Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Warren W. Tryon
Science is concerned with explanation as well as with prediction and control. Theories are explanatory efforts. But what must one do to explain behavior? Psychologists are not in agreement about what constitutes an informative, useful, or complete explanation of behavior. Differences regarding what constitutes a “cause” and the extent to which reductionism, the search for causes at a more basic level and usually in another branch of science, is acceptable is but one example. Rychlak (1981) discusses these issues and shows how theories of personality divide roughly into three groups: those that subscribe to the views of the philosopher Emanuel Kant (cognitive and existentialists), those that subscribe to the views of the philosopher John Locke (behaviorists), and those that subscribe to a mixture of these two views (Freudians). Psychologists also interpret the term behavior differently. Radical behaviorists understand behavior to be, and only be, that which can be recorded Behavior ...