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LEC 13 behaviourism.docx

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Western University
Psychology 3950F/G
Albert N Katz

ANTECEDENTS OF BEHAVIOURISM EDWARD L. THORNDIKE • Began his animal research testing baby chicks in the basement of William James’s home • PhD with Cattell at Columbia Univ. (1898) • Dissertation: Animal Intelligence (1899) • Professor at Columbia Univ., 1898-1939 The puzzle box studies - Studies with cats learning to escape from the puzzle box for a food reward led to Thorndike’s formulation of the law of effect Law of effect: control of learning by its consequences “Any act which in a given situation produces satisfaction becomes associated with that situation, so that when the situation recurs the act is more likely than before to recur also. Conversely, any act which in a given situation produces discomfort becomes disassociated from that situation, so that when the situation recurs the act is less likely than before to recur.” HIS CONTRIBUTIONS • Thorndike’s work in animal behavior “signaled a shift from speculation to experimentation.” • Truncated law of effect • Priority for discovery of the law of reinforcement IVAN P. PAVLOV • Began his work on the conditioned reflex in 1900 • Won Nobel Prize in 1904 for his work in digestion • 1909 article by Yerkes and Morgulis • 1927 English translation of his book, Conditioned Reflexes • 1929 speech at the International Congress of Psychology at Yale Univ. CLASSICAL CONDITIONING • Learning in which a previously neutral stimulus (CS) is paired with an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) to elicit an conditioned response (CR). • Pairing of 2 stimuli together repeatedly until the person responds in the same way to both. • UCS (meat powder) > UCR (salivation) • CS (BELL) + UCS > UCR ( salivation) • CS…> CR (salivation) • Acquisition • Extinction • Spontaneous recovery • Generalization • Discrimination • Conditioned emotional reaction Cc of emotions UCS (sharks) > UCR (fear) CS > no fear CS (music) + UCS > UCR fear Music > fear PAVLOV PUTS PSYCH IN THE AXIS OF EVIL “The investigation of the conditioned reflexes is of very great importance for the physiology of the higher parts of the central nervous system. Hitherto this department of physiology has throughout most of its extent availed itself of ideas not its own, ideas borrowed from psychology, but now there is a possibility of its being liberated from such evil influences.” JOHN B. WATSON 1900: U. of Chicago • studied with Dewey • studied biology and physiology with Loeb • 1903: youngest Ph.D. from Chicago (at the age of 25) Dissertation on “neurological and psychological maturation of the white rat” • 1903-1908: faculty at U. of Chicago • 1908: to John Hopkins U. • -1909: chair of the psychology department • - 1909: editor of Psychological Review • 1913: published his article in the Psychological Review; Behaviorism was officially launched • 1914: book: Behavior: An Introduction to Comparative Psychology • a. argued for acceptance of animal psychology • b. described advantages of animal subjects • 1919: Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist • a. argued methods and principles of animal research appropriate for study of humans • 1920: forced to resign from Johns Hopkins (scandal) • second career: applied psychology in advertising • a. mechanistic view of humans: Consumers’ behavior could be predicted and controlled • b. proposed experimental (lab) study of consumer behavior • publicity for psychology in the popular media Still promoted behaviourism during his non-academic career 1925: Behaviorism 1928: Psychological Care of the Infant and Child • a. focus on environmental factors • b. recommended perfect objectivity in child-rearing practices • c. had the greatest impact of all his work eliminated the concept of instinct • d. denied inherited capacities, temperaments, talents • e. children can become anything one desires • f. this viewpoint became popular in America society BEHAVIOURISM by Watson – 1. Psychology is the science of behavior – 2. a purely objective experimental natural science – 3. both animal and human behavior are studied – 4. discard all mentalistic concepts; use only behavior concepts (e.g., stimulus & response) – 5. Goal of psychology: prediction and control of behavior METHODS • Psychology must restrict itself to the objective study of behavior. • Adoption of the methods of the natural sciences • Observation: a necessary basis for the other methods • Testing methods – Were already in use – But Watson thought that test results are samples of behavior, not indices of mental qualities • Conditioned reflex method : selected as an objective method of behavior analysis • Reinforced the concept of people as machines. • human subject: the observed rather than the observer • a. designation changed from "observer" to "subject“ • b. experimenter became the observer SUBJECT MATTER The primary subject matter of behaviorism was the elements of behavior explicit versus implicit • Responses can be explicit or implicit • explicit responses: overt and observable • implicit responses: occur inside of the organism (e.g., nerve impulses) 1) observable 2) must be observable through the use of instruments – Thinking: Internal speech – Emotions – . Emotion was physiological responses to specific stimuli • E.g., threatening (Stimuli)  produces internal physical changes such as rapid heart rate (response). – . Criticized James’s theory of emotion • . fear, love, and rage are innate emotional responses LITTLE ALBERT EXPERIMENT (WATSON AND RAYNER) • Wanted to show that through classical conditioning children can learn an emotion (fear) of a neutral/positive stimulus>>> child conditioned to fear rats • Claimed aim was to unlearn the fear response once learned, but the child was removed before that stage could be done IS NOW CONTROVERSIAL • the Albert study never successfully replicated • questions about the identity of the child and information not reported - Mary Cover Jones • study of Peter generalized fear responses eliminated • today: modern systematic desensitization techniques (see later lecture) POPULAR APPEAL OF BEHAVIOURISM • Conditioned reflex experiments (e.g., Little Albert study) – implied emotional disturbances in adulthood due to conditioned responses during earlier years – implies proper childhood conditioning should prevent adult disorders CONTRIBUTIONS OF WATSONS BEHAVIOURISM • Made psychology more objective in methods and terminology • Effectively removed conscious activity from