行为主义是可以通过可观察的行为（行为）客观地研究人类或动物心理学的理论。这个研究领域是对19世纪心理学的反应，它使用对自己的思想和感情进行自我检查来检验人类和动物的心理。行为主义有两种主要类型：方法行为主义，受约翰·B·沃森的作品影响，以及由心理学家BF斯金纳开创的激进行为主义。行为主义是对心理主义的反应，是十九世纪下半叶心理学家使用的主观研究方法。在心灵主义中，通过类比和研究自己的思想和感受来研究心智 – 这个过程称为内省。行为主义者认为心理学家的观察过于主观，因为他们在个体研究者中存在显着差异，往往会导致矛盾和不可复制的发现。 1913年，心理学家约翰·B·沃森（John B. Watson）发表了一篇被认为是早期行为主义宣言的论文：“心理学作为行为主义者的观点。”在本文中，沃森拒绝了心理学家的方法并详细阐述了他的心理学应该是什么的哲学：科学他称之为“行为主义”的行为。然而，在沃森的论文之后，行为主义逐渐占据了主导地位。到20世纪20年代，许多知识分子，包括哲学家和后来的诺贝尔奖获得者伯特兰罗素等备受好评的人物，都认识到屈臣氏哲学的重要性。值得注意的是，尽管沃森经常被称为行为主义的“创始人”，但他绝不是第一个批评内省的人，也不是第一个支持研究心理学的客观方法的人。在沃森之后的行为主义者中，也许最着名的是BF斯金纳。斯金纳认为，可观察的行为是看不见的心理过程的外在表现，但研究那些可观察的行为更为方便。他的行为主义方法是了解动物行为与环境之间的关系。与当时许多其他行为主义者相比，斯金纳的观点主要集中在科学解释而不是方法上。
Behaviorism is the theory that human or animal psychology can be objectively studied through observable actions (behaviors). This field of study came about as a reaction to nineteenth-century psychology, which used self-examination of one’s thoughts and feelings to examine human and animal psychology. There are two main types of behaviorism: methodological behaviorism, which was heavily influenced by John B. Watson’s work, and radical behaviorism, which was pioneered by psychologist BF Skinner. Behaviorism emerged as a reaction to mentalism, a subjective approach to research used by psychologists in the latter half of the nineteenth century. In mentalism, the mind is studied by analogy and by examining one’s own thoughts and feelings—a process called introspection. Mentalist observations were considered too subjective by the behaviorists, as they differed significantly among individual researchers, often leading to contradictory and irreproducible findings. In 1913, psychologist John B. Watson published the paper that would be considered the manifesto of early behaviorism: “Psychology as the behaviorist views it.” In this paper, Watson rejected mentalist methods and detailed his philosophy on what psychology should be: the science of behavior, which he called “behaviorism.” After Watson’s paper, however, behaviorism gradually took hold. By the 1920s, a number of intellectuals, including well-regarded figures such as the philosopher and later Nobel Laureate Bertrand Russell, recognized the significance of Watson’s philosophy. It should be noted that although Watson is often labeled the “founder” of behaviorism, he was by no means the first person to criticize introspection, nor was he the first to champion objective methods for studying psychology. Of the behaviorists after Watson, perhaps the most well-known is BF Skinner. Skinner believed that observable behaviors were outward manifestations of unseen mental processes, but that it was more convenient to study those observable behaviors. His approach to behaviorism was to understand the relationship between an animal’s behaviors and its environment. Contrasting many other behaviorists of the time, Skinner’s ideas focused on scientific explanations rather than methods.