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A school of psychology that confines itself to the study of observable and quantifiable aspects of behavior and excludes subjective phenomena, such as emotions or motives.

be·hav′ior·ist n.
be·hav′ior·is′tic adj.


(bɪˈheɪv yəˌrɪz əm)

the theory or doctrine that human or animal psychology can be accurately studied only through the examination and analysis of objectively observable and quantifiable behavioral events.
be•hav′ior•ist, n., adj.
be•hav`ior•is′tic, adj.
be•hav`ior•is′ti•cal•ly, adv.


the theory or doctrine that observed behavior provides the only valid data of psychology. — behaviorist, n., adj. — behavioristic, adj.
See also: Psychology


A school of psychology that places great importance on learned behavior and conditioned reflexes.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.behaviorism - an approach to psychology that emphasizes observable measurable behaviorbehaviorism - an approach to psychology that emphasizes observable measurable behavior
experimental psychology, psychonomics - the branch of psychology that uses experimental methods to study psychological issues
reflexology - the study of reflex action as it relates to the behavior of organisms
References in periodicals archive ?
Hosted by: Daniel White, Co-Founder, The Behaviouralist
Relying initially on ethnographic fieldwork, behaviouralist methodologies, and the fixed assumptions of grand theory, cadres of determined postwar researchers from the United States and Europe set out to discover the Thai peasant.
However, from a critical perspective a behaviouralist focus on compliance and effectiveness misses the crucial question, namely 'what is there to comply with in the first place, what, or the many possibilities, is the preferable meaning of the rule, and should the rule be applied, or the exception?
In a work of behaviouralist political science for which research was conducted in the late 1960s, Karl Jackson (1980) dismisses the active role of Kartosuwiryo as a religiously inspired political leader.
At Mold Crown Court Mold Crown Court A yesterday prosecuting barrister Sarah Badrawy said that the appeal would not be opposed and that the destruction order had in effect been suspended, after a report was submitted by a dog behaviouralist expert for the defence.
With us they will get a dog who is already microchipped, a voucher towards getting it neutered, four weeks' pet insurance, a lead and a collar and access to an animal behaviouralist if needed.
The behaviouralist tendency in American social science in the 1950s and 1960s had a decisive effect on approaches to the analysis of foreign policy.
HE WALKS THE WALK: American human behaviouralist David Lieberman says men who walk along with a general attitude ooze sex appeal.
Key words: political-studies, value-free, value-laden, political-philosophy, behaviouralist, international relations, social sciences