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psych 101 lec 04

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University of Waterloo
Richard Ennis

LECTURE 04: DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY I WHAT IS BEHAVIOURISM? - Classical Conditioning (Oldest type of behaviourism) o Pavlov and his dogs o Old work that demonstrates classical conditioning o Severe limitations - Operant Conditioning o Skinner and his pigeons - Language Acquisition o How is it that we learn to speak? - Observational Learning o Very straight forward – learn by watching someone else‟s do something o Modelling (one of the dominate theories in psychology, radical in the past) CLASSICAL CONDITIONING - Pavlov and his dogs o Why do we have spit in our mouths – purpose of it o Had test tubes hooked up to the saliva glands of dogs to collect the spit o Noticed after a few days of giving them food, that every time he walked up to the dogs to give them food, the saliva would start to flow o The question became, why were they salivating before the food was given to them? - Before Conditioning o UCS (food in mouth)  UCR (salivation)  An unconditioned stimulus (UCS) produces an unconditioned response (UCR) o Neutral stimulus (tone)  No salivation  A neutral stimulus produces no salivation response - During Conditioning o Neutral stimulus (tone) + UCS (food in mouth)  UCR (salivation)  The unconditioned stimulus is repeatedly presented just after the neutral stimulus. The unconditioned stimulus to produce an unconditioned response - After Conditioning o CS (tone)  CR (salivation)  The neutral stimulus alone now produces a conditioned response (CR), thereby becoming a conditioned stimulus (CS) - Dogs learn what the associates of neutral stimulus is with the food– footstep, tuning fork, lights, etc WHAT IS LEARNING AND UNLEARNING? - In Classical conditioning, learning is the association of a conditioned stimulus or neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus to the extent that the conditioned stimulus produces the unconditioned response - Pavlov didn‟t understand the implications of this very well; he did not realize what learning could come from this - John Watson o One of the early American behaviourists o Took ideas from Pavlov o Not going to study thoughts, but will study what is observable o Uses Pavlovian principles to teach o “You give me twenty children, and I can turn them into anything!” o Little Albert was taught to be terrified of anything that is soft and furry o The idea was that you could teach something to someone which did not make any sense, and they could learn to be afraid of it o In some ways this is a model for phobia - Process of Generalization o Occurs when the conditioned stimulus is changed slightly, and the conditioned response still happens (Condition response = fear) o Screaming and crying is the conditioned response, it is something that can be observed (Rat to the bunny, to the dog, to the furry = generalization) - Discrimination o Opposite of generalization (exactly the reverse process) o Occurs when the conditioned stimulus is changed, and the conditioned response doesn‟t happen o Starting to get unlearning o This would happen if Little Albert was afraid of rats, but not bunnies, and could make the distinction between them o Can teach this process by only presenting the unconditioned stimulus with the rat and never with the bunny - Extinction o Occurs when the conditioned stimulus, now the unconditioned response, no longer produces the response o According to the theory, extinction should happen eventually if the unconditioned stimuli is no longer paired with the conditioned stimuli – If they‟re no longer paired any more, eventually you‟ll get extinction PROBLEMS WITH CLASSICAL CONDITIONING - The only behaviour that can be affected is one that the organism, the dog or Little Albert, would normally do - You cannot get the organism to do new behaviours - E.g.: Grade 5 daughter  long division o Unconditioned stimulus that produces unconditioned response to do long division o Can‟t teach new behaviours to them OPERANT CONDITIONING - What operant conditioning allows for, and allows to happen, is behaviours that would not naturally occur - Skinner proposed that any behaviour that anyone engages in has been learnt through operant conditioning - What is Operant Conditioning? o How does an organism learn to do things it doesn‟t normally do? How do you ever get behaviour that doesn‟t occur as an unconditional response (UCR)?  Skinner proposed that behaviour that is rewarded will occur more often in the future  Behaviour that is not rewarded will occur less often  Behaviour happens because you are awarded for it (awarded behaviour = do more often; not awarded behaviour = quit doing)  According to Skinner, almost all behaviour is shaped in this way  Behaviours occur more often when they‟re awarded, when they‟re not awarded, they tend to fall away – the basic principle of Operant Conditioning  What Skinner argued, and very conclusively demonstrated, was that complex behaviours can be shaped through rewards o Skinner and his pigeons  By rewarding pigeons with food for doing behaviours which he wanted them to do, he could teach them to do miraculous things  Playing Beethoven is a very complex behaviour and is not something that pigeons do naturally  Learning is the acquisition of new behaviours - Types of Reinforcers o Ways to use reinforcement in this operational conditioning mode of behaviour o Positive reinforcer – getting good things (pigeons = food) o Negative reinforcer – removing bad things (negative reinforce = good; negative = removal of something bad; E.g.: when you take aspirin when having a headache, the aspirin is the negative reinforce; E.g.: administer electric shock to pigeons, when removing the electric shock, that‟s a positive reinforcer) o Reinforcers are good – one is giving you a good thing; the other one is removing a bad thing  reinforcing and fostering behaviours) o Both positive and negative reinforcers actually prom
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