Behaviorist TheoriesSecondarySarah Marie Catalana
Behaviorist Theories
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Behaviorists believe intelliegence does not go beyond the simple punishment-reward paradigm. Thus, theorists such as B.F. Skinner and J.B. Watson see human responses as un-extraorinary, predicatable, and incremental. Behaviorists believe that only what is directly observable is worthy of scientific study, and thus have no interest in what subjects are "thinking". Operant conditioning (how reward or lack of reward influence behavior) and unconcious memories are said to be the primary explanation of creativity (Epstein, 1991). Behaviorists have developed significant theories for lab cases, but the simple punishment-reward paradigm cannot begin to explain the creative process of creating an artistic masterpiece. Behaviorist theories cannot explain any creative process that requires individuals to use information that they did not previously know. These theories can partially explain simple cases of creativity, but they are unable to explain highly creative processes beause they fail to acknowledge that there is "something going on" in the mind during creative thought (Comparative View Creativity, 2011).
What would they think of Destination Imagination?
Behaviorists would have a very narrow view concerning the success of a creative problem solving program such as Destination Imagination. Teams that succeed and place in tournaments would be expected to continue to respond to these rewards. However, students participating with teams that don't succeed would be expected to give up and stop participating in the program. Being a part of D.I. to "have fun" and "grow as a person" would be a foreign concept to behaviorists if there was not a reward involved.

A Comparative View of Creativity Theories: Psychoanalytic, Behavioristic, and Humanistic (2011). Retrieved November 16, 2012. From

[Behaviorism] Retrieved November 18, 2012, from

Epstein, R. (1991). Skinner, Creativity, and the Problem of Spontaneous Behavior. Psychological Science, 2, 362-370.