using the nest andegg (or young) as stimuli. It is not necessary in thispaper to develop further how such a study should be carried outand how work of this kind must be supplemented by carefully controlledlaboratory experiments. Had I been called upon to examine thenatives of some of the Australian tribes, I should have gone aboutmy task in the same way. I should have found the problem moredifficult: the types of responses called forth by physical stimuliwould have been more varied, and the number of effective stimulilarger. I should have had to determine the social setting of theirlives in a far more careful way. These savages would be more influencedby the responses of each other than was the case with the birds.Furthermore, habits would have been more complex and the influencesof past habits upon the present responses would have appearedmore clearly. Finally, if I had been called upon to work out thepsychology of the educated European, my problem would have requiredseveral lifetimes. But in the one I have at my disposal I shouldhave followed the same general line of attack. In the main, mydesire in all such work is to gain an accurate knowledge of adjustmentsand the stimuli calling them forth. My final reason for this isto learn general and particular methods by which I may controlbehavior. My goal is not 'the description and explanation of statesof consciousness as such', nor that of obtaining such proficiencyin mental gymnastics that I can immediately lay hold of a stateof consciousness and say, 'this, as a whole, consists of graysensation number 350, Of such and such extent, occurring in conjunctionwith the sensation of cold of a certain intensity; one of pressureof a certain intensity and extent,' and so on ad infinitum.If psychology would follow the plan I suggest, the educator,the physician, the jurist and the business man could utilize ourdata in a practical way, as soon as we are able, experimentally,to obtain them. Those who have occasion to apply psychologicalprinciples practically would find no need to complain as theydo at the present time. Ask any physician or jurist today whetherscientific psychology plays a practical part in his daily routineand you will hear him deny that the psychology of the laboratoriesfinds a place in his scheme of work. I think the criticism isextremely just. One of the earliest conditions which made me dissatisfiedwith psychology was the feeling that there was no realm of applicationfor the principles which were being worked out in content terms.心理学空间0ni*i*KH,xhw

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What gives me hope that the behaviorist's position is a defensibleone is the fact that those branches of psychology which have alreadypartially withdrawn from the parent, experimental psychology,and which are consequently less dependent upon introspection aretoday in a most flourishing condition. Experimental pedagogy,the psychology of drugs, the psychology of advertising, legalpsychology, the psychology of tests, and psychopathology are allvigorous growths. These are sometimes wrongly called 'practical'or 'applied' psychology. Surely there was never a worse misnomer.In the future there may grow up vocational bureaus which reallyapply psychology. At present these fields are truly scientificand are in search of broad generalizations which will lead tothe control of human behavior. For example, we find out by experimentationwhether a series of stanzas may be acquired more readily if thewhole is learned at once, or whether it is more advantageous tolearn each stanza separately and then pass to the succeeding.We do not attempt to apply our findings. The application of thisprinciple is purely voluntary on the part of the teacher. In thepsychology of drugs we may show the effect upon behavior of certaindoses of caffeine. We may reach the conclusion that caffeine hasa good effect upon the speed and accuracy of work. But these aregeneral principles. We leave it to the individual as to whetherthe results of our tests shall be applied or not. Again, in legaltestimony, we test the effects of recency upon the reliabilityof a witness's report. We test the accuracy of the report withrespect to moving objects, stationary objects, color, etc. Itdepends upon the judicial machinery of the country to decide whetherthese facts are ever to be applied. For a 'pure' psychologistto say that he is not interested in the questions raised in thesedivisions of the science because they relate indirectly to theapplication of psychology shows, in the first place, that he failsto understand the scientific aimin such problems, and secondly, that he is not interested in apsychology which concerns itself with human life. The only faultI have to find with these disciplines is that much of their materialis stated in terms of introspection, whereas a statement in termsof objective results would be far more valuable. There is no reasonwhy appeal should ever be made to consciousness in any of them.Or why introspective data should ever be sought during the experimentation,or published in the results. In experimental pedagogy especiallyone can see the desirability of keeping all of the results ona purely objective plane. If this is done, work there on the humanbeing will be comparable directly with the work upon animals.For example, at Hopkins, Mr. Ulrichhas obtained certain results upon the distribution of effort inlearning -- using rats as subjects. He is prepared to give comparativeresults upon the effect of having an animal work at the problemonce per day, three times per day, and five times per day. Whetherit is advisable to have the animal learn only one problem at atime or to learn three abreast. We need to have similar experimentsmade upon man, but we care as little about his 'conscious processes'during the conduct of the experiment as we care about such processesin the rats.心理学空间A-W&P-q G-}J ?fDls

