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Lecture 10

PSYC85H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Clark L. Hull, Edward C. Tolman, Classical Conditioning

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Michelle Hilscher

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PSYC85: Lecture 10 July 23rd, 2014
Chapters 9 & 12
Recall Watson’s Behaviorism
1. Focus on behavioural phenomena (not the mind’s content or functions!)
oExamples: If the cat eats or not; If the child approaches the strawberries or not
2. Collect objective data (Quantitative data)
oData that can be agreed upon by multiple observers – Avoids self-report/introspection/observation of internal
3. Apply principles of psychology  To predict and control human behaviour
The Neobehaviorism of Clark L. Hull (1884 – 1952) and Edward C. Tolman (1866 – 1959) superseded Watson’s
behaviorism in the 1930s and 1940s
Overlap with Watson: Goals Attempt to observe and predict behaviours
Difference from Watson:
oPhilosophy of Science How do scientific observations occur?
Watson: Inductive – Ground-Up Approach
Illustrated: “We behaviourists collect our facts from observation. Now and then we select a
group of facts and draw certain general conclusions about them.”
oGroup observations and create theory
oWhat if something exists, but has not been observed?
No right to theorize something you cannot observe! (E.g. Gravity and viruses
are invisible and undetectable)
oNo room for hypotheses to guide verification
There is no room for expectations – What is true if not observable and vice-
Example: All rabbits have teeth and are animals.  Therefore, all animals
have teeth. (But we clearly know this isn’t true)
Hull and Tolman: Hypothetico-deductive Approach
“The typical procedure is to adopt a postulate tentatively, deduce one or more of its logical
implications concerning observable phenomena, and then check the validity of the deductions
by observation.”

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oDescription is important, but so too is imagination!
What should you expect if theory is true or false? – Do fact checking, Examples:
oWatson: Makes observations about Toronto (record facts of reality)
oNeobehaviorists: Makes observations and tries to apply them elsewhere – Do these
results currently exist elsewhere?  Record reality but theorize!
oMethodology – Consciousness
Watson: Focus on behavior and acknowledge consciousness – However, we don’t have the tools to
measure it!
Hull and Tolman: Consciousness is important and must be included!
Edward Tolman
Method of Choice: Psychologists should describe human behaviour in terms of observable antecedent conditions and
inferred mental states
oObservable Antecedent Conditions: Facts about the environment
oInferred Mental States: Internal motives as they interact with environment
Mental states are goal orientations; behaviors are goal-directed actions
o“There is something either toward which or from which the behavior is directed.”
What is more, goals are conscious! – Active not passive interactions with world
oExample: Water is present – it’s a hot day, dogs are drinking. (Watson would stop there) Inner motives of dog:
The goal is the relive the dog’s thirst and it knows it’s thirsty (Tolman’s continuation)
What Mental Activities Support Goal-Oriented Behaviors?
Representations and Cognitive Maps:
Expectations and Hypotheses: If you do X, Y will occur  Thus, you want to do X!
“Sign-Gestalts”: Goal in mind (can be multiple goals) and how to attain the goal  You formulate Sign-Gestalts:
Envision problem and possible solutions
oChoose the least risk one with the most possible benefits
Learning isn’t always a product of reinforcement
Behaviorists (i.e. Watson) believe that learning is a product of reinforcement!
oNeobehaviorists disagree! – Sometimes organisms learn – via latence learning – even when they’re not
oExample: Group 2, despite no reinforcement to learn the map of the maze, learned abstract map of maze
whereas Group 1 (who was reinforced) was distracted by the cheese
Learning is abstract, not stimulus-specific

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Place vs. Response Controversy speaks to this neobehaviorist claim
oHave rats learned to turn right at the junction, or have they learned a more abstract cognitive map of the
Watson would say that people learn due to stimulus-reaction!
Neobehaviorists say its abstract
Results: Rats learned abstract cognitive map of the maze to figure out their location
Clark Hull
Proposed Drive-Reduction Theory to explain learning
Main Life Goal: To relieve biological need states
oRelieving need state is intrinsically reinforcing
Need food, water, warmth, and safety
oOrganism learns what behaviors accomplish this goal
Drive Potential:
sEr =sHr +D
oIn other words: Drive Potential = Habit Strength + Level of Need
Habit Strength: How much you’ve been reinforced in the past – As the number of time you’ve been
reinforced increases, the intensity of your habit strength increases
Level of Need: Own level of intrinsic motivation determines this
A Main Difference between Tolman and Hull
Can rat research explain complex human behaviors?
Tolman: Is skeptical
oHumans have higher order goals apart from basic needs to survive and reproduce
oExample: To create art, change the world for future generations, etc.
Hull: All human behaviors can be explained
oSecondary (acquired) drives, associated with reduction of primary (biological) drives
Which Perspective Wins Out?
Hull’s theories had far greater impact than Tolman’s
oDue to Rockerfeller Foundation giving Yale a donation (from personal connections)
Hull was given a better lab and more resources
Radical Behaviorism
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