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Lecture

PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Behaviorism, Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY100H1
Professor
doldeman

Page:
of 4
Topic 5: Learning
Learning
Early 1900s – a resistance to the dominant paradigms in psychology of the day:
introspection & Freudian psychoanalysis
Psychologists started to try to make psychology more scientific, experimental. They
began to focus only on observable aspects of human experience à focus on
behaviour
Ivan Pavlov
Unfortunately, he also invented a very difficult-to- remember language to describe
his theory of conditioning – ‘classical conditioning’
US = the stimulus that the animal will naturally respond to (e.g., meat powder)
UR = the response (e.g.,. salivating)
CS = the new, neutral stimulus that is paired with the US (e.g., “ding!”)
CR = the response (e.g., salivating; usually not quite as powerful)
Higher-Order Conditioning
A neutral stimulus can become a conditioned stimulus by being paired with an
already established CS
Learning to Like
Where do sentimental feelings come from?
Objects have been associated in the past with positive feelings
Classical Conditioning in Real Life
Conditioning plays a big role in our emotional responses to objects, people, symbols,
events, and places.
… And advertisers pull our strings all the time by associating their products with
images that we associate with desire, cool, sex, power, excitement
John B. Watson
“Eureka!” … 10 years later…
Pavlov influenced an American psychologist, who ended up leaving quite a legacy
1913 – begins to publish his perspective on Behaviourism through Psych Review:
“Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It”
“Psychology as the behaviorist views it is a purely objective natural science. Its
theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior. Introspection forms no
essential part of its methods ... “
“The behaviorist, in his attempts to get a unitary scheme of animal response,
recognizes no dividing line between man and brute. The behavior of man, with all of
its refinement and complexity, forms only a part of the behaviorist’s total scheme of
investigation.”
Note: objective, prediction & control, animal research
Watson & the Rise of Behaviourism
Thought that the conditioned reflex was a model that would account for a wide
variety of phenomena.... even emotions!
Studied babies, and identified 3 unconditioned emotional responses: rage, fear, love
Watson & the Rise of Behaviourism
He believed that all other complex emotional experiences were CRs, built on the
foundation of these three URs.
Little Albert...
Behaviourism
Behaviorists challenged our basic understanding of the world, and championed a
view of people as stimulus-response machines
They also solidified within psychology a strong paradigm based on experimental
methods, quantitative analysis, and “objective” measurement
He believed that all other complex emotional experiences were CRs, built on the
foundation of these three URs
Little Albert…
Behaviourists challenged our basic understanding of the world, and championed a
view of people as stimulus-response machines
Operant Conditioning: Carrots & Sticks
Classical conditioning: focus on associations between stimuli; target is largely
passive
Operant conditioning: focus on the consequences of behaviour; target is quite active,
regulating her behaviour in order to meet hedonic needs (i.e., get pleasure, avoid
pain)
Consequences of Behaviour
Reinforcement strengthens the response or makes it more likely to recur (positive vs.
negative reinforcement)
Punishment weakens a response or makes It less likely to recur (positive v.s.
negative punishment)
Schedules of Reinforcement
Begin training a response with continuous reinforcement (acquisition is fast and
easiest when reinforcement is continuous)
Once a response is reliable, it will be more resistant to extinction if it is rewarded on
an intermittent (partial) schedule of reinforcement, reinforces only some
responses, not all of them.
Reinforcement
Primary reinforcers are inherently reinforcing and typically satisfy a
physiological need (e.g., food, water)
Secondary reinforcers are stimuli that have acquired reinforcing properties
through associations with other reinforcers (e.g., money, praise, applause)
Consequences of Behaviour
Punishment weakens a response or makes it less likely to recur (positive vs. negative
punishment)
Punishment
Primary punisher
Something that is inherently punishing (e.g., electric shock, pain, extreme
heat or cold)
Secondary punisher
A stimulus that has acquired punishing properties through an association with
other punishers (e.g., criticism, demerits, fines)
Schedules of Reinforcement
continuous reinforcement: every correct behaviour is rewarded (and/or incorrect
behaviour punished)
variable reinforcement: rewards are administered after a varying number of
behaviours (or random time intervals….)
Different Schedules have Different Uses
Begin training a response with continuous reinforcement (acquisition is fast and
easiest when reinforcement is continuous)
once a response is reliable,