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I am more interested at the present moment in trying to show thenecessity for maintaining uniformity in experimental procedureand in the method of stating results in both human and animalwork, than in developing any ideas I may have upon the changeswhich are certain to come in the scope of human psychology. Letus consider for a moment the subject of the range of stimuli towhich animals respond. I shall speak first of the work upon visionin animals. We put our animal in a situation where he will respond(or learn to respond) to one of two monochromatic lights. We feedhim at the one (positive) and punish him at the other (negative).In a short time the animal learns to go to the light at whichhe is fed. At this point questions arise which I may phrase intwo ways: I may choose the psychological way and say 'does theanimal see these two lights as I do, i.e., as two distinctcolors, or does he see them as two grays differing in brightness,as does the totally color blind?' Phrased by the behaviorist,it would read as follows: 'Is my animal responding upon the basisof the difference in intensity between the two stimuli, or uponthe difference in wavelengths?' He nowhere thinks of the animal'sresponse in terms of his own experiences of colors and grays.He wishes to establish the fact whether wave-length is a factorin that animal's adjustment.4 Ifso, what wave-lengths are effective and what differences in wave-lengthmust be maintained in the different regions to afford bases fordifferential responses? If wave-length is not a factor in adjustmenthe wishes to know what difference in intensity will serve as abasis for response, and whether that same difference will sufficethroughout the spectrum. Furthermore, he wishes to test whetherthe animal can respond to wavelengths which do not affect thehuman eye. He is as much interested in comparing the rat's spectrumwith that of the chick as in comparing it with man's. The pointof view when the various sets of comparisons are made does notchange in the slightest.


However we phrase the question to ourselves, we take our animalafter the association has been formed and then introduce certaincontrol experiments which enable us to return answers to the questionsjust raised. But there is just as keen a desire on our part totest man under the same conditions, and to state the results inboth cases in common terms.

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The man and the animal should be placed as nearly as possibleunder the same experimental conditions. Instead of feeding orpunishing the human subject, we should ask him to respond by settinga second apparatus until standard and control offered no basisfor a differential response. Do I lay myself open to the chargehere that I am using introspection? My reply is not at all; thatwhile I might very well feed my human subject for a right choiceand punish him for a wrong one and thus produce the response ifthe subject could give it, there is no need of going to extremeseven on the platform I suggest. But be it understood that I ammerely using this second method as an abridged behavior method.5We can go just as far and reach just as dependableresults by the longer method as by the abridged. In many casesthe direct and typically human method cannot be safely used. Suppose,for example, that I doubt the accuracy of the setting of the controlinstrument, in the above experiment, as I am very likely to doif I suspect a defect in vision? It is hopeless for me to gethis introspective report. He will say: 'There is no differencein sensation, both are reds, identical in quality.' But supposeI confront him with the standard and the control and so arrangeconditions that he is punished if he responds to the 'control'but not with the standard. I interchange the positions of thestandard and the control at will and force him to attempt to differentiatethe one from the other. If he can learn to make the adjustmenteven after a large number of trials it is evident that the twostimuli do afford the basis for a differential response. Sucha method may sound nonsensical, but I firmly believe we will haveto resort increasingly to just such method where we have reasonto distrust the language method.

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There is hardly a problem in human vision which is not also aproblem in animal vision: I mention the limits of the spectrum,threshold values, absolute and relative,flicker, Talbot's law, Weber's law,field of vision, the Purkinje phenomenon,etc. Every one is capable of being worked out by behavior methods.Many of them are being worked out at the present time.


