THE FEAR MIND SCREW

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John B. Watson was an important contributor to classical behaviorism, who paved the way for B. F. Skinner’s radical or operant behaviorism, which has had a major impact on American educational systems.

A professor of psychology at Johns Hopkins University (1908–1920), Watson is often listed as one of the most influential psychologists of the twentieth century; his work is standard material in most introductory psychology and educational psychology texts.

Watson and other early behaviorists believed that controlled laboratory studies were the most effective way to study learning. With this approach, manipulation of the learner’s environment was the key to fostering development. This approach stands in contrast to techniques that placed the emphasis for learning in the mind of the learner.

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