the study of Psychology in much of the world until the late 1950s - early 1960s • Objective methods and language became part of the mainstream in Psychology B.F. SKINNER (1904-1990) most important in terms of behaviourism 1925: Hamilton College (NY): degree in English, no courses in psychology Read about Pavlov’s and Watson’s experimental work 1931: Ph.D. from Harvard-Dissertation: a reflex is a correlation between S and R 1938: The Behavior of Organisms 1953: Science and Human Behavior 1990: Vigorously attacked the growth of cognitive psychology 1990 (final article): "Can Psychology Be a Science of Mind?" Psychology should deal only with observable behavior No presumptions about internal entities - The "empty organism" approach The task of scientific inquiry: To establish functional relationships between experimenter- controlled stimulus and organism’s response METHODOLOGY Single subject design - Large numbers of subjects not necessary - Statistical comparisons of group means not necessary - A single subject provides valid and replicable results - Requires "sufficient" data collected under well-controlled experimental conditions - Statistics obscure individual responses and differences THE ACTIVE ANIMAL - Operant behavior occurs without an obvious observable external stimulus - Operates on the organism’s environment - The behavior is instrumental in securing a stimulus more representative of everyday learning - Science of behavior: Study of conditioning and extinction of operants - Dependent variable in the "Skinner box": rate of response - Law of acquisition: key variable: reinforcement , practice provides opportunities for additional reinforcement - Differs from Thorndike - Thorndike : explanatory VS. Skinner: strictly descriptive SKINNER’S THEORY - All we need to know in order to describe and explain behaviour is this: actions followed by good outcomes are likely to recur, and actions followed by bad outcomes are less likely to recur. LAW OF EFFECT OPERANT CONDITIONING TECHNIQUES • POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT = increasing a behavior by administering a reward • NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT = increasing a behavior by removing an aversive stimulus when a behavior occurs • PUNISHMENT = decreasing a behavior by administering an aversive stimulus following a behavior OR by removing a positive stimulus • EXTINCTION = decreasing a behavior by not rewarding it RESEARCH FOCI Role of punishment in response acquisition Schedules of reinforcement Extinction of operants Secondary reinforcement Generalization Subjects included humans as well as animals SCHEDULES OF REINFORCEMENT Reinforcement is necessary in operant behavior Reinforcements differ in the real world Reinforcement schedules continuous fixed and variable ratio and interval Interval schedules: reinforcement occurs after a certain amount of time has passed Fixed Interval = reinforcement is presented after a fixed amount of time Variable Interval = reinforcement is delivered on a random/variable time schedule Ratio schedules: reinforcement occurs after a certain number of responses Fixed Ratio = reinforcement presented after a fixed # of responses Variable Ratio = reinforcement delivery is variable but based on an overall average # of responses LIMITED EFFECTS OF PUNISHMENT • Punishment does not teach appropriate behaviors • Must be delivered immediately & consistently • May result in negative side effects • Undesirable behaviors may be learned through modeling (aggression) • May create negative emotions (anxiety & fear) HOW COMPLEX BEHAVIOURS ARE LEARNED • Successive approximation/shaping = reinforcing behaviors as they come to approximate the desired behavior • Superstitious Behavior = when persistent behaviors are reinforced coincidentally rather than functionally ADDITIONALASPECTS OF SKINNER’S APPROACH • Behavior Modification – Eliminate undesirable behavior by removing reinforcement and replacing with desirable behavior and reinforcement • Free Will - An illusion. All behaviors are learned; there is no free will GESTALT PSYCH THE WHOLE IS DIFFERENT FROM THE SUM OF ITS PARTS GESTALT REVOLUTION • started in perceptual phenomena but subsequently “moved” into many other fields of psychology • Was a protest against Wundtian psychology • Was also a protest against Watsonian Behaviorism • against elementism • against the notion that perception of objects is a summation of elements • argued (unlike Watson) that conscious data are important and that a model of what is going on inside the mind is needed SOME INFLUENCES ON GESTALT PSYCH A. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) – input is organized meaningfully not through the mechanical process of association – The mind structures what is given it B. William James – He considered consciousness a tool which, by its nature, is selective, fluid, and personal- a tool which serves to create an inner coherent reality. James also believed consciousness to be a continuous process. C. Ernst Mach (1838-1917) – 1. a physicist – 2. discussed spatial and temporal patterns • a. considered them to be sensations • b. independent of their elements CHANGING ZEITGEIST IN PHYSICS Physicists beginning to think in terms of fields and organic wholes Gestalt psychology – 1. Köhler: background in physics and studies with Max Planck – 2. an application of field physics to psychology FIELD THEORY = branch of physics that studies how energy distributes itself within physical systems. In some systems (such as the solar system), energy can distribute itself freely. In other systems (such as an electric circuit), energy must pass through wires, condensers, resistors, and so forth. In either type of system, however, energy will always distribute itself in the simplest, most symmetrical way possible under the circumstances CARL STUMPF: MENTOR TO FOUNDERS OF GESTALT PSYCH Greatest contributions were to the study of auditory perception Most famous for his role in the case of “Clever Hans” Founded the psychology laboratory at the University of Berlin that competed with Wundt’s for prestige STUMPF’S PSYCH Mental phenomena not consciousness should be studied by psychology – study the whole not the parts Studied the combination of pure tones into complex tones Two pure tones presented together produce an experience distinctively different from the separate tones His work was attacked by Wundt who said (as Titchener would have said) “these findings occurred as the result of using “improperly trained” observers” 3 IMPORTA
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