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Lecture 5

PSY230_lec5.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY230H1
Professor
Maja Djikic

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Lecture 5- Behavior and Learning Theories (pg.217--251) Behaviorism: •The best perspective from which one can view a person is from the Assumptions outside •To understand a person, look at their behavior •Knowledge that does not come from direct public observation is invalid •Introspection is invalid because no one can verify someone‟s introspections •Personality is a sum total of one’s behaviors •Everything you do constitutes your personality-- can determine the cause of a behavior- it stems from the environment •Causes of behavior can be observed as directly as the behavior itself •It is because the causes are contained in one‟s environment •“Environment” doesn‟t refer to trees and rivers, but to rewards and punishments contained in physical and social world Functional Analysis •The question: In what way is behavior a function of environment? •Environment àBehavior •àrepresents „learning‟ •Learning is any change of behavior as a function of one‟s experience with environment •We are not the cause of behavior-- wat in environment caused this behavior •Environment seen as the ultimate and only cause of behavior Philosophical Roots Empiricism •Everything we know comes from our experience •Structure of reality determines the structure of the mind •Imprints itself onto mind •Locke •The newborn mind is „tabula rasa‟ – blank slate, ready to be written upon by experience. Life writes itself on our tablet •Conceptualization of knowledge as including simple associations between small facts leads to the research strategy called reductionism •Understand a large phenomenon by breaking it down into small constituent parts •Ex. Doctor may send u to a specialist to check if that one part is working •Personality, then, consists of person‟s inventory of learned associations, or even physiological mechanisms, that can be considered separately •Associationism •Claim that two things, or two ideas, or thing and an idea, become mentally associated together if they are repeatedly experienced as close together in time •Ex. Thunder and lighting associated bc come one after another •Philosophers such as Hobbes, Locke, and Hume, believed that these two ideas, empiricism and associationism, were sufficient enough to explain the basis of all knowledge •Causal things are close in time •Motivation? Why behave? •Hedonism- pleasure seeking •People (and organisms in general) learn in order to do just two things: seek pleasure and avoid pain •This is why rewards and punishments can shape behavior •Epicurus •Purpose of life it to be free of pain to and to pursue aesthetic enjoyment and piece of mind •The Epicurean ideal leads to utilitarianism •The best society is the social arrangement that creates the most happiness for the largest number of people •What is happiness?- cant impose one way of happiness? Happiness comes with certain emotions-- happiness isn't always precise, but its a signal- but people really want fulfillment and joy- when we think of how we create societies: why aim to continue being in a state when you have signal rather than be in state of fulfillment Pavlov •Russian physiologist who was first to demonstrate that natural or spontaneous responses could be made conditional upon the appearance of an unnatural stimulus •You can conditions dog to anything that they can sense •Classical (Pavlovian) conditioning •Unconditioned stimulus (meat powder) •Unconditioned response (salivation) •Conditioned stimulus (light/bell) •Conditioned response (salivation) •Associationism: stimuli experienced together •Pavlov found unconditioned stimuli must be experienced just before the conditioned stimuli •Not a simple case of combining simple concepts, but a mechanisms through which the meaning of one concept changes the meaning of another. Instrumental •Another form of conditioning first studied by Pavlovians has come to be conditioning called instrumental conditioning •In classical conditioning, the animal does not have to carry out any contributory behavior in order for it to be reinforced •Some of Pavlov‟s associates modified their procedure so that after the bell was sounded or light flashed, they flexed a dog‟s leg manually and then blew the meat powder into the dog‟s mouth •After a few presentations of the stimulus, the dog began flexing the leg without experimenter having to touch the animal •The dog was automatically anticipating the reward to follow leg flexion, and was doing something to ensure that reward would come about •This is what instrumental means: an animal‟s behavior is a contributing factor (an instrumentality) in the sequence of conditioning Thorndike •Pavlov was a dog-person, Thorndike was a cat-person •Hungry cats in puzzle-boxes •By accident somehow it finds a button or something that opened door •Change in escape time happened gradually •Cat did not „understand‟ •Specific responses strengthened through pairing with pleasant outcomes •More likely to do it Watson •Father of behaviorism •He coined the term and initiated behaviorism as a psychological discipline •Behavioral psychology was based on rejection of the then-prevalent tendency to find psychological data within awareness •Behaviorism is a diametric opposite of awareness psychology •Watson argued that what counts is the observable behavior of organisms and not what these organisms are aware of or think about in making responses •“The rule, or measuring rod, which the behaviorist puts in front of him always is: Can I describe this bit of behavior I see in terms of „stimulus and response?” •S-R psychology •By limiting himself to observables, Watson could, in 1913, erase the distinction between higher and lower animals •“The behaviorist, in his efforts to get a unitary scheme of animal response, recognizes no dividing line between man and brute.” •Watson made a distinction between external response and the internal response, suggesting that what we consider to be thought (mentation) is actually a form of subvocal speech in which we covertly manipulate the muscles of our speech apparatus and related structures •These things you're thinking are speaking, not thinking •Watson fixed the terms shaping of behavior and habit into the vocabulary of all psychologists •Without denying some physical and psychological limitations, Watson claimed that the major source of behavioral variety continues to be the influences that enter the life cycle following birth •„I should like to go one step further now and say, “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I‟ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might suggest – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and the race of his ancestors.”