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Behaviorism is often conventionally defined as an approach that seeks to explain behavior without directly appealing to mental or cognitive processes. However, Moore (2011) argues that Skinner’s behavior analysis and his view of behaviorism as a philosophy of science and operant methods include cognitive processes. This is particularly so, because operant procedures are conscious decisions in that organisms tend to prefer results that are satisfying rather than punishing (i.e. Thorndike’s “law of effect”) (Langdal, J. (Ed.), 2015).

It appears that the behavior analysis of B. F. Skinner took a different approach to the Watsonian classical conditioning, which was based on an automatic reflex (S-R). Particularly Skinner’s study of verbal behavior and operant conditioning, which is operant and not reflexive, differs from classical conditioning, because operant procedures are more conscious and consequence focused. However, there are many interconnections between the two forms of conditioning as briefly noted below.

Also Ruiz (1995) asserts that Skinner’s radical behaviorism differs from Watsonian classical behaviorism in that it is based on contextual world view. In specific, Skinner’s view differs from the classical behaviorism in its interpretation of the role of agency, the treatment of private experience and self-knowledge, and its understanding of the pivotal functions of the verbal community (Ruiz, 1995).

However, there are many interconnections between the two forms of conditioning as noted by Langdal (Ed.) (2015), because organisms are constantly producing many responses, both reflex and operant. Thus, the distinction between the two types of learning is partly a way of simplifying behavior analysis, by breaking it into the two components reflex and operant (Langdal (Ed.), 2015). In the real world, however, both reflex and operant processes can occur simultaneously.

Please respond to the above question with 150-250 words. No references are necessary unless you want to use them.

 
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