I understood the idea of behaviorism after the first lecture, but I certainly had a deeper understanding after few more sessions. Professor Hall argues it from many different point of view and that certainly helped deepen the understanding. However, I find myself forming the opposite stand from him. He think that if any field of psychology should be eliminated, it should be cognitive psychology. I think if there's any branch of psychology I am mostly interested, that would be it.
Well, there isn't much to behaviorism. Yes, it's all based on the very straight forward concept of Law of Effect by Thorndike. But that's not magical. So what if you can explain "anterior cingulate by the following:
"Although the functions of the anterior cingulate are very complex, broadly speaking it acts as a conduit between lower, somewhat more impulse-driven brain regions and higher, somewhat more thought-driven behaviors. The Stroop effects sensitivity to changes in brain function may be related to it's association with the anterior cingulate." "The Stroop Test provides insight into cognitive effect that are experienced as a result of attentional fatigue"
Yes, you can explains the whole "Stroop Test" by saying because we are conditioned to read the word instead of the color of the word, but how does that help me refer to what's happening in the brain. Yes, you can explain everything by "it's doing this because it's used to getting that result", but that doesn't give me a specific of referring to the brain function.
Behaviorism criticize mentalism's use of mind, intelligent and other things it cannot observe and considers unnatural. If all other philosopher were like that, not using their imagination to explain the observed, then no other science would have been burn. As the technology advances, we can see that some of the assumptions by scientist were able to be proven correct. Did not Einstein form his theories before they were proven able?
To answer the question Professor Hall asks in class: How much of what a person becomes is nature vs. nurture? I think it's more nature then nurture. How do you explain things like attention to detail? How do you explain some people's brain just cranks slower then other? I just think nature has more of an impact then nurture.
I just find it more interesting to know human nature and use that as a tool to uncover other things then working to change people's behavior. Perhaps it's because it's usually harder to change people's behavior? Unless you have a great dominance of people's environment. But knowing people's nature will aid as a tool to change that person's environment then behavior.
Ultimately, in my opinion, the law of effect and other behaviorism ideas is just a small equation in the whole world of psychology.