John Watson did research on the behavioral pattern of human being, and his works have been widely published. According to Watson (2008), understanding the psychology of a human being is a complex process that requires a researcher to conduct the study without the knowledge of the researched. This scholar says that human being is very canning as opposed to other animals.
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When a human being realizes that he or she is the subject of the research, he or she will change the behavior to hide the truth. In some cases, such individuals would behave in the opposite manner from the way they are expected to behave. For this reason, the result that would be obtained from the research would be the opposite. This is very common when one is researching activities considered illegal or unethical within society.
A human being would always want to behave in an ideal manner. Behaviorists have tried to research how the behavior of a person can be predicted and controlled in an environment. It is clear that the behavior of an individual can only be predicted and controlled if there is a clear understanding of how the individual responds to various stimuli.
This would require the behaviorists to research the individual in an environment where the individual would not realize that he or she is the subject of the research. The ultimate aim of the process is to pick the behavioral pattern of the individual in the most natural way. This would enable the behaviorist to understand the true nature of the individual under the study.
Watson, however, says that psychologists are yet to develop a unitary scheme for an animal response. This scholar blames this on the introspective method that has been in use for centuries. This creates a scenario where psychologists take different approaches to issues that could be addressed using a similar approach. As a result of this, there emerges a serious confusion where each approach would lead to different answers.
The learners may get confused because of the obvious lack of a uniform approach to handling various issues. Just like in pure science where the ultimate result must be similar when the question posed is the same, the various approaches used by psychologists in handling various issues should have a similar reflection. This would not only help the learners in this field, but also those who are practicing in this field.
Understanding the behaviorism of the human being needs a concerted effort by various stakeholders involved in this research. Watson (2008) says that dealing with animals as the subject of the research is much simpler. Understanding their psychology would be easy because they would not pretend by hiding some of their behavioral pattern in front of the researcher. As such, the research may take a shorter time.
However, the same is not the case when the research is done on animals. The researcher may find it difficult and more time consuming before coming up with concrete solutions to the desired question. Watson gives preference to studying the psychology of animals to that of human beings. Understanding the behavioral pattern of animals and subsequently controlling their behavior is much easier. Although stimuli and behavior of both the animals and a human being can be measured, it is easier to deal with animals than human beings.
Watson, J. B. (2008). Behaviorism. Tucson: West Press.