Behaviorism and cognitivism in education

Welko Tomic

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    Dissatisfied with the results of research into human mental processes, American psychologists of the late 19th century turned to studying observable behavior instead. At that time, the methodological approach of behaviorism brought about a scientific revolution in the practice of psychology. This approach has also been productive in the field of education. Nonetheless, behaviorism can offer only limited explanations for human behavior. With respect to learning, for example, organisms are by no means capable of making every connection desired. Behaviorism cannot give satisfactory explanation for language acquisition and the race at which individuals learn languages. Equally inadequate are the explanations offered for problems arising during man-machine interaction. Ultimately it became necessary to look into the "black box"; in other words, to formulate assumptions concerning the processes that take place in the human brain.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-46
    Number of pages9
    Issue number3/4
    Publication statusPublished - 1993


    • behaviorism, cognitive psychology, education


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