PSYC 3460 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Ivan Pavlov, John B. Watson, Plastic Model
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Behaviorist Perspectives and Learning Theories
Gonna talk about process theories rather than structural theories.
There have been structural models such as id Ego Superego / And then there’s
stages of development presented by Freud
To the degree ppl are different it is because of learning and environmental
exposure, and experiences we have had as we developed, so if ppl act diff, its cuz
they have been exposed to different sets of consequences.
The Learning Perspective
•Individual differences as the result of learning and environmental experiences
•Behaviour therefore changes in response to external and situational
•“Thinking is for doing” (Susan Fiske)
Thinking is associated with behavior.
If we take a Radical behaviorist aka radical environmentalist perspective : other
than physiological things derived from genetic code, we have individual difference
exclusively based on differences in life experience. (environment shapes us)
Rmeber :Plaster model saying ppl are fixed, plastic model says we are malleable.
Radical behaviorist would be a radically plastic model.
Watson’s Theory can be called a radical behaviorist theory.
Edwin Twitmeyer (1873-1943)
Discovered same principle as pavlov using entirely different experimental paradigm,
and studying different set of processes.
Studied reflex actions in ppl and whether certain emotional states made reflex
actions more potent or not. So if emotional states could influence reflex actions.
Ex if you made ppl mad would they be more likely to act reflexively rather than
Studied “knee-jerk” reflex Twitmeyer dropped hammer on ppl and, not to bias
results, ppl couldn’t see the hammer,
ppl didn’t like the feeling because he would tap them out of nowhere, so then
people asked “couldn’t there be a signal when you about to tap us. So he put light
above them and it would light when he was gonna drop the hammer, after about
200 times of lightly tapping someone with this hammer, while this light was on.
Eventually when the light came on people jerked their legs involuntary.
Stimulus was different but the result was the same, whether it was mechanical
stimulus actually hitting the knee, and setting it off or a non-mechanical stimulus
(where the light goes on and causes peoples knee to jerk). Not something you
expect light to do, (like make ur eyes dilate) it was unrelated behavior (knee-jerk).
He presented this info, (after lunch break – so ppl were tired) audience was
hostile towards him.
He is a foot note, but Pavlov is the one we remember.
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936)
He was studying salivary reflex in dogs, won nobel prize for physiology of digestion,
and it was an epiphenomenon that he stumbled upon this process of learning (it
was an accident).
Why would food cause saliva to come ? it lubricates the mouth, able to swallow
our food, also helps start digestive process
Reflex reaction of slaiva to food makes sense; it is an adaptive response to food
Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS)
- “natural” object/event (food); elicits reflex behavior (this reflexive
behavior is what we call the unconditioned response)
(not all unconditioned stimuli will be natural as we shall see later)*
Unconditioned Response (UCR)
- “reflexive” behavior (salivation)
Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
- “neutral” stimulus that is paired with UCS (metronome)
At 1st this conditioned stimulus causes no response, or no relevant response. May
produce some response but it is nto the response of interest to us.
Conditioned Response (CR)
- learned response to paired stimulus (salivation)
So we pair unconditioned stimulus with the conditioned stimulus, and what may
happen is that that eventually, the unconditioned stimulus on its own will lead to
the same response that the unconditioned stimulus induces. BUT now its called the
conditioned response, cuz it is elicited by the conditioned stimulus alone. You will
notice that the the UCR and CR are the same, even though the UCS and CS are
the UCR and CR are the same, but the distinction is that one is in response to food,
(which functionally makes sense, the other is in response to a ticking metronome,
which functionally doesn’t make sense, unless the dog is gonna eat the metronome,
but ofcourse the dog ids not gonna eat the metronome, but when it hears the
metronome, it knows that food is oncoming.
Conditioned means learned in this case.
Unconditioned Stimulus Unconditioned Response
Neutral Stimulus Neutral Response
During Conditioning… (aka associative learning)
Neutral Stimulus + Unconditioned Stimulus (repeatedly) Unconditioned
UCS and CS are paired together repeatedly and response elicited is still called
Unconditioned Response, cuz trigger of the response is still the CS. Right now UCS is
not doing anything. NOTHING, not strengthening the CR or nothing.
Unconditioned Stimulus Unconditioned Response
Conditioned Stimulus Conditioned Response
Not only food elicits salivation, but the metronome also elicits salivation.
But its not like the dog confuses metronome for dog chow, what is happening is that
the metronome serves as a signal during the conditioning phase that food is on the
way, so now after conditioning, the dog has learned that CS predicts the UCS . (cuz
they are presented in the same space of time).
Some people said study of unconscious etc was not an exact science; cuz u had to
train the subject to be a proper subject
Gonna talk about process theories rather than structural theories. There have been structural models such as id ego superego / and then there"s stages of development presented by freud. To the degree ppl are different it is because of learning and environmental exposure, and experiences we have had as we developed, so if ppl act diff, its cuz they have been exposed to different sets of consequences. The learning perspective: behaviour therefore changes in response to external and situational. Individual differences as the result of learning and environmental experiences contingencies. If we take a radical behaviorist aka radical environmentalist perspective : other than physiological things derived from genetic code, we have individual difference exclusively based on differences in life experience. (environment shapes us) Rmeber :plaster model saying ppl are fixed, plastic model says we are malleable. Radical behaviorist would be a radically plastic model. Watson"s theory can be called a radical behaviorist theory.