Definition of behaviorism in English:


(British behaviourism)


  • 1The theory that human and animal behavior can be explained in terms of conditioning, without appeal to thoughts or feelings, and that psychological disorders are best treated by altering behavior patterns.

    • ‘Probably, monogamy is not our natural state; the lessons of animal behaviourism and biology seem to indicate this.’
    • ‘Perhaps the shift from behaviorism to cognitive psychology has given educators a richer vocabulary to describe mental processes.’
    • ‘Like cognitive psychology, activity theory rejects behaviourism and attaches great significance to the cognitive regulation of behaviour.’
    • ‘Psychologists use many different theories - cognitive theory, behaviourism and dynamic theory are just a few.’
    • ‘Especially in North America, behaviorism dominated the psychological scene through the 1950s.’
    1. 1.1Treatment using the practical application of the theory of behaviorism.
      • ‘Not surprisingly, military learning commences on the basis of behaviourism.’
      • ‘He invented the belief that one can cure an autistic child by using behaviorism.’
      • ‘For years, teachers have been using behaviorism in the form of punishments and rewards to maintain order in their classrooms.’