7P'yKD6FDg0I feel that all the work upon the senses can be consistently carriedforward along the lines I have suggested here for vision. Ourresults will, in the end, give an excellent picture of what eachorgan stands for in the way of function. The anatomist and thephysiologist may take our data and show, on the one hand, thestructures which are responsible for these responses, and, onthe other, the physics-chemical relations which are necessarilyinvolved (physiological chemistry of nerve and muscle) in theseand other reactions.

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i+tE/oL Zx K0The situation in regard to the study of memory is hardly different.Nearly all of the memory methods in actual use in the laboratorytoday yield the type of results I am arguing for. A certain seriesof nonsense syllables or othermaterial is presented to the human subject. What should receivethe emphasis are the rapidity of the habit formation, the errors,peculiarities in the form of the curve, the persistence of thehabit so formed, the relation of such habits to those formed whenmore complex material is used, etc. Now such results are takendown with the subject's introspection. The experiments are madefor the purpose of discussing the mental machinery6involved in learning, in recall, recollectionand forgetting, and not for the purpose of seeking the human being'sway of shaping his responses to meet the problems in the terriblycomplex environment into which he is thrown, nor for that of showingthe similarities and differences between man's methods and thoseof other animals.心理学空间bN} P!p(r;Kj

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The situation is somewhat different when we come to a study ofthe more complex forms of behavior, such as imagination, judgment,reasoning, and conception. At present the only statements we haveof them are in content terms.7 Ourminds have been so warped by the fifty-odd years which have beendevoted to the study of states of consciousness that we can envisagethese problems only in one way. We should meet the situation squarelyand say that we are not able to carry forward investigations alongall of these lines by the behavior methods which are in use atthe present time. In extenuation I should like to call attentionto the paragraph above where I made the point that the introspectivemethod itself has reached a cul-de-sac with respect tothem. The topics have become so threadbare from much handlingthat they may well be put away for a time. As our methods becomebetter developed it will be possible to undertake investigationsof more and more complex forms of behavior. Problems which arenow laid aside will again become imperative, but they can be viewedas they arise from a new angle and in more concrete settings.心理学空间5h-K|3R!A9K5K


Will there be left over in psychology a world of pure psychics,to use Yerkes' term? I confessI do not know. The plans which I most favor for psychology leadpractically to the ignoring of consciousness in the sense thatthat term is used by psychologists today. I have virtually deniedthat this realm of psychics is open to experimental investigation.I don't wish to go further into the problem at present becauseit leads inevitably over into metaphysics. If you will grant thebehaviorist the right to use consciousness in the same way thatother natural scientists employ it - that is, without making consciousnessa special object of observation - you have granted all that mythesis requires.心理学空间&`;m1|F6u

(P@8Z(J-?&k5{/~?6T0In concluding, I suppose I must confess to a deep bias on thesequestions. I have devoted nearly twelve years to experimentationon animals. It is natural that such a one should drift into atheoretical position which is in harmony with his experimentalwork. Possibly I have put up a straw man and have been fightingthat. There may be no absolute lack of harmony between the positionoutlined here and that of functional psychology. I am inclinedto think, however, that the two positions cannot be easily harmonized.Certainly the position I advocate is weak enough at present andcan be attacked from many standpoints. Yet when all this is admittedI still feel that the considerations which I have urged shouldhave a wide influence upon the type of psychology which is tobe developed in the future. What we need to do is to start workupon psychology, making behavior, not consciousness, theobjective point of our attack. Certainly there are enough problemsin the control of behavior to keep us all working many lifetimeswithout ever allowing us time to think of consciousness an sich.Once launched in the undertaking, we will find ourselves ina short time as far divorced from an introspective psychologyas the psychology of the present time is divorced from facultypsychology.

