UNT PSYC 4520 - Final Exam Study Guide (22 pages)

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Final Exam Study Guide

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Final Exam Study Guide


An overview of the behavioral/social learning and cognitive approaches

Study Guide
University of North Texas
Psyc 4520 - Personality
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PSYC 4520 1st Edition Exam 4 Study Guide Lectures 22 29 Lecture 22 November 3 Introduction What is the basic belief of behavioral psychologists They believe that a person can modify behavior by applying basic principles of learning Compare the views of behavioral theorists and social learning theorists Early behaviorists limited their descriptions to observable behaviors Social learning theorists expanded the approach to include both observable and unobservable concepts e g thoughts values expectancies individual perceptions Social learning psychologists also noted that people can learn simply by watching someone else or hearing about someone else s behavior What is the appeal of the behavioral social learning theory It is simple and rational and allows a lot of space of behavior change Behaviorism What are the origins of behaviorism In 1913 psychologist John Watson argued that if psychology were to be a science psychologists must not examine mental states this was not a legitimate scientific study Rather they should study overt behavior which can be predicted observed and controlled Behaviorism is the 2 nd force in American psychology psychoanalysis is 1st and humanism is 3rd What was B F Skinner s idea about behaviorism He coined radical behaviorism He did not deny the existence of thoughts and inner experience but challenged the extent to which we can observe the inner causes of our behavior He said that we simply label our behavior rather than find a cause for it for example if we are nervous about a party and decide not to go we cite our anxiety as the reason However Skinner said that behavior does not change because you feel anxious the decision to skip the party and the anxiety are both conditioned reactions to the situation Basic Principles of Conditioning What are the ideas of traditional behaviorists They explain the causes of behavior in terms of learning experiences conditioning They do not deny the influence of genetics but downplay its importance relative to conditioning They say that to understand the processes that shape our personalities and develop ways to change behaviors we must examine conditioning principles Thus they believe in nurture more than nature Behaviorists say that all behavior is conditioned learned via classical conditioning which relies on connections or operant conditioning which relies on consequences Classical Conditioning What is classical conditioning Classical conditioning begins with an existing stimulus response S R association Some people cringe response whenever they see a spider stimulus Our behavior repertoire contains a lot of S R associations for example you may feel faint when you see blood How did Pavlov demonstrate classical conditioning He used the S R association of food and salivation He presented dogs in his lab with meat powder stimulus to which they salivated response Because this association existed without conditioning the meat powder is the unconditioned stimulus UCS and the salivation the unconditioned response UCR Then he paired the unconditioned stimulus with a new conditioned stimulus CS Whenever he presented the meat powder to the dogs he also sounded a bell After several trials of presenting the meat powder and bell together Pavlov sounded the bell without the powder The dogs began to salivate at the sound of the bell even though no meat powder had been presented Salivation was now the conditioned response CR part of a new S R association bell tone salivation in the dogs behavioral repertoire What is second order conditioning Once the new S R association is established it can be used to condition still another S R association For example if you paired a green light with Pavlov s bell after a while the dogs would start to salivate when the light came on This process of building one conditioned S R association on another is called secondorder conditioning What is extinction For a new S R association to persist the unconditioned conditioned stimuli must be paired occasionally reinforced When Pavlov presented his conditioned dogs with just the bell tone the dogs salivated less and less until finally failing to salivate to the tone at all This gradual disappearance of the conditioned S R association is called extinction Application Explaining Psychological Disorders Describe the case of Little Albert Watson showed how abnormal behaviors are created through normal conditioning He used classical conditioning to create a fear of white rats in an 11 month old baby Little Albert Watson began with the S R association between a loud noise and fear whenever Watson made the noise Albert would cry show other signs of fear Next Watson showed Albert a white rat each time accompanied by the loud noise Soon Albert responded to the white rat the same way he had to the noise even when the noise was not sounded Thus Watson said what seemed like an abnormal fear of white rats in an infant could be explained by past conditioning What does Little Albert s case say about our fears Behaviorists say that many of our seemingly irrational fears may have been developed similarly We may not recall when bridges or snakes were ever associated with an existing fear but these associations could have taken place long ago or even without our awareness Lecture 23 November 5 Operant Conditioning What are the origins of operant conditioning Researcher Edward Thorndike described the law of effect behaviors are more likely to be repeated if they have satisfying consequences and less likely to be repeated if they have unsatisfying consequences What is operant conditioning Operant conditioning concerns the effect certain consequences have on the frequency of behavior A consequence that increases the frequency of a behavior is a reinforcement one that decreases the behavior is a punishment Positive reinforcement occurs when the behavior increases because it is followed by a reward Negative reinforcement occurs with the removal of an unpleasant stimulus when the behavior occurs While classical conditioning begins with an existing S R bond operant conditioning uses behaviors the organism emits spontaneously What is the Skinner box Skinner put a rat in a chamber and reinforced or punished behaviors When the rat pressed a bar Skinner gave it food positive reinforcement the rat learned to press the bar Also rats that can turn off a shock by pulling a string learn to pull the string negative reinforcement Does this apply to humans as well Yes Students who receive

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