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Lecture 3

Week 3


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB30H3
Professor
Marc A Fournier
Lecture
3

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Week 3 Lecture:
Gender, Society, & Culture
Overview of Week 3 Lectures
Part I. Social Learning
Part II. Gender Socialization
Part III. Societal Division of Labor
Overview of Part I
Early Behaviorism & Learning
Banduras Theory of Social Learning
The Five Fundamental Human Capabilities
Behaviorism rises as a response to psychoanalysis
The appealing thing about the behaviorist approach is parsimony
Classical Conditioning
John B. Watson (1878-1958):
UCS UCR
CS CR
oWatson applied Pavlovian techniques to a 9-month old child (Little Albert) to
demonstrate that a complex emotional response (fear) could be learned
through the principles of classical conditioning.
Much of behaviorists tradition can be traced back to Watson
His important observation was that there are stimuli in the world that reflexively
produce responses in organisms; referred to these stimuli as unconditioned stimuli
An unconditioned stimulus (UCS) is any event that automatically brings about a
particular response; this response is referred to as a unconditioned response (UCR)
Ex: puff of air to the eye
oPuff of air = UCS b/c is has an automatic association with a UCR (will
automatically blink)
These responses occur without any prior exposure to the stimulus
Early behaviourist learning theorists observation was that new stimuli could be
paired with UCS and through their repeated pairing they can come to acquire the
ability to elicit a response similar to the UCR
oThis CS over time will acquire the ability to get a CR; the CR will resemble
the UCR
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oEx: Sounding a bell before blowing in the eye; repeated many times; person
blinks; after awhile the person will blink when they hear the bell even before
the air is blown into the eye
oOnly after a series of learning trials during which the stimulus is associated
with an UCS that it becomes CS eliciting the CR
Instrumental Conditioning
B. F. Skinner (1904-1990):
oExtended Watsons behaviorism beyond the level of Pavlovian conditioning
into the more complex arena of voluntary behavior
oThorndikes Law of Effectthe effect produced by a behavior determines the
behaviors future probability of occurrence
oIntroduced the concepts of reinforcement, punishment, and shaping
Reinforcement those stimuli that increase the behaviour; Ex:
rewards are stimuli that increase the probability of the behaviour that
produced it; they can also come in the form of relief b/c a bad thing has
taken away; can increase a behaviour b/c it eliminates a bad thing
from happening (negative reinforcement)
Punishment stimuli that decrease the probability of a behaviour
response
Shaping the process of producing a behavioural response by
rewarding successively close approximations of it; the behaviour that
the individual would be learning was complicated so every time the
person performed close approximations of it, they were rewarded; in
doing so it help shape the behaviour to the desired state
It was Skinners observation that not all behaviour is reflexive; it is often very
difficult to understand the stimulus that is driving the behaviour
Ex: Toddler comes into a room unsupervised; sees a bookshelf and tries to climb it;
what stimulus caused the toddler to climb?
oSkinners contention is that there is no stimulus in that situation; rather the
presence of the bookshelf gave the toddler the opportunity to climb; then if
the toddler falls off then that experience makes the toddler less inclined to
climb a bookshelf again
This is an operant approach to learning; learning through consequences
If the consequence are positive, it increases the likelihood of behaving that way in
the future
If they are negative, it decreases the likelihood of behaving that way in future
The Early Behaviorists
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Personality is but the end product of our habit systems.Watson (1914)
The strength of behaviorism was its reliance upon i.) observation, ii.)
experimentation, and iii.) simplicity of explanation
The weakness of behaviorism was that it lost sight of the learner (i.e., the person) in
the study of learned behavior
Bandura & Social Learning
Banduras thinking emphasises 3 fundamental principles:
Emergent Properties; those properties of things that rise out of the elements that
make the things up
oIntentions have causal properties
oThe mind is an emergent property
oThere are events in the brain; those brain events give rise to mental events;
mental events are powerful; powerful in the sense that they have causal
properties; Bandura believed strongly that we cannot come up with a
comprehensive theory of personality without recognizing that the mind has a
causal role in behaviour; we have to know whats going on inside the mind of
the individual b/c the thoughts and feelings of the individual is determining
the behaviour
Triadic Reciprocal Causation
oPerson (P), Environment (E), Behavior (B)
oBehaviour is a function of characteristics of the person
oBehaviour is a consequence of aspects of the environment
oBandura saw the person, the behaviour of the person and the environment as
all reciprocally interacting with each other; each of these things were having
a causal impact on each of the other things; viewed them as a dynamic system
of forces that impacted each other
Fortuitous Determinants in Causal Structures
oThere is an element of chance in peoples lives
oChance provides us with unique opportunities and whether or not we
capitalize on those opportunities has implications for our own future
oWhether or not you take a chance or risk can have a causal implications on
who you become in the future
Helped to bring the principles of behaviorism to cognition, emotion and to all of
those behaviours that occur inside of us; outside the observations of others
He wanted for us to focus on covert behaviours (thoughts, feelings, cognition) and the
roles that they play in shaping human behaviours
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