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1. Human psychology has failed to make good its claim as a naturalscience. Due to a mistaken notion that its fields of facts areconscious phenomena and that introspection is the only directmethod of ascertaining these facts, it has enmeshed itself ina series of speculative questions which, while fundamental toits present tenets, are not open to experimental treatment. Inthe pursuit of answers to these questions, it has become furtherand further divorced from contact with problems which vitallyconcern human interest.心理学空间#c kPVk

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2. Psychology, as the behaviorist views it, is a purely objective,experimental branch of natural science which needs introspectionas little as do the sciences of chemistry and physics. It is grantedthat the behavior of animals can be investigated without appealto consciousness. Heretofore the viewpoint has been that suchdata have value only in so far as they can be interpreted by analogyin terms of consciousness. The position is taken here that thebehavior of man and the behavior of animals must be consideredon the same plane; as being equally essential to a general understandingof behavior. It can dispense with consciousness in a psychologicalsense. The separate observation of 'states of consciousness',is, on this assumption, no more a part of the task of the psychologistthan of the physicist. We might call this the return to a non-reflectiveand nave use of consciousness. In this sense consciousness maybe said to be the instrument or tool with which all scientistswork. Whether or not the tool is properly used at present by scientistsis a problem for philosophy and not for psychology.


3. From the viewpoint here suggested the facts on the behaviorof amoebæ have value in and for themselves without reference tothe behavior of man. In biology studies on race differentiationand inheritance in amœbæ form a separate division ofstudy which must be evaluated in terms of the laws found there.The conclusions so reached may not hold in any other form. Regardlessof the possible lack of generality, such studies must be madeif evolution as a whole is ever to be regulated and controlled.Similarly the laws of behavior in amœbæ, the rangeof responses, and the determination of effective stimuli, of habitformation, persistency of habits, interference and reinforcementof habits, must be determined and evaluated in and for themselves,regardless of their generality, or of their bearing upon suchlaws in other forms, if the phenomena of behavior are ever tobe brought within the sphere of scientific control.

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V!{ry2f`W04. This suggested elimination of states of consciousness as properobjects of investigation in themselves will remove the barrierfrom psychology which exists between it and the other sciences.The findings of psychology become the functional correlates ofstructure and lend themselves to explanation in physico-chemicalterms.心理学空间9f_-F't:R`

J;Km)KD2z R@-E05. Psychology as behavior will, after all, have to neglect butfew of the really essential problems with which psychology asan introspective science now concerns itself. In all probabilityeven this residue of problems may be phrased in such a way thatrefined methods in behavior (which certainly must come) will leadto their solution.

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{ U%B pL{1nd01 That is, either directly upon the consciousstate of the observer or indirectly upon the conscious state ofthe experimenter.心理学空间 ELO A\G1@Q u

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2 In this connection I call attention to thecontroversy now on between the adherents and the opposers of imagelessthought. The 'types of reactors' (sensory and motor) were alsomatters of bitter dispute. The complication experiment was thesource of another war of words concerning the accuracy of theopponents' introspection. 


3 My colleague, Professor H. C. Warren, bywhose advice this article was offered to the Review, believesthat the parallelist can avoid the interaction terminology completelyby exercising a little care. 心理学空间$m+kOEODS

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4 He would have exactly the same attitudeas if he were conducting an experiment to show whether an antwould crawl over a pencil laid across the trail or go round it.

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5 I should prefer to look upon this abbreviatedmethod, where the human subject is told in words, for example,to equate two stimuli; or to state in words whether a given stimulusis present or absent, etc., as the language method in behavior.It in no way changes the status of experimentation. The methodbecomes possible merely by virtue of the fact that in the particularcase the experimenter and his animal have systems of abbreviationsor shorthand behavior signs (language), any one of which may standfor a habit belonging to the repertoire both of the experimenterand his subject. To make the data obtained by the language methodvirtually the whole of behavior -- or to attempt to mould allof the data obtained by other methods in terms of the one whichhas by all odds the most limited range -- is putting the cartbefore the horse with a vengeance. 心理学空间JKL5j#p

*a!DU)\a~{06 They are often undertaken apparently forthe purpose of making crude pictures of what must or must notgo on in the nervous system. 心理学空间SF@ }d3si

