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behaviourism Line breaks: be|hav¦iour|ism
Pronunciation: /bɪˈheɪvjərɪz(ə)m/
(US behaviorism)

Definition of behaviourism in English:


[mass noun] Psychology
1The theory that human and animal behaviour can be explained in terms of conditioning, without appeal to thoughts or feelings, and that psychological disorders are best treated by altering behaviour patterns.
Example sentences
  • 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.
1.1Treatment involving the practical application of the theory of behaviourism.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • Not surprisingly, military learning commences on the basis of behaviourism.



Pronunciation: /bɪˈheɪvjərɪst/
noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • This is so much the case that there are now highly qualified psychologists and behaviourists that specialise in the management of change, in teaching us and those that force it upon us how to face the inherent fear we carry.
  • But the behaviourists were doing this to humans too.
  • But the behaviourists say that we also ritualise everyday partings.


Pronunciation: /bɪheɪvjəˈrɪstɪk/
Example sentences
  • Rather, as he pointed out in his reply to Midgley, he gives the word an explicitly behaviouristic definition.
  • This essentially behaviouristic account is exactly what the intuition behind the argument is meant to overthrow.
  • Reward and punishment are fine as programming for the behaviouristic instinct animal/robots that we would be without free will.

Definition of behaviourism in:

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