Behavior modification developed from the perspective called behaviorism, which emerged with the work of John B. Watson (1913, 1930) and B. F. Skinner (1938, 1953). This perspective emphasizes the study of observable and measurable behavior and proposes that nearly all behavior is the product of learning, particularly operant and respondent conditioning. Three lines of research laid the foundation for behaviorism. Ivan Pavlov (1927) demonstrated the process of respondent conditioning. John Watson and Rosalie Rayner (1920) showed that an infant, "Little Albert," learned to fear a white rat through respondent conditioning. And Edward Thorndike (1898, 1931) studied how "satisfying" and "annoying" consequences—which we now call reinforcement and punishment—affect learning. Other studies formed the basis for applying the ideas of behaviorism by showing that conditioning techniques could effectively reduce fears (Jones, 1924) and improve problem behaviors of psychiatric patients (Ayllon & Michael, 1959; Lindsley, 1956). The field of behavior modification now includes the areas of the experimental analysis of behavior, which examines basic theoretical processes in learning, applied behavior analysis, which emphasizes application to socially important problems in various settings, and behavior therapy, which focuses on application in psychotherapy settings.
Was this article helpful?
This guide Don't Panic has tips and additional information on what you should do when you are experiencing an anxiety or panic attack. With so much going on in the world today with taking care of your family, working full time, dealing with office politics and other things, you could experience a serious meltdown. All of these things could at one point cause you to stress out and snap.