Compare The Cognitive Movement With Behaviorism

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I covered some things this week that I have learned in other classes, so in part this week acted to reinforce what I have already learned. I did, however, break new ground in understanding exactly how the behaviorist tradition contributed to the cognitive perspective of human psychology. I had already studied the historical events that took place to bring about this transition in the “History and Systems in Psychology” class. But I did not understand the transition from a theory standpoint. I also had no idea that the behaviorist mechanisms of stimulus-response and reinforcement played such a large part in the cognitive movement. I had learned in the aforementioned class that the point of the cognitive movement was to replace a behavior-only perspective in psychology. It is odd that the one thing the cognitive movement was supposed to overcome is the cornerstone of the actual research involved in cognition.

Also, I knew some of the shortfalls of the behavior-only perspective of psychology, maybe how stimulus-response paradigms cannot account for spontaneous language. But I was not aware of the shortfalls of behaviorism in explaining fixed-action patterns and critical period learning. We all take for granted that we learn certain habits and patterns only at certain points in our life.

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Willingham, D. T. (2007). Cognition: The thinking animal. New York, NY: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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