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UA PSY 200 - Behaviorism

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Lecture 5Outline of Last Lecture I. Erik Erikson's psychosocial theoryII. Stages of psychosocial development III. Erikson's concept of a social clockOutline of Current LectureI. Behaviorism and classical and operant conditioningII. Research and major discoveries of Pavlov, Watson, Thorndike, and SkinnerIII. Schedules of reinforcementCurrent LectureI. Behaviorism and classical and operant conditioning- Behaviorism is the process of learning, and learning occurs by noticing changes in behavior or actions. Behaviorist question Freud and Erikson’s concepts of internal processes (instincts and unconscious motives). Behaviorism includes a shift from the stage theory to quantitative change/observable behavior. Behaviorist believe that people don’t pass through a series of stages but instead they are highly affected by environment influences. The learning theory of behaviorism includes what we have learned and how we have learned. There is a focus on observable events and conceptualizes learning/development as a set of associations. The two types of associated learning are classical and operant conditioning. Humans learn about their world by reacting to situations and to the environment. This is observed by a stimulus causing a response and that response leading to some kind of consequence. - Classical conditioning is learning where one responds to a neutral stimulus, which does not usually bring about that certain type of response. Components include unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, neutral stimulus, conditioned stimulus and conditioned response. - Operant conditioning is represented by this model:- Skinner contributed vocabulary to operant conditioning which includes reinforcers, punishments, shaping and extinction. Reinforcers increase behaviors and can be positive, PSY 2001st Editionnegative or takeaway reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is an addition of a stimulus results in an increase of behavior. Negative reinforcement is the removal of a stimulus results in an increase of behavior. Takeaway is both types of reinforcement that increase the likelihood that the behavior will happen again. Punishments decrease behavior and can be positive, negative or takeaway punishment. Positive punishment is the addition of a stimulus results in a decrease of behavior. Negative punishment is the removal of a stimulus results in a decrease of behavior. Takeaway is both types of punishment decrease the likelihood that the behavior will happen again. Shaping is that behavior is acquired through shaping, which involves reinforcing behavior until that desired behavior is achieved. Extinction is the behavior that is not reinforced stops occurring. II. Research and major discoveries of Pavlov, Watson, Thorndike, and Skinner- Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) is known for his famous salivating dog experiment. His experiments comprise psychology’s founding landmarks. The experiment with the dog distinguished betweeninnate (unconditioned) and learned (conditioned) reflexes. His main discovery involved classical conditioning and the idea that learning occurs when something new becomes associated with something known. In his experiment with the dog he discovered that the response (salivation) to a stimulus (bell) is evoked after repeated associations with a stimulus (bell and food) that normally elicits the response. - John B. Watson (1878-1958) questioned Pavlov’s idea of classical conditioning. He wondered if classical conditioning could be applied to children’s behavior and to human beings. He argued that it is possible to produce any behavior by controlling ones environment. He discovered that classical conditioning happens in humans and shapes their emotions. Watson stated, “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-informed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select-doctor, lawyer, artists, merchant-chief, and yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.” Watson believes that we are a product of our environment not our genetics. In order to prove this he and another researcher, Raynor, performed an experiment known as the “Little Albert” Experiment. He trained an infant to fear animals through making loud frightful noises whenever the baby would be around these animals. They discovered three main ideas that development iscontinuous, the environment can influence the development of children and that adults can form a child’s behavior by controlling classical stimulus-response conditioning. - Edward L. Thorndike (1874-1949) followed in Watson’s footsteps and performed his own research with his Puzzle Box Experiment. He placed a cat inside a puzzle cage which representeda maze and there was a piece of fish outside the maze. The cat saw the fish while in the maze and tried reaches through the bars to get it but it wasn’t able to. The cat eventually went through the maze and found the way out. Thorndike repeated this process and the cat eventually learned to not waste time trying to reach the fish but instead focuses on getting out. He argued that conditioned responses were not involved in the cat’s learning to escape becausethere was no conditioned stimulus for that behavior. He concluded that we have a goal-orientedbehavior. He came up with the Law of Effect which emphasizes that success is reinforcing andwith success you are more likely to engage in a certain behavior again and more quickly. In summary his key discoveries include that the law of effect explains how animals and humans learn and develop new habits and explains a new type of learning of how we acquire new behaviors (without a stimulus). Also he discovered that there is a shift from classical conditioning (stimulus  response; developing associating between events) to operant conditioning (response  consequence; learning from consequences of our behavior). - B. F. Skinner (1904-1990) incorporated Thorndike’s law of effect into his own research. He formulated principles of operant conditioning where one learns by operating on the environment learning its consequences. His key discovery was an environmental responses increase or decrease behavior with reinforcement or punishment. Skinner performed an experiment with what came be to known as the Skinner box. The Skinner box was designed so researchers could


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