Meaning of BEHAVIOURISM:
Strictly speaking a school within psychology rather than sociology. behaviourism was an attempt to set up a programme to study behaviour scientifically. Behaviourists argued that scientific analysis depends on verifiable observations, But, since consciousness, meanings and motivations are private, they cannot be observed. A scientific approach to human conduct must therefore depend on analysing connections between observable inputs stimuli and observable outputs responses. The programme never took off as a way of studying human conduct since these ‘scientific’ interpretations of human behaviour seemed much poorer than actors’ own accounts or the accounts of novelists. However, the behaviourists’ insistence on studying observable and verifiable aspects of human conduct has been echoed across the social sciences (especially ethnomethodology).