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Behavior is here considered as a biological activity of living organisms that ensures their self-preservation. But in the case of human beings, it is a complex process that largely depends on historical and cultural grounds. At this more involved level, it has to be analyzed not only as a natural phenomenon but also as a socio-historical event that must be viewed in the light of values and rational considerations. ⸙

Behaviorism is a psychological movement of the twentieth century defining psychology as the scientific study of behavior. It rejects as unscientific all the concepts related to subjective phenomena, such as mind and consciousness, and any type of introspective methodology. Its development has been frequently described as a paradigm change. The discipline was conceived as a natural science, looking for objective and intersubjective knowledge, based on observation and experimentation, and using quantitative techniques as much as possible. The new school made no distinction between animal and human behavior, considering both as the result of the general process of life evolution. Its difficulties in addressing some specific human traits, such as language, led to the development of a substitute paradigm, the cognitive, that determined the decline of the movement. The main behaviorist theses on the questions of learning, motivation, and higher processes, as well as their approaches to social topics and applied intervention, are here considered. ⸙