The Impact of Behaviorism Essay Example

  • Category: Behavior, Psychology,
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 537
  • Published: 03 September 2020
  • Copied: 147


Imagine society controlling a person’s friendships, love relationships, and the person one becomes. Imagine a world where people are told those who are black or less intelligent are separated from society - mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and wives. Imagine a world where a scientist’s philosophies controlled what people became. Behaviorism is a philosophy that created the idea of racism, negatively affecting many people from the 19th Century to present day.

So what is behaviorism? “Behaviorism is a system used to stop social, cultural, genetic, intelligences, and racial changes”( Social Behaviorism 1). This system was used in the 19th century by the U.S, European, Japan, and  Latin American countries. It was not socially acceptable to “breed” (BEHAVIORIST MANIFESTO 5) with people of a different culture, race or low IQ score for the fear of becoming “feeble minded” (BEHAVIORIST MANIFESTO 1 ) and socially and mentally different. This system socially executed many people and was the start of racism and cultural discrimination. 

Behaviorism shaped the way people think, feel and see other people. Many American psychologists of the 19th century had an extreme point of view on the topic of behaviorism and how people should think, feel, and see others.  In the early 19th century, world- renowned American psychologist John B Watson, or also known as the father of behaviorism, wrote an article called the “Behaviorist Manifesto.” It was an article on his point of view of how people should treat, feel and see the “feeble -minded” (BEHAVIORIST MANIFESTO 1) and African American people.  Watson believed people should “Disown and deny people of color and the feeble- minded” (BEHAVIORIST MANIFESTO 17) because inferior genes may spread if  breeded or even with casual friendships. Watson's simple philosophy changed the world forever.

Watson believed “Southern and Eastern European will weaken the native genetic stock by producing offspring of lower capabilities, they will have lower intelligence, be feeble-minded and more likely to become emigrants, paupers, criminals and negroes” (BEHAVIORIST MANIFESTO 26). Watson’s ideas not only impacted the generations short term but impacted the generations to come. Watson believed  “Behaviorism can create a social harmony” (BEHAVIORIST MANIFESTO 3).  The way we treat people today, tomorrow, and always is in our hands. What happened in the past did not predict our future in a bad way, but predicted how we can change it in a good way.

Watson believed that “feeble-minded and negros are a maintenance to society and should be killed and socially executed” (BEHAVIORIST MANIFESTO 45). He also believed certain races and ethnicities should be banned from society. Behaviorism shaped today in a negative way because it was the start of racism and social execution. American psychologist Kimball Young said “We have been overrun with a horde of the mentally unfit, education can only be received only by those who have the intelligence to receive it”(Behaviorism: the psychological theory 2). University professor Kimball Young agreed with Watson’s ideas and stated that “the general, as well as specific abilities, are transmitted by heredity and Europe will ultimately affect the average intelligence of the population”(Behavioral Theories  3).

So how did behaviorism shape today? Behaviorism shaped today in a negative way it created social diversity, racism, and created many disadvantages for the people of color and the “feeble minded” (BEHAVIORIST MANIFESTO 1). Even though behaviorism shaped today negatively and we can not change the past, we can always change our tomorrow by treating everyone equally and looking past the color of people’s skins, their intelligence, and look to their heart.