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7 There is need of questioning more and morethe existence of what psychology calls imagery. Until a few yearsago I thought that centrally aroused visual sensations were asclear as those peripherally aroused. I had never accredited myselfwith any other kind. However, closer examination leads me to denyin my own case the presence of imagery in the Galtonian sense.The whole doctrine of the centrally aroused image is, I believe,at present, on a very insecure foundation. Angell as well as Fernaldreach the conclusion that an objective determination of imagetype is impossible. It would be an interesting confirmation oftheir experimental work if we should find by degrees that we havebeen mistaken in building up this enormous structure of the centrallyaroused sensation (or image).心理学空间n*ed1^#|K1`"g


The hypothesis that all of the so-called 'higher thought' processesgo on in terms of faint reinstatements of the original muscularact (including speech here) and that these are integrated intosystems which respond in serial order (associative mechanisms)is, I believe, a tenable one. It makes reflective processes asmechanical as habit. The scheme of habit which James long agodescribed - where each return or afferent current releases thenext appropriate motor discharge - is as true for ,thought processes'as for overt muscular acts. Paucity of 'imagery' would be therule. In other words, wherever there are thought processes thereare faint contractions of the systems of musculature involvedin the overt exercise of the customary act, and especially inthe still finer systems of musculature involved in speech. Ifthis is true, and I do not see how it can be gainsaid, imagerybecomes a mental luxury (even if it really exists) without anyfunctional significance whatever. If experimental procedure justifiesthis hypothesis, we shall have at hand tangible phenomena whichmay be studied as behavior material. I should say that the daywhen we can study reflective processes by such methods is aboutas far off as the day when we can tell by physicochemical methodsthe difference in the structure and arrangement of molecules betweenliving protoplasm and inorganic substances. The solutions of bothproblems await the advent of methods and apparatus.心理学空间Z'R:P^p D'mN$t


[After writing this paper I heard the addresses of ProfessorsThorndike and Angell, at the Cleveland meeting of the AmericanPsychological Association. I hope to have the opportunity to discussthem at another time. I must even here attempt to answer one questionraised by Thorndike.心理学空间1h#oX/QJ*M N

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Thorndike [...] casts suspicions upon ideo-motor action. If byideo-motor action he means just that and would not include sensori-motoraction in his general denunciation, I heartily agree with him.I should throw out imagery altogether and attempt to show thatpractically all natural thought goes on in terms of sensori-motorprocesses in the larynx (but not in terms of 'imageless thought')which rarely come to consciousness in any person who has not gropedfor imagery in the psychological laboratory. This easily explainswhy so many of the welleducated laity know nothing of imagery.I doubt if Thorndike conceives of the matter in this way. He andWoodworth seem to have neglected the speech mechanisms.心理学空间 q*\,u'v7U;t|V6v'Iw


It has been shown that improvement in habit comes unconsciously.The first we know of it is when it is achieved -- when it becomesan object. I believe that 'consciousness' has just as little todo with improvement in thought processes. Since, accordingto my view, thought processes are really motor habits in the larynx,improvements, short cuts, changes, etc., in these habits are broughtabout in the same way that such changes are produced in othermotor habits. This view carries with it the implication that thereare no reflective processes (centrally initiated processes): Theindividual is always examining objects, in the onecase objects in the now accepted sense, in the other their substitutes,viz., the movements in the speech musculature. From this it followsthat there is no theoretical limitation of the behavior method.There remains, to be sure, the practical difficulty, which maynever be overcome, of examining speech movements in the way thatgeneral bodily behavior may be examined.] 

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Introspection. The preferred method of many 19th-century and early 20th-century psychologists, by which one examines one's own conscious mental states and processes as they occur. Foremost among its advocates in America was Edward Bradford Titchener (1867-1927). Wundt also used introspective techniques, but not exclusively, as is often believed (see, e.g., Kurt Danziger's "The history of introspection reconsidered," in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences (1980, 16, 241-262).

