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Personality Lecture 5

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Oren Amitay

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Lecture 6
CH 8: Experimental Analysis of Behaviour: John Dollard and Neal Miller, B.F. Skinner
Step back and ask what is compelling about behaviourism
Important thing about behaviourism is that it is something that can be
All the behaviour and learning experiments were done on animals (rats, pigeons,
Behaviourists loved it because they could easily take an animal have theories of
how the animal should behave—put them in an experiment and test to see if they
act the way it was predicted—GOOD SCIENCE?
Behaviourist—did real science, predict, observe, measure
PROBLEM—just because rat acts a certain way, will humans act that way?
What can you say about someone who prefers to think of human beings through
behaviourism—Some thing about your personality?
Behaviour and Learning Theories
Behaviour and learning theorists emphasize experience and learning as the
primary forces that shape human behaviour
Explore personality experimentally by studying behaviour in laboratory settings
Dollard and Miller—psychoanalytic learning theory
oWanted to take Freudian concepts and put a behaviourist spin on them
oThey were EMPIRICISTS—believed that all knowledge comes from
experience, we’re not born with anything—we are blank slates (Tabula
Skinner—radical behaviourism
Watson was one of the biggest names in behaviourism
Forced out of academia—because he was cheating on his wife
No ethics boards at his time—What kind of man would do what he did (Baby
Why was there so much mix up about Baby Albert
oWatson kept changing this story
oTextbooks love behaviourism (Textbooks hated Freud)—had an agenda
So many theories on learning originated from exaggerations of
what happened to baby Albert
Wanted to show that Albert was conditioned to one thing and
GENERALIZED to other things

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oBaby Albert didn’t generalize to other things—he was conditioned to fear
other things
oAlbert wasn’t terrified of the rat after several trials (wasn’t phobic of rats)
—CBT is used now to remove
oWatson did not recondition the child to not be afraid of the rat because he
said he was going but the mother came unexpectedly and took the baby
away during the night.
Watson wrote parenting books, said not to give children
Watson went into advertising (was making $700,000)
oSaid people are stupid—just associate good things with what your selling
Classical Conditioning
Example One
Hot person—get a positive response
Cars—make you yawn
Pair up the car and hot person—get a positive response
Why do dogs drool—collected saliva helps digest
Why do you get a response when you see someone attractive—you need a natural
response to reproduce—getting ready
Example two
Unconditioned Stimulus—boiling water
Unconditioned Response—Jump Back
Neutral Stimulus—Noise (Cahooga)
When noise is continually paired with boiling water—Noise becomes a
WARNING for the boiling water
Then you begin to pay attention to the Noise—it’s no longer neutral—it is a
Now if you jump back to the noise—it is a CONDITIONED RESPONSE
This is called AVERSIVE CONDITIONINGtells you to stay away from
oBiological responses that help us survive
oWe learn it faster than other types of conditioning
oLast longer than other types of conditioning
oEven after the US is gone—we still react to the CS
(Boiling Water)
(Jumping Back)
(Boiling Water)
(Jumping Back)
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