‟ •Can make them into whatever you want if you control their environment •Human behavior involves aligning a series of S-R sequences into habits (fixed sequences) •Watson considered it the scientific duty of psychology to establish laws and principles for the “control of human action.” •Personality is the “end product of our habit systems.” •People controlled by environment anyway, so why not regulate this control Skinner •Born in 1904, in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania •Father was an ambitious lawyer, who felt life did not give him the chance to show the talent he actually possessed •Mother was an attractive, intelligent, emotionally strong woman •He had one younger sibling who died of cerebral aneurism •His childhood was characterized by much activity, a love for the outdoors, great interest in building and making things, and a love for school work. •Skinner attended Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he majored in English •He was working to become a poet and a novelist •After B.A. in 1926, he built a small study in the attic of his parents house and set to work •He thought freedom was an illusion •Didn‟t quite work out (he wasted his year), and after another year of bohemian living he entered a graduate school in psychology in 1928. •He had his doctorate by 1931. •He married in 1936, and had two daughters Skinner Crib •Younger daughter had a considerable publicity for having spent her firs two and a half years in the air crib designed by her father. •This was an enclosed cabinet with transparent sides that completely controls the environment of an infant so that clothing is unnecessary, and toys are available for the child‟s amusement •Hundreds of children have since been reared like this. Skinner Theoretical •Found S-O-R model inappropriate for psychology Concepts •Rejected all attempts to theorize about what is supposedly taking place inside the organism •Skinner turned away from classical (respondent) conditioning to the instrumental (operant) conditioning •Skinner believed that classical conditioning is not typical of most of life‟s learned behaviors •Rather than being elicited, most behavioral responses are actually emitted or sent forth by the organism in relation to consequent environmental factors which either reinforce the behavior emitted or fail to do so- Babies punished for some behaviors and not for others •The behavior that operates on the environment to produce a reinforcing effect, Skinner termed the operant response (or simply operant) •Operant conditioning focuses on the response and asserts that responses followed by reinforcers are likely to be carried out again, and the more we reinforce these responses (operants) the more likely will they be to appear •Reinforcement is anything that increasing your chance of repeating a behavior •Classical conditioner of behavior had looked to the size of the response (e.g., the amount of saliva secreted), or the rapidity with which the response is made (e.g., how quickly salivation begins following the sounding of the bell) as the measure of conditioning success •Ex. Rat that presses bar to get food •The operant conditioner focuses on the frequency of conditioned responses as the proper measure of learning •New nature of reinforcement •Whatever is empirically seen to increase the frequency of behavior can be considered a reinforcement. •Moving away from drive reduction theory. •Positive vs. negative reinforcement •Negative reinforcement is not punishment •Positive reinforcement given candy for cleaning room •Negative reinforcement, take away something negative. Ex. Pill takes away something negative Operant •Operant conditioning procedures Conditioning •Positive reinforcement results when a pleasant stimulus is present, increasing the frequency of behavior •Negative reinforcement happens when an aversive stimulus is removed, leading also to increased frequency of behavior •Extinction happens when the behavior is not reinforced and thus disappears •Punishment is giving an aversive stimulus, or taking away of positive stimulus •Skinner extended Watson‟s concept of shaping behavior to include what he called the method of successive approximations •One can gradually arrive at a desired (or randomly decided) behavior, by taking it in stages of shaping. •You need to reinforce every little bit of behavior •Es. Teacher •Also, humans are shaped each day by our environmental circumstances, our behavior being contingent on the reinforcements that originate in our environment •1) figure out what reinforces them? •2) slow tone down for reinforcement and reinforce for something else Schedules of •One of his main insights (1956) was that behavior does not require a reinforcement reinforcement of every occasion (trial) in order for it to continue in an organism‟s response repertoire. •Even when reinforcement is given less than 100 percent of time (either periodically or in aperiodic, irregular, time intervals), organism will continue its behavioral output. •To prove his point, S
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