Applied Linguistics

Difference between functionalism and behaviorism/definitions


Functionalism was founded by William James, John Dewey, Harvey Carr, and John Angell. Functionalism, as a school of thought, is mainly focused on the functioning of human mental processes. Consequently, the subject of functionalism includes areas such as consciousness, perception, human memory, feelings, etc. Functionalists have stated that mental performance can be measured. They believed that this would allow them to assess how the mind (mental processes) functioned, allowing a person to adapt to a particular environment. Functionalists viewed introspection as a possible method for understanding complex mental processes. Difference between functionalism and behaviorism


Behaviorism is also a school of psychology founded by John B. Watson, Ivan Pavlov, and BF Skinner in the 1920s. Unlike functionalism, behaviorism arose with the goal of emphasizing the importance of the external behavior of people. They believed that the study of the human mind is useless because it cannot be observed. They also indicated that the behavior was a response to external stimuli. Behaviorism as a school of thought has several key assumptions. These are determinism, experimentalism, optimism, anti-mentalism and the idea of ​​upbringing against nature.

Because behaviorism exhibits a clear detachment from unobservable factors, behaviorists relied heavily on empiricism and experimentation. This was done in order to emphasize that psychology was rather the study of human behavior as a method of understanding a person. For this, the behaviorists used laboratory facilities and various animals for experiments. Usually, dogs, pigeons, rats, etc. were used in laboratory conditions. Behaviorists have made a huge contribution to the development of psychology. Behaviorists such as Ivan Pavlov, BF Skinner, Albert Bandura are some of the preeminent figures in behaviorism. Their theories of classical conditioning, operant conditioning, social learning theories provided insights not only on psychology as an academic discipline, but also on the psychology of counseling. Difference between functionalism and behaviorism

Major Differences Difference between functionalism and behaviorism


Functionalism as a school of thought mainly focused on the functioning of human mental processes.

Behaviorism is a school of thought that emphasizes the importance of external human behavior.


Functionalism can be seen as an earlier school of thought, in contrast to behaviorism.

3-Reason versus behavior:

Functionalists emphasize thought processes.

Behaviorists emphasize human behavior.

4-Different views:

Functionalists believed that the mind and mental processes are extremely important for influencing human behavior.

Behaviorists rejected this functionalist idea. They viewed behavior as simply a learned response to external stimuli.


Behaviorists rejected the introspection of functionalists and declared that they suffered from a lack of objectivity and empiricism. Difference between functionalism and behaviorism

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