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No dividing line between man and brute. Many 19th-century psychologists believed the most important subjects of psychology -- such as reasoning -- to be exclusive to humans. They therefore rejected the study of animals as having significant application to the study of psychology. The Chicago functionalists -- viz., John Dewey (1859-1952), James Rowland Angell (1869-1949), and Harvery A. Carr (1873-1954) -- were among the first self-identified psychologists to reject this position, arguing for psychological continuity between humans and other animals. Watson obtained his Ph.D. under the supervision of Angell 1903. 心理学空间.o&vf'iE

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Consciousness. Wundt's definition of psychology, for instance, was the "science of immediate experience" (1897, Outlines of Psychology, C. H. Judd, Trans., p. 3). Titchener's was the "science of mental processes" (1899, An Outline of Psychology, 2nd ed., p. 7). Angell's was the "science of consciousness" (1908, Psychology, 4th ed., p. 1).

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Simple elementary constituents.Wundt, for instance, was widely believed in America to hold that sensations and feelings are the basic elements of consciousness, out of which more complex mental states are formed (though this has since been shown to be a vast oversimplification of his actual position). In America, Titichener was mainly responsible for advocating this position (and for attributing it to his one-time supervisor, Wundt).


S.RQ#G,`EfN0 Comparative psychology. The study of the similarities and differences between the mental processes (and behavior) of humans and (other) animals. It was sometimes extended to a comparison of the "normal" and "abnormal" mentalities, and even the comparison of "European" minds with those of other "races".

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Bearing of animal work. Many philosophical psychologists spurned animal psychology. Most experimentally-inclined psychologists of Watson's day, however, saw value in comparative psychology. Even Wundt had written that "the mental life of animals shows itself to be in its elements and in the general laws of their combination everywhere the same as that of man" (1897, Outlines of Psychology, C.H. Judd, Trans., p. 276).

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KN+K$TCc0 Facts of behavior. Notice here that Watson begins his argument for behaviorism with an appeal merely to include behavior among the topics of psychology. By the end of the paper he will be calling for a rejection of all but this from the discipline.


Absurd position. Notice that Watson begins by apparently accepting his imaginary opponent's argument against the significance of comparative psychology (viz., against the "analogy" of animal to human minds), only to turn that very argument against all of traditional psychology later for attempting to "construct" the conscious content of the human being.


y*Ru9o f_IV0|0 Anthropomorphism. To impute human characteristics to the non-human realm. To think of a storm a being angry, for instance, is to take an anthropomorphic attitude with respect to the storm. Watson here is concerned with imputing human conscious states to animals, a "mistake" warned against by the English zoologist and psychologist C. Lloyd Morgan (1852-1936) in his famous canon: "In no case may we interpret an action as the outcome of a higher psychical faculty, if it can be interpreted as the outcome of one which stands lower on the psychological scale (1894, An Introduction to Comparative Psychology). Morgan also invented the term "trial-and-error learning" and was a key advocate of "emergentism" with respect to mental phenomena. 心理学空间CzcVQM)WkPY

G$J4zT? ?0 Associative Memory. The physiologist Jacques Loeb (1859-1924) called the ability of some animals to "connect" old responses to new stimuli "associative memory" in his book Physiology of the Brain (1899). It is quite closely allied with Ivan Pavlov's (1849-1936) notion of the "conditioned reflex". 心理学空间Xi+iNBO9H


Psychic. It is important to note that by "psychic" Watson means only what we would call the "psychological," not "paranormal" phenomena, to which the term is now sometimes used to refer.


uxT ofW(hS'U0 Phylogenetic Scale. The evolutionary scale of living things, from the simplest up to the most complex. 心理学空间s*y ySMsW |.@

*D%WyD2i*f0 Paramecium. A single-celled animal. 心理学空间 T]6P1tO+?7dm6}

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Charles Darwin (1809-1882). British naturalist. Developer of the theory of evolution by means of natural selection. Author of several books, including Origin of Species (1859), Descent of Man (1871), and Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872). 心理学空间(s5~ j2ZwC0jSx

