Class Notes (1,200,000)
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Psychology (9,000)
PSYB30H3 (500)


Course Code
Marc A Fournier

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Week 3 Gender, Society, and Culture
Evolutionary approaches to personality adopt a nativist approach. It
emphasizes all of the things we bring into the world. It emphasizes all of the
architecture that is preestablished b4 we are born into the world. It tends to
emphasize all of the innate knowledge we have before we even begin the
process of learning as infants and children and later on as adults
Behavioral approaches learning based approaches that have their root
in the behaviorist tradition in the early 20th century. These approaches
adapt an empiricist viewpoint emphasizes all that we do not bring into the
world. We come into this world as blank slates tabula rasa learning
experiences imprint knowledge, structure and process on top of that
otherwise blank state.
There are tension b/w evolutionary approaches and Behavioral approach
the former which emphasize innate knowledge the things we are born
with, and the latter which emphasizes the learning through which we imprint
on knowledge on what is otherwise a blank slate.
Truth –a mix of both approaches.
Gender Socialization: the idea that gender roles are socialized attributes.
They are things that we are taught to have as part of our early learning
Efficacy ones ability to perform given a certain set of
Human agency Bandura - active deliberate role we play in shaping our
own worlds/own environments.
Behaviorism emerges as a response to psychoanalysis. There is a
growing disenchantment with the psychoanalyst reliance on all of these
unobservable processes, unconscious mechanisms none of which can be
reliably discerned or experimentally investigated. There is disapproval with
the psychoanalyst constant reference with these hidden unconscious
processes. The processes are very limited in their ability to generate
predictions about future behaviors. Psychoanalysts are good at explaining
why somebody has done what they have done.
The emphasis for Behaviorism was on observation, on observable
behavior and events, on experimentation, the elicitation of behavior under
controlled environmental conditions, on replication, simplicity of explanation.
Emphasis on its parsimony - the very small number of terms they need to
introduce in order to explain a wide range of behavior.
John Watson there are stimuli in the world that seem to reflexively
produce responses in living things. The things in the world that have these
reflexive consequences UCS unconditioned stimulus.

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Unconditioned stimulus any event that automatically brings about a
particular response known as UCR (unconditioned response).
Ex: puff of air to your eye causes you to blink spontaneously. The puff of
air is an unconditioned stimulus. It is an unconditioned stimulus b/c it
automatically has the association of an unconditioned response to it. You will
automatically blink with that puff of air. 2. A tap of a hammer to your knee will
produce an unconditioned response of knee jerk kick.
There are things in the world called unconditioned stimuli and they have
the effect of reflexively producing responses. These responses occur w/o any
prior exposure to the stimulus. You dont need to have any history with the
stimulus for it to produce the response in question.
New stimuli could be paired with unconditioned stimuli. Through their
repeated pairing with an unconditioned stimulus they can come to acquire the
ability to elicit a response similar to the unconditioned response.
In a repeated series of trials some new stimulus is paired with an
unconditioned stimulus. This pairing occurs repeatedly over learning
opportunities. This conditioned stimulus will overtime acquire the ability to
elicit a conditioned response. The conditioned will resemble the
unconditioned response but it will typically be smaller in magnitude.
Ex: a puff of air to the eye is an unconditioned stimulus that elicits the
response of an eye blink, and then you can create a learning situation over 20
trials where you sound a bell and blow some air in to your eye and then you
blink. On the 21st trial, we sound the bell you, you blink, but then we dont
blow the air. Now the bell alone elicits the blinking response. The blink will not
be the same response as the reflexive response, but now there is a new
stimulus that has acquired the ability to elicit a response that it did not have
During pretesting you wouldnt just start to blink your eyes when you heard
a bell but after a series of learning trials during which the stimulus is
associated with an unconditioned stimulus that it becomes the conditioned
stimulus eliciting the conditioned blink response.
Albert taking a white rat which Albert showed no prior history of being
frightened by and then pairing that exposure with a very loud noise. Over
repeated trials the baby becomes terrified of the rat, because of the
unconditioned stimulus (the loud noise) with which it had been paired. White
rats and any white object that resembled a white rat also produced a fear
response in Albert. This showed not only the strength of the conditioned
response and the associative learning but how that learning generalized to
new stimuli based on how similar those stimuli were to the conditioned
Skinner important role in the history of the learning theory b/c of the
extensions he made, to associative learning. He extended Watsons

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behaviorist tradition, beyond the Pavlovian conditioning into the more
complex arena of voluntary behavior.
Not all behavior is reflexive. It is very difficult to understand the stimulus
that is driving the human behavior. What was the stimulus that produced the
response? Ex) a child enters a room unsupervised, and finds a bookshelf.
W/o proper supervision the child will try to climb it like a ladder?
There is no stimulus that caused the child to climb the bookshelf like it was
a ladder. There was nothing caused the child to climb the bookstore, rather
the presence of the bookshelf gave the occasion/opportunity to climb. What
are the consequences that come from climbing the bookshelf? If you slip and
fall after losing your grip on the bookshelf. The consequences of his behavior
that determines what the boy will learn.
OPERANT APPROACH TO LEARNING: Not learning by association but
learning through consequences. We act in the world, and our actions have
consequences. If those consequences are (+) they increase the likelihood
that we will behave that we will behave similarly in the future. If the
consequences are (-) they decrease the likelihood that we will behave that we
will behave similarly in the future.
Thorndikes law of behavior: Cat had to unlatch the door to get the food.
1st time, through trial and error opens the latch and takes the food. With each
trial the time elapsed decreases for the cat to open the latch. The access to
the food when the cat is able to escape produces a satisfied state of affairs.
The state of affairs of being fed is satisfying to the cat. There is a learning
that occurs through the consequence of its own behavior. Those behaviors
that produce the desired consequence (hitting the latch that opens the door),
then become rewarded, and are encouraged to occur in the future.
Skinner wanted to not to consider the satisfied state of affairs that existed
in the cats mind. He was a radical behaviorist so he only wanted to focus on
what was observable. We have no access to what goes on in the cats
behavior. Whats available is the cats behavior, and the consequences, and
the relationship b/w them.
Reinforcement those stimuli that increase the probability of a behavior/or
the response that follows it. Ie) rewards. Ex child behaviors in a good way.
Praising the child is a reward, increases the likelihood that the child will
behave that way in the future.
Reinforcements dont have to be in the way of a reward. They can come in
the way of a relief. Relief is reinforcement that occurs b/c a bad thing has
been taken away. You can increase the probability of a behavior in the future
by showing that that behavior eliminates a bad thing from happening. Ex:
overweight child: faces the constant criticism of parents. The child finds that
by losing weight, the criticism goes away.
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