PSYC 1010 Lecture Notes - Reinforcement, Social Influence, Social Cognition
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November 18, 2010
Any type of adding or removing something increase the probability of the response (both Sr+, adding
something pleasant, and Sr-, removing something unpleasant). Positive punishment is when you add
something unpleasance, and negative punishment is when you remove something pleasant (these 2
both decrease the probability of the response reoccurring).
Being “grounded” is like a teenager’s work for “time out”: really negative punishment; negative
reinforcement and removing all pleasurable things.
Is punishment effective? Does it work? We are restricted to the degree at which we are allowed to
punish during experiments and research. Some considerations:
1. Punishment, ideally, should be immediate. A reinforce is more effective if done immediately.
We, as human beings, can use language to make a point.
2. Punishment should be consistent: whenever that thing happens, you need to punish the child
every time they do it. If you do it only some of the time, the act will continue because they see
that they sometimes can get away with it. They also won’t know what exactly what is expected
3. Punishment can’t be too hard because then they will start fearing the punisher.
4. Parents are role models. If you tell a child not to hit and it was very wrong that they did and
then you hit him as a punishment, the reason the child is imitating you as it is.
Alternatives to punishment:
- Skinner believed that there was never need to punish. Reinforce the opposite behaviour, but
you don’t need to punish them to get them to do or not to do something. If you simply
reinforce him against the desirable alternative to what you want and be overly enthusiastic
when they do the right thing, they will get the point. Reinforce an acceptable alternative
- Ignore the unwanted or undesirable behaviour
Chapter 16: Social Behaviour
Social psychology: looking at people’s behaviour when they are in a social setting. 2 subsections:
1. Social cognition: the study of the way we perceive and evaluate others. Example: how we form
prejudice, love, personal attraction, personal attributes, etc.
2. Social influence: the way people influence each other’s behaviours, decisions, etc.
MIlgrim (1963)- social psychologist. He was baffled how people could’ve followed Hitler during his
command. Is it possible to come up with factors that influence why people listen to each other. His
studis experimented with the effects of punishment on learning. (LOOK UP STUDY ON TEACHER AND
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