:C*I!cjn%A y B0 Genus Homo. The phylogenetic genus to which humans belong. No other species in the genus survive today, but in earlier times there were the species of "primitive" humans called Homo habilis (about 2 million to 1½ million years ago) and Homo erectus (about 1 million to ½ million years ago)

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)I\]Sk],@E u!~E0 Johns Hopkins. The university to which Watson was appointed. The "distinguished psychologist" may well have been the prominent developmental theorist James Mark Baldwin (1861-1934), who had given Watson his job. 心理学空间+w3[!M#Yj

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Introspection is untrained. The reference here is to the many disputes between various German schools of introspective psychology (most notably Leipzig and Würzburg) over whether new findings were true discoveries or artifacts of poorly trained introspectors. Titchener's text, An Outline of Psychology (1897), describes a number of "errors" novice introspectors are liable to make. 心理学空间Va&`L6H/?ktS&W


Imageless thought. A concept first mentioned by the British philosophical psychologist G. F. Stout (1860-1944). It had traditionally been believed by many philosophical psychologists that all thought requires a mental image. To think of a table, for instance, is to form an image of a table. Consider, however, whether you require an image of any kind to think of the concept FOUR. 心理学空间zW(Md~


Bewusstseinslage. The name suggested by Karl Marbe (1869-1953) of the Würzburg school for "conscious attitudes" of, for instance, doubt, certainty, affirmation and dissent, that can accompany the conscious experience of a definite thought. The claim of their independence from the traditional elements of consciousness (sensations and feelings) led to a fierce debate with Wundt and his orthodox students.

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A5SXQ#Z.m.XbN0 Different training. This argument, and the one immediately below in the text, were typical of the disputes that frequently broke out among Wundt's European students. Wundt's debate with the Würzburg school, led by Oswald Külpe (1862-1915), was the most famous of these.

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Edward Bradford Titchener (1867-1927). Founder of the "structuralist" school of psychology. Born in the south of England. After five years at Oxford, he moved to Leipzig in 1890 to study under Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920). After earning his doctorate in 1892, he moved to Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) to advocate what he took to be the "Wundtian system" of psychology in North America; a method of introspection on the elementary contents of consciousness such as sensations feelings. (Wundt's real interests have since been revealed to have been far broader than Titchener's method allowed.) The label "structuralist" was the product of his debates with the "functionalists" at Chicago viz., John Dewey (1859-1952), James Rowland Angell (1869-1949), and Harvey A. Carr (1873-1954), distinguishing their interests in mental processes from Titchener's in mental states. 心理学空间WD)T+kX b2y"zx

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Functional psychology. The American school of psychology led by Watson's doctoral supervisor at Chicago, James Rowland Angell (1869-1949), as well as James Dewey (1859-1952) and Harvey Carr (1873-1954). There was a branch of functionalism at Columbia University as well, led by Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949). It argued that psychological function, rather than structure (à la Titchener), should be the main topic of psychology. It was influenced by Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, and regarded animal psychology more highly than any other school up to its time. Functionalists still believed consciousness (or "experience" in Dewey's case) to be the primary object of psychology, however. Here Watson breaks whatever ties he had maintained with his functionalist training. 心理学空间:gt,Tu1t`

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W. B. Pillsbury (1872-1960). Student of E. B. Titchener's (1867-1927). Appointed to University of Michigan in 1896. Wrote books on the psychology of language, reasoning, attention. Conducted research on the kinesthetic and cutaneous senses. President of the APA in 1910. Founding chair of the Department of Psychology at Michigan which separated from the Department of Philosophy in 1929.

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Parallelistic hypothesis. According to parallelism, the mind and body do not interact causally with each other. Rather, they act in parallel with each other. For instance, the desire to move one's arm (a mental act) parallels the movement of the arm (a bodily act); it does not cause it to move. Parallelism is supposed to avoid the pitfalls of interactionism -- the thesis that the mind and body are causally linked -- but it gives rise to the dilemma of explaining how this relation between mind and body arose. The most famous parallelist was the German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), who believed that the harmony between mind and body had been pre-established by God. The psychological functionalists of the 19th and early 20th centuries did not have such an argument open to them. Watson, here, argues that the functionalists' parallelistic talk merely papers over an underlying interactionism, and all the problems which that brings (viz., how can an immaterial mind cause a material body to do anything if cause is a relation that holds only between two material objects?). 心理学空间5cY;LAR2pkg `

TKttkD7tJ!O0 Interaction. According to interactionism, the mind and body are causally related to each other: i.e., thoughts cause the body to move, and sensory stimuli cause ideas to arise in the mind. This was the position of the French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1750). It was almost immediately recognized to be problematic (viz., how can an immaterial mind cause a material body to do anything, or vice versa?). Watson is here attempting to show that the functionalist position is covertly interactionst on the relation between mind and body, and thus suffers from all interactionism's traditional difficulties.


Beer, Bethe, Von Uexküll, Nuel. German mechanistic psychologists who, in an 1899 article, argued that all ordinary psychological terms should be abolished in favor of "objective" terms such as reception (sensation), reflex (movement), and resonance (memory).

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Tortugas. An island in the Gulf of Mexico. Watson and Karl Lashley (1890-1958) carried out some studies on the behavior of terns there.


7?nRa _)T.f-fW'q#`0 Scientific aim. Notice that Watson seems to argue here that science not applied to everyday life is not science at all.


John Linck Ulrich (b. 1877, Ph. D. Johns Hopkins University, 1913). Published "Distribution of effort in learning in the white rat" in Watson's Behavior Monographs in 1915. Found that spacing trials led to better learning than massed trials. 心理学空间(zkjX-t0l&xrm

[ w3a p s)bN0 Absolute and relative. The absolute threshold is the lowest level of intensity (dimness of light, softness of sound) at which a stimulus can be detected. A relative threshold is the amount that a stimulus of standard intensity must be changed in order for a difference to be noticed. 心理学空间rb:]Jc+M ?8W

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Talbot's law. Named after the English physicist and photographer, William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877), who discovered that when the cycle of a flickering light reaches so high a rate that it perceived as being continuous, its apparent brightness is equal to the mean of the brightness of the complete flicker cycle. Also known as the Talbot-Plateau law, after Talbot and the Belgian physicist Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau (1801-1883).

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d7\$G2P_ea#[0 Weber's law. Named after the German psychophysicist, Ernst Heinrich Weber (1795-1878), who discovered that the just-noticeable differences in the intensity of various stimuli are proportional to the intensity of the original stimulus. For instance, if a 100 watt light must be increased by 5 watts in order for the difference to be perceptible, then an increase of 50 watts would be necessary for the change in a light of 1000 watts to be perceptible. 心理学空间%O]_ lW


Purkinje phenomena. Named after the Czech physiologist, Jan Evengelista Pukinje (1787-1869), who discovered that as multicolored displays decrease in brightness, those colors at the "cool" end of the spectrum lose their brightness less rapidly than those at the "warm" end. It was later discovered that this due to the photosensitive cells in the retina responsible for vision in dim light (the rods) being more sensitive to light with shorter wavelengths (which corresponds to "cool" colors) than cells responsible for vision in bright light (the cones). 心理学空间G8[|R)fm

@$`X4_%o m5z/]0 Nonsense syllables. This method of investigating memory was pioneered by the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850-1909). His book Memory (1885, trans. 1913) is a classic in the field. Ebbinghaus' method was the standard until well into the 20th century.

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Robert Mearns Yerkes (1876-1956). American psychologist who supported Watson in his effort to make psychology behavioristic. A leader in the effort to develop IQ tests during World War I. He conducted many studies on rats and, later, chimpanzees, developing the "multiple-choice" method of investigating their mental processes.

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Consciousness an sich. The allusion is to ding an sich (thing in itself), a phrase used by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) to refer to the things of the world apart from our knowledge of them. Kant argued that we can never know the world directly, never know the ding an sich, but only its presentation in consciousness. 心理学空间"ZV(L!VI[1P)V


Author's note: I would like to thank Roger Thomas, Ryan Tweeny, William S. Verplank, and Andrew Winston for the their assistance in